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Director of Community Engagement

University of Chicago Library
Chicago, Illinois
Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience.
Posted Date
May 2, 2023

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time

About the Department As a center of intense intellectual inquiry, the University of Chicago Library aspires to be the most dynamic research and learning environment in the world, supporting the University’s commitment to research and teaching and to using its intellectual resources to help solve the world’s problems. Even as we continue to focus on building and preserving our renowned collections, the Library is assuming new roles that are vital to research, innovation, and learning at the University. In the process, we are leveraging the deep expertise of Library staff, developing services that support new avenues of research, and expanding access to and preservation of scholarly resources in ways that advance the goals of the University community and the needs of the next generation of scholars. 


Job Summary The University of Chicago Library is developing a community engagement program to become a trusted partner for our neighbors on the South Side and across Chicagoland. A critical part of this program will be to listen and engage in open conversations, to understand community needs and aspirations as well as where we can learn from and support our neighbors. We plan to take part in efforts to provide pathways to information literacy and resources for community members, creating opportunities for economic growth, personal development, and wellbeing. In addition to welcoming the community into our spaces, this means bringing our resources to where they can have the most impact, and to develop partnerships that benefit local communities and the University.


Reporting to the Dean of the Library and joining the Library’s Strategic Leadership Board, the Director of Community Engagement collaborates with Library colleagues, campus partners engaged in community-facing work, and community members on mutually beneficial initiatives. They will lead the development of the Library’s community engagement strategy, and work across the Library to implement it in partnership with Library teams. They will support and coordinate work already underway as well as plan and initiate new activities, and work with the Dean of the Library and the Director of Development to help raise funds to support community engagement activities. As an ambassador for Library and University, they will actively engage with local communities and community organizations and build new partnerships.



  • Develop and guide implementation of the Library’s community engagement strategy, informed by an understanding of community needs and relevant initiatives across the University and city.
  • Develop and maintain relationships and collaborative programs and initiatives with local communities, libraries, schools, and other community organizations, exemplifying our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Serve on the Library’s Strategic Leadership Board, shaping overall Library strategy and resource planning and supporting the Dean.
  • In collaboration with the Library’s Development team, identify and secure resources to support community engagement, including through grant development.
  • Support colleagues across the Library in developing and implementing best practices in community engagement, to establish meaningful co-created partnerships.
  • Manages program budgets and recommends or makes budgetary recommendations.
  • Develops and communicates program priorities and performance standards and assesses operations using these criteria. Plans and conducts quality assurance reviews and recommends changes as appropriate.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications




  • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience


  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications




  • Master’s degree, ideally in a relevant field, or undergraduate degree combined with equivalent professional experience.



  • Demonstrable experience with community engagement, with the ability to cultivate existing relationships and establish new ones.
  • Demonstrated commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Demonstrated track record of assuming increasing responsibility within an institution, building partnerships, and working with a team to design and implement programming.
  • Experience with strategy and program development.
  • An understanding of archival, library and/or museum collections and services, and how they can support community engagement.
  • Experience working with Chicago communities and familiarity with South Side community-based organizations.
  • Awareness of the history of the South Side.

Preferred Competencies


  • Strong communications and interpersonal skills with the ability to engage a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously.
  • Commitment to serving the community.
  • Work effectively across the University, including students, faculty, and staff and with the broader community, including community and civic organizations to creating meaningful and sustainable partnerships as necessary.
  • Work independently, with a high degree of initiative and problem solving.

Application Documents


  • Resume/CV (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


To Apply To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through Internal candidates must apply by logging into Workday using their CNet ID and password; for more information, please see How to Apply for a UChicago Job (Current Employee) QRG.


Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.


The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.


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