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Executive Director, Library & Archives

Drexel University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 6, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Library & Information Sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Other Social & Behavioral Sciences, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Administration, Executive, Executive Directors, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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About Drexel

Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top 10 private employers, a comprehensive global research university and a major engine for economic development in the region. With over 24,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.

About the Academy

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 for "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences". Since then, it has sponsored global expeditions, conducted pioneering environmental and systematics research, and amassed remarkable collections containing more than 18 million specimens from around the world and a peerless library and archive. Since 2011 its academic enterprise has been further strengthened through its affiliation with nearby Drexel University – a leading private non-profit research institution that focusses on innovation and entrepreneurship and provides a unique cooperative education program for its undergraduate and graduate degree students.

Today the Academy is one of the most important natural science institutions in the world. However, the world is changing fast and the Academy – directed by its Strategic Plan 2019-24 - is changing with it. Over the next five years the Academy will become a “force for nature” and advance its mission: “to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it”. In so doing the Academy will build on its fundamental belief that diversity and inclusion generates better ideas, inspires creativity, and is essential to building a positive workplace so that in time it can become an institution that is of, by and for all Philadelphians.


The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (ANS) is seeking an experienced and dynamic library and archives professional to unlock the extraordinary potential of one of the finest natural history library and archive collections in the Americas.

The Executive Director will be a visionary leader and collaborative manager, with proven skill in facilitating and sharing research, developing programming, fostering networking and collaboration among other libraries, building new audiences, and establishing a service-oriented philosophy.

Job Summary

ANS’s library is international in scope and holds over five centuries of important research, discovery, and publication in addition to art collections and other materials of extraordinary aesthetic significance and historical value. R David Lankes has observed that “bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities”. The role of the Executive Director is to move the library and archives from good to great by caring for the collections, maintaining exceptional public service and, crucially, building a broad community of diverse users.

Working with ANS’s VP of Collections and Research, the Executive Director will be responsible for devising and implementing strategies that advance ANS’s Strategic Plan by unlocking the value of the library and archive collections for a wide constituency of scientists, historians, learners and educators from around the world, and with a particular focus on supporting Drexel faculty and students.

In partnership with ANS colleagues, the Executive Director will be a highly visible advocate for the department, promoting new knowledge on-site, offsite, and online through exhibits, programs, and social media.

The Executive Director will oversee the management and care of ANS’s library and archive collections and formulate strategies for development and growth and with a particular focus on unique elements such as ANS’s exceptional manuscripts collection.

Essential Functions
  • Work closely with the VP Collections and Research to devise a strategy for unlocking the research and programmatic potential of the Library and Archives Department by magnifying its impact in public and academic arenas, including participation in professional organizations, conferences, symposia, etc.
  • Lead, manage and support library and archives staff to enhance and prioritize library user experiences, incorporating technological advances to reach broad audiences.
  • Accelerate institutional commitment toward inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.
  • Collaborate with professional peers at Drexel and other educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and beyond.
  • Ensure the safety, security, and longevity of the library and archives collections through space planning and collections policies.
  • Work collaboratively with the Curator of Art and Artifacts to devise and implement a collections strategy that builds on areas of strength, broadens the scope of the collection to draw more diverse audiences, and finds areas of specialization that anticipate future directions in natural history scholarship.
  • Manage all aspects of the Library and Archives operating budget and endowments and work with finance to analyze and improve allocation of spending.
  • In partnership with the Experience and Engagement Division, devise, develop and deliver public programs that reveal ANS’s unique collections and build new, broad, and diverse audiences.
  • In partnership with the Institutional Advancement, write and oversee the writing of grant proposals, take a leadership role in fundraising events involving the library and archives, and be highly proactive in fundraising for the department.
  • In partnership with Marketing write and coordinate the writing of relevant blogs, and social media posts.
  • In partnership with the Library and Information Science department of the College of Computing and Informatics, support teaching and research as appropriate.
  • In partnership with Community Learning and Visitor Services, ensure coordination of, and sometimes host, tours of library and archives and oversee library and archives-sponsored lectures, symposia, and other educational programs.
  • With support from the VP Collections and Research lead production of the Academy’s academic publishing program – in particular the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
  • Advance a positive and open working culture within ANS by modelling ANS values.
  • Represent and promote the Library and Archives at conferences and symposia as appropriate and establish a robust position within the international network of specialist libraries and rare book collections
Required Qualifications
  • 5-8 years progressive work experience in a research library or with special collections
  • Broad knowledge of library resources, including an understanding of and commitment to national policies and practices for cataloging both rare books and modern materials.
  • Knowledge of the principles of best practices in archival collections stewardship
  • Knowledge of collections stewardship, conservation and collecting.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with staff, peers, senior management, faculty and students, and colleagues at partner institutions.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s Degree in Library Science or related field preferred but not required
  • Knowledge of American natural history and/or the history of science and/or rare books desirable though not essential
  • Experience in growing contributed and sponsored revenues
Physical Demands
  • Typically sitting at a desk/table
  • Typically standing, walking

Center City, Philadelphia, PA

Additional Information

This position is classified as Exempt with a salary grade of O. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure,

Special Instructions to the Applicant

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application.

Review of applicants will begin once a suitable candidate pool is identified.

Advertised:Jan 12 2022 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:Feb 14 2022 Eastern Standard Time

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