Head of Special Collections Librarian, Librarian I or II
The MSU Libraries is seeking applicants for the position of Head of Special Collections Librarian, Librarian I to provide leadership, guidance, strategic direction, and overall management of a dynamic, community-engaged special collections department. Librarian level will be determined on the qualifications of hired candidate.
Special Collections occupies a major place in the Michigan State University Libraries both conceptually and physically. Intellectually, our acquisitions support learning experiences with primary sources for the full range of patrons, from undergraduates to advanced researchers. The public face of Special Collections recently moved to a first-floor location at the center of the Main Library with new reading room, seminar and exhibition spaces. In addition, MSU University Archives and Historical Collections recently merged with the MSU Libraries, increasing opportunities.
Reporting to the Associate Director for Collections, the Head of Special Collections provides leadership, guidance, strategic direction, and overall management of a dynamic, community-engaged special collections department. The Head will bring energy, excitement, and collaborative spirit to shape an ever-expanding range activities that include digital collection formats and technologies. The Head develops and maintains strong collections aligned with MSU academic priorities and historical strengths and collaborates with a team to plan and deliver a full range of reference, instruction, and outreach services to patrons. The Head works within the Libraries and externally with faculty, students and campus departments to enhance research and teaching, and promotes our collections to the MSU community and external scholars.
To fulfill its mission to select, house, preserve and make available rare, fragile and unique materials for our research community, Special Collections holds over 500,000 volumes and a growing number of archival materials and collections. A foundational element in our history is attention to popular culture, centered on the Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection. The Comic Art Collection of 300,000 items is considered the best public collection of its kind in the world, with rich historical and global holdings. The Radicalism Collection features historical and contemporary publications of both the Left and the Right. Materials in support of gender studies range from the Changing Men Collection to the papers of Michigan feminist and LGBTQ+ activists. Recent enhancements include multiple archives around food and cookery, and papers of Midwest Latino/Chicano activists and African activists. Rare books are valued with strong holdings in early veterinary medicine, natural history and agriculture, reflecting the land grant roots of the University. We house the papers of Richard Ford, Thomas McGuane, and Robert Coles. A more complete description appears at https://lib.msu.edu/spc.
The specific responsibilities of the Head of Special Collections include the following:
Establishes and manages strategic projects that enhance MSU Libraries’ Special Collections.
Prioritizes service, instruction, outreach, and engagement.
Creates and maintains a strong team-based unit through effective personnel management.
Collaborates with the Libraries’ Public Services departments to ensure service quality and effective referral. Establishes, reviews and maintains policies for the use of Special Collections.
Advances access to Special Collections materials through digitization, creation and enhancement of metadata, and exhibition or other dissemination programs.
Aligns Special Collections with Libraries’ and MSU goals.
Works closely with the Libraries’ Development Office to organize fundraising and donor relations activities related to Special Collections.
Oversees collections, budgets, and approval plans. Establishes overall priorities for cataloging, selection, storage, transfer, and preservation in consultation with the Associate Director for Collections.
Actively participates in professional organizations relevant to Special Collections and with library and university committees.
Engages in scholarly activities, including sharing knowledge through publication, presentation and teaching.
Is conversant in copyright and intellectual property issues.
Other appropriate duties as assigned.
Librarians are appointed as regular faculty in a continuing appointment system and are engaged in professional development, scholarly, and creative activities related to their position. Additionally, librarians serve on professional association, library and university committees as elected or assigned. Other duties as assigned.
The MSU Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, and experience and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. The candidate will enthusiastically partner with others to grow our welcoming multicultural environment. More information on our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is available at: http://www.inclusion.msu.edu/about/index.html.
Michigan State University Libraries serve more the 5,500 faculty, 38,000 undergraduates, and 11,000 graduate and professional students on a park-like campus of over 5,000 acres. The MSU Libraries have combined holdings of over 6 million volumes with renowned collections in music, film, agriculture, Africana and comic art and cutting-edge services including a makerspace and digital scholarship lab.
Masters -Library or Information Science
Master’s degree in Library/Information Science from a program accredited by the American Library Association.
Experience working with special collections.
Exceptional interpersonal skills including the ability to develop a cohesive team, collaborate with other departments, interact with donors, and effectively manage conflict.
Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
Ability to be flexible in a dynamic and changing environment.
Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and a desire to work in a collaborative, respectful environment. Ability to work effectively with diverse faculty, students, and staff as well as business professionals across the state.
Strong service orientation.
Preparation and commitment to engage in scholarly activity consistent with a library faculty appointment.
Capacity and commitment to engage independently in continuing professional development.
Leadership experience within library Special Collections.
Experience and knowledge of rare books and rare book dealers.
Experience building partnerships with faculty, academic program staff, other librarians and community groups.
Experience with library development and fundraising.
Experience with grantwriting and grant management.
Required Application Materials
Cover Letter, CV, 3 references
Minimum $52,000; MSU provides generous fringe benefits. Interested applicants should provide a letter of application, resume and names, addresses and email addresses of three references
Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
Internal Number: 547567
About Michigan State University
Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.Together, we tackle some of the world?s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better?from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.The nation?s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world?on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we?re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.