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President and Librarian

Newberry Library
Chicago, Illinois
Posted Date
Apr 21, 2023

Search for the President and Librarian

Newberry Library

Chicago, Illinois

The Newberry Library seeks a leader, institution builder, and a compelling champion for the humanities to serve as its next President and Librarian. Founded in 1887, the Newberry is one of Chicago’s treasured cultural institutions and an increasingly global destination for both online and in-person learning. The next President will articulate and drive a strategy for the future that builds upon the distinguished legacy of the institution and solidifies the library’s position among the city’s, and nation’s, most important cultural institutions.

For 135 years the Newberry has proudly offered learning opportunities that are free and open to all. Today, the library’s world-renowned collection extends across 27.5 miles of shelf space and spans 600 years of human history. The collection includes strengths in 11 subject areas: American History and Culture; American Indian and Indigenous Studies; Chicago and the Midwest; Genealogy and Local History; History of the Book; Modern Manuscripts and Archives; Maps, Travel, and Exploration; Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies; Performing Arts; Postcards; and Religion. The Newberry continues to acquire and to preserve a range of materials – from pre-1500 European manuscripts to images of the Great Migration and 21st century works by indigenous artists. These enable today’s and tomorrow’s researchers, including both distinguished academics and everyday users, to deepen their understanding of the broad range of human experiences, especially those of people who have historically been marginalized, misrepresented, or silenced. The Newberry is dedicated to putting the extraordinary resources of the current collection in service to today’s conversations and communities, and to continue collecting contemporary materials that document today’s history for tomorrow’s users.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President will oversee an operating budget of approximately $13.7 million and a dedicated and expert staff of roughly 100. The Newberry is supported by an endowment of $79 million. The President will bring the strategic, intellectual, and administrative talent and experience to lead a complex organization, a deep-rooted conviction that the humanities are essential, a commitment to the role of primary source research in understanding human experiences, and a record of keen financial management, including success in enhancing and broadening philanthropic and corporate support.

Isaacson, Miller, the national executive search firm, has been retained to support the Newberry in this consequential search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications (including resumes and brief letters of interest) should be sent electronically to the following:

Jeff Kessner, Partner

Lisa Savereid, Partner

Ryan Leichenauer, Managing Associate

Isaacson, Miller

The Newberry Library is committed to diversity and inclusion. As an equal opportunity employer, the library does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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