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Head, Special Collections

Butler University
Indiana, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 5, 2022

Butler University seeks a collaborative and forward-thinking professional to serve as our next Head of Special Collections. This person will take the lead in organizing, preserving, and making accessible the unique resources currently in our collections; leading student instruction using these resources; and performing outreach to expand collections as appropriate. The department houses special collections relating to Etheridge Knight, Jean Sibelius, and more; a rare books unit including materials on Madame De Stael and the South Pacific peoples and cultures; and the Butler University Archives. The person in this position will assist library leadership in redefining roles and organizational structure in support of preservation, instruction, and digitization, building on existing strengths.

The ideal candidate will have the relevant professional skills and experience, an interest in growth and development for spaces and collections, and a willingness to collaborate with staff, faculty, and administration within the Libraries and across the University. In addition, this person will understand the evolving role of academic libraries in higher education and the role of Special Collections in academic libraries and will lead efforts in Special Collections space utilization, information literacy, and digital collection initiatives that are inclusive and accessible to the learning needs of Butler students and external researchers. Butler Libraries also has a Dean of Libraries search underway and we expect the incoming Head of Special Collections to assist the new dean with strategic planning and organizational directions.

Position Responsibilities
  • Lead both physical and digital preservation and stewardship for the Special Collections, Rare Books, and University Archives department, including strategic collection development and policymaking
  • Contribute to strategic planning and development of Butler Libraries
  • Perform outreach to faculty and students to raise awareness of Butler Libraries special collections to promote their availability to support teaching and learning
  • Perform outreach beyond Butler in collaboration with community partners and donors
  • Prepare and lead instruction sessions involving special collections and archives materials and collaborate with faculty on pedagogy and learning outcomes
  • Provide reference and public services, along with other Special Collections staff, including answering questions, assisting researchers, and making reproductions according to copyright guidelines
  • Use best practices in providing access to collections through collection guides, working with the metadata team as appropriate to make collections accessible
  • Collaborate with a team of faculty and staff dedicated to metadata and digitization to select appropriate collections for new projects
  • Supervise staff and cultivate a student internship program
  • Assist in planning for future special collections and archives space needs, including preservation, storage, and instruction
  • Participate in Butler Libraries’ liaison librarian program, providing instruction and research support for selected academic departments
  • Fulfill expectations for Butler library faculty in areas of librarianship, service, and scholarship
Butler librarians have faculty status on a 6-year continuing appointment (non-tenure track) basis. Appointment level will be made appropriate to experience and/or status. The successful candidate will report to the Dean of Libraries.

Required Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA accredited program
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in a special collections, rare books, or archives department
  • Professional knowledge and experience in collecting, preserving, and organizing a diverse range of rare and special materials, including ethical and legal practices around acquisition and copyright
  • Experience in and knowledge of archival best practices
  • Experience in teaching with primary sources, including the proper handling of rare and special materials, as well as experience with general information literacy instruction
  • Experience with collaborative projects
  • Demonstrated skills in written communication, project management, and supervision and development of staff or student employees
  • Record of professional service and scholarship
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with donor relations
  • Experience with digital repository and exhibit tools
  • Knowledge of digital preservation best practices
  • Reading knowledge of a language besides English
Requested Materials

Applicants for the position should submit a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, and the names and contact information for three professional references to: Janice Gustaferro, Metadata Librarian, at Screening of applications will begin October 3, with a flexible start date; ideally in January 2023.

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