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Head, Rare Books Program, Tenure Track

Rutgers University Libraries
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience
Posted Date
Aug 25, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Administration
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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Rutgers University Libraries seeks an enthusiastic and creative librarian to fill the position of Head, Rare Books Program in the Special Collections and University Archives division (SC/UA) at Rutgers New Brunswick. The Rare Books Collection of the Rutgers University Libraries contains over 53,000 books, manuscripts, pamphlets and broadsides. The collection supports advanced research in the humanities and social sciences. Particular strengths are New Jersey publications; incunabula; John Milton; sixteenth and seventeenth-century herbals; Victorian fiction; festival books; printing history; and artists' books.  


We are looking for an energetic, innovative, and collaborative colleague to create and execute a comprehensive program to promote and interpret SC/UA’s rare book collections and to encourage their use for teaching, learning and research. This new position reports to the Associate Director of Special Collections and University Archives. This position’s primary roles will be to forge relationships with the instructional faculty to encourage the integration of rare books and special collections into teaching and student research, and to help scholars within and beyond the university discover and use the rare book collections. Secondary roles include the oversight of the preservation activities of the department. The successful candidate will commit to working with a variety of constituencies, including other librarians and archivists.  Performs related duties as assigned. 




The Head, Rare Books Program will:  


  • Engage in outreach to raise awareness of the rare book collection with faculty, students, outside scholars, and library faculty and staff to promote use of holdings in their research and teaching. Develop programming, physical and online exhibitions, and social media and web content to highlight the collections. Collaborate on programming with units across campus.  Provide instruction with and about rare book collections; prepare and lead hands-on instruction sessions and collaborate with faculty on assignment design and learning outcomes for students in a variety of fields. Support additional instruction by SC/UA colleagues.  Provide stewardship for a collection of books, pamphlets, and broadsides. This includes adding materials to the collection through strategic collection development, developing and maintaining relationships with donors, and creating appropriate policies and procedures for rare books. Develop recommendations for future direction and focus, acquisitions and space needs.  Provide public services for the department along with other curators. This includes staffing the reference desk, assisting researchers, answering reference questions, developing research guides, and facilitating reproduction of materials.  Guide preservation/conservation efforts for the department, evaluating preservation needs of the collection and recommending individual items for treatment, working with a conservation technician and/or vendors.  Oversee a graduate specialist in Rare Books program who will manage a cadre of Rutgers students in various Rare Books projects.   Develop a post-doctorate fellowship program for national and international scholars to provide an opportunity to leverage the rare book collections.   Serve as liaison to the Rutgers Initiative for the Book, including working with graduate specialists on their own research and overseeing joint programming, cataloging, and exhibition projects. Also, participate in the programs of national and international academic and professional organizations, including professional service, attending conferences, and producing scholarly work (see promotion criteria below).  Uphold professional standards and practices by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity in all aspects of education and collections; acting as a supportive, collaborative, and contributing member of SC/UA; serving on SC/UA, library-wide, and university committees as appropriate; and bolstering the mission of the university. 



The Head, Rare Books Program will be based in Alexander Library, Special Collections & University Archives, in New Brunswick and will be a member of the New Brunswick Libraries Faculty. This position may require working some evenings and weekends. The successful candidate will represent the Libraries in the aforementioned academic units and develop innovative library services and co-curricular collaborations, fostering close intellectual partnerships between the Libraries and the academic community. This is a tenure-track faculty position, requiring publication, research, and active participation in professional associations.






  • ALA accredited library degree or advanced degree in related academic fields. At least five years' experience as a library professional specializing in rare books, including substantial teaching and cataloging experience.   Deep and comprehensive knowledge of book history and book arts. Record of professional service and scholarship Thorough knowledge of professional theory and best practices in managing, collecting, organizing, and preserving rare books and special collections. Knowledge of ethical and legal concerns (including copyright) affecting acquisition, management, and access to rare book holdings and digital collections.   Demonstrated oral and written communication skills; experience in project management, including goal-setting, assessment, and prioritization; fiscal management, including budget oversight and fundraising; and experience working with donors. 
  • Managing a collection of this size and scope also requires physically engaging with the collection, including climbing, lifting, and use of ladders/step stools.  Ability to lift 40 pounds. Demonstrated commitment to fostering cultural and intellectual diversity as well as dedication to maintaining an inclusive, respectful workplace
  • Conservation/preservation expertise. 


  • PhD in a relevant field.  Excellent presentation skills.  A reading knowledge of at least one foreign language besides English, preferably Latin. 

Visa sponsorship not available for this position.



SALARY: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.


STATUS/BENEFITS: Faculty status; 12-month appointment; retirement plan; life/health insurance; prescription drug, dental, and vision plans; tuition remission; 22 vacation days annually.


LIBRARY PROFILE: Rutgers University Libraries are the intellectual center of the university—serving all members of the university community, supporting all disciplines, and playing a key role in advancing student learning and faculty research. The Libraries serve all institutions that make up Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The Libraries have a highly valued staff of about 300, who are committed to developing innovations in access services, information literacy, and digital initiatives. Rutgers University Libraries operate with a budget of $45 million and have outstanding collections, especially in jazz and New Jerseyana. Collectively, the Libraries’ holdings include more than 4.8 million volumes. The Libraries hold memberships in ARL, CNI, CRL, Lyrasis, Metro, NERL, VALEnj, SPARC, and the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI); use Ex Libris’s Alma and Primo, and OCLC as primary bibliographic utilities; and utilize a Fedora-based institutional repository.


Rutgers University–New Brunswick

As the flagship of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers University–New Brunswick supports over 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students in approximately 100 undergraduate programs, more than 80 graduate/professional programs, and 60 doctoral programs. Ranked by US News & World Report as among the top 25 public universities, Rutgers–New Brunswick is classified as an R1 Doctoral University (Highest research activity) by the Carnegie Classification. Spanning New Brunswick, Piscataway, and adjacent towns in central New Jersey, Rutgers–New Brunswick is accessible by public transit. 





All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of all pre-employment screenings.


It is university policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all its employees and applicants for employment regardless of their race, creed, color, national origin, age, ancestry, nationality, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, disability status, liability for military service, protected veteran status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical cellular or blood trait, genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing), or any other category protected by law. As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment. For additional information please see the Non-Discrimination Statement at the following web address:


The Libraries are strongly and actively committed to diversity, and seek candidates who will contribute creatively to the University’s multicultural environment.

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