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Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture

Employer
James Madison University
Location
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Salary
-
Posted Date
Oct 18, 2022
Website
https://www.jmu.edu/index.shtml

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Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture

JMU Libraries seeks a creative and energetic librarian/archivist or scholar to fill a newly created, tenure-track faculty position in our Special Collections department. We seek a colleague with subject knowledge in Black arts and culture, teaching expertise with archival and distinctive collections, and enthusiasm for the power of primary sources.

The Special Collections Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture is a full-time, twelve-month, tenure-track position with instructional faculty status at JMU, reporting within JMU Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections department. We anticipate hiring at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Libraries faculty participate in shared governance at JMU and adhere to policies established in our Promotion & Tenure Guidelines (https://www.jmu.edu/academic-affairs/_documents/pt-libraries-2022.pdf) and the JMU Faculty Handbook (https://www.jmu.edu/facultyhandbook/). Faculty are evaluated annually on Job Performance, Scholarly Achievement & Professional Qualifications, and Professional Service.

About the JMU Libraries

JMU Libraries is an essential and deeply valued part of our university, reporting to the Provost and Senior Vice President of JMU and undergoing transformation and renewal under the leadership of Dean Bethany Nowviskie, who also serves as JMU’s Chief Academic Technology Officer. At Madison, the Libraries includes campus educational technology, digital scholarship, and online learning services alongside foundational library collections, resources and spaces, scholarly communications and data/information literacy services, and collaborative teaching and research support. We work with faculty and administrators across the institution as respected peers. Our team comprises approximately 150 staff and faculty, including tenured/tenure-track librarians and instructional designers, classified and wage staff, and administrative and professional faculty from a number of fields. Approximately 100 undergraduate and graduate student workers join the Libraries in a variety of roles.

The Libraries particularly welcomes applicants who can enhance the diversity and excellence of our campus community, and who can demonstrate a commitment to building equitable and inclusive environments for teaching, learning, research, and service. We are committed to cultivating a welcoming place for everyone, encouraging dialogue and celebrating diverse life experiences and perspectives. As an organization, we encourage experimentation and creativity in pursuit of meaningful solutions that build on our position as core academic infrastructure for our campus community.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Within this highly collaborative department, the successful candidate will align instructional priorities with organizational and departmental goals to support a reparative approach that recognizes silences and gaps in the documentary record, and shape the classroom use of Special Collections materials across various disciplines and fields. Through collaboration with other JMU instructors and Libraries colleagues (including teaching faculty, archivists, subject liaisons, and instructional designers), the successful candidate will design and deliver balanced and rewarding hands-on learning experiences that engage students in analysis, interpretation, and use of primary sources.

The successful candidate will also help build and curate distinctive holdings (archival materials across media types as well as rare books and printed materials) in an area of high priority for JMU Special Collections. Specifically, this position will help expand collection development efforts with colleagues in the Furious Flower Poetry Center (FFPC) to acquire relevant printed materials centered around Black poetry, fiction, and art, and with faculty from our African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies Center in support of JMU’s research and teaching strengths in these fields. The successful candidate will bring creative thinking and excitement to promotion and outreach surrounding our collections, and will engage with a highly collaborative team of librarians, archivists, poets, and scholars to further the acquisition, description, and use of distinctive collections related to Black arts, literature, and culture.

Special Collections staff at JMU steward a collection that documents the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as well as the institutional history of James Madison University. Collection strengths include documentary records and oral histories related to campus history and the history of Shenandoah Valley people and organizations (including Harrisonburg’s vibrant, past and contemporary immigrant community). Significant distinctive collections that provide curricular support for teaching and learning at JMU include artists’ books and movable/pop-up books, pulp magazines, and materials related to Black arts and culture. Relevant here are JMU Libraries’ collections of Black comic books, graphic novels, and works of poetry; rare book and manuscript collections by Black writers; and the unique video archives of JMU’s distinguished Furious Flower Poetry Center—the first academic center for Black poetry in the country and the focus of a large-scale, Mellon Foundation-supported digital archives collaboration with the Libraries —as well as JMU faculty digital projects related to histories of race and place.

The Special Collections Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture is a full-time, twelve-month, tenure-track position with instructional faculty status at JMU, reporting to the Head of Special Collections. We anticipate hiring at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Libraries faculty participate in shared governance at JMU and adhere to policies established in our Promotion & Tenure Guidelines (https://www.jmu.edu/academic-affairs/_documents/pt-libraries-2022.pdf) and the JMU Faculty Handbook (https://www.jmu.edu/facultyhandbook/). Faculty are evaluated annually on Job Performance, Scholarly Achievement & Professional Qualifications, and Professional Service.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Delivers high-quality instruction and develops instructional content (such as research guides, assignments, instructional videos) using Special Collections materials in collaboration with JMU faculty and Libraries colleagues
  • Leads the continuing development of a creative and student-centered instruction program in Special Collections, establishing programmatic guidelines and implementing appropriate procedures for faculty instruction requests
  • Takes curatorial responsibility, with supportive funding, for rare and distinctive collections in Black arts and culture, including the development of printed materials and archives and manuscript collections in all formats related to African, African American, and Diaspora Studies
  • Shapes outreach, promotion, and specialized assistance to researchers related to areas of curatorial responsibility
  • Advises Special Collections archivists and Metadata Strategies colleagues on archival and bibliographic description of materials related to area of curatorial responsibility
  • In collaboration with the Head of Special Collections, the Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections, and colleagues at the AAAD and Furious Flower Poetry Centers, builds and sustains relationships with prospective donors and community partners
  • Contributes to public services work alongside colleagues in Special Collections; participates in regular reference shifts at the Special Collections service point
  • Engages in relevant service and scholarly and professional development activities as a tenure track faculty member at JMU

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience as an instructor and familiarity with best practices and methodologies in teaching and learning with primary sources
  • Subject area expertise or educational background in areas related to Black arts and culture and/or African, African American, and Diaspora Studies
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting and/or enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in an organizational context
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively with team members and across diverse audiences
  • A graduate degree in library/information science or another relevant field


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience providing instruction in a special collections library or archives
  • Knowledge of or experience with collection development in a special collections, archives, or museum setting
  • Knowledge of or experience with archival theory and practice, and best practices that govern the arrangement and description of primary source materials

To learn more and to apply, go to joblink.jmu.edu and reference posting F2010 or go to https://joblink.jmu.edu/postings/13066. Review of applications begins 11/11/2022.  Pay range: $60,000 - $65,000.

James Madison University is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.

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