Head of Rare Books and Special Collections - University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh Library System seeks a dynamic, innovative...

The University of Pittsburgh Library System seeks a dynamic, innovative, and outgoing individual to lead the Rare Books and Special Collections unit of the Archives & Special Collections Department. The Head of Rare Books and Special Collections reports to the Associate University Librarian for Archives & Special Collections and provides administrative and strategic leadership for the A&SC Hillman Library location.

The incumbent contributes to strategic planning around special collections collection development, curricular integration, researcher-centered services, and diversity and inclusion for the entire department, as well as supports and provides direction for digital reformatting, preservation, and the Text & conText Lab collaborative efforts with Pitt's Center for Creativity (C4C), which provides an active environment for the creation, manipulation, and/or disassembly of text. As several areas of focus, the incumbent will strive to increase A&SC's holdings of Horror Studies publications, the history and development of Children's Literature, modern LGBTQ+, and African American Literature.

Responsibilities include:

• Shaping collection development focus on areas of historical strength while building topics of strategic importance to the ULS, which intentionally seeks collections that document local, national, and transnational interests and aligns with faculty teaching and research needs. Collaborates with the Head of the Technical Services and Acquisitions Management Unit to coordinate acquisitions and cataloging of A&SC print materials.

• Coordinating the instruction efforts of the Archives & Special Collections Department to encourage researchers to successfully engage with primary sources, rare books, and manuscripts as well as navigate the use of other physical and digital information sources.

• Working collaboratively with the Associate University Librarian for Archives & Special Collections, the Coordinator of Archives and Manuscripts, the ULS Director of Development, and the Outreach and Engagement Librarian to shape exhibition planning in the A&SC Gallery and to initiate outreach programs and exhibits for promoting ULS distinctive collections and fund-raising efforts.

• Collaborating with other ULS units and the Center for Creativity (C4C) to develop programming and active learning opportunities, which focus on hands-on creation of text and book forms, in the Hillman Library Text & conText Lab, an active learning space created in partnership with the C4C. This responsibility will require coordination with the C4C, including cultivating partnerships and productive relationships with faculty, staff and students in order to integrate the library's resources and C4C programming into their curricula and research projects.

• Collaborating with Pitt's Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) to offer an annual Archival Scholars Research Award (ASRA) competitive program for undergraduate students who utilize primary source material for personal scholarly interest.

• Providing key leadership in the evaluation and recommendation for improvements following the implementation of Aeon, the automated request and workflow management software specifically designed for special collections libraries and archives.

• Collaborating with various ULS Distinctive Collections Units (e.g., Center for American Music, Finney Music Library, Frick Fine Arts Library, East Asian Library, and Area Studies) to coordinate shared planning and implementation of collection development, instruction, exhibition, outreach and other services, as needed.

• Overseeing and providing reference, research, and public services in the A&SC's Hillman Library location. Answers reference requests that are received via mail, e-mail, telephone, or in-person. Participates in the scheduled daily coverage of the reference desk in the reading room.

• Supervising 3.5 FTE which comprise two faculty librarians (Engagement and Outreach Librarian; Curator, Elizabeth Nesbitt Collection and Liaison Librarian for Children's Literature, Cultural Studies, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies) and 1.5 staff (Horror Studies Collection Coordinator and Research Support Specialist).

Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh are members of the faculty and are expected to demonstrate continuous professional development in addition to performing their specific responsibilities. This expectation includes such activities as participating in and contributing to departmental, library and campus-wide committees or working groups as well as the profession at a regional, national, and/or international level, maintaining a broad awareness of current and emerging issues that affect their particular areas of expertise, participating in relevant publishing and presentation opportunities, and pursuing knowledge of professional trends and developments that can be applied to evolving research, services and collections. Approximately 10% of the librarian's time should be directed toward such activities and will be included as part of the annual evaluation.

Specifically, the incumbent in this position is expected to:
• Keep abreast of and contribute as appropriate to current developments in the profession, especially as they relate to integrating primary source literacy into the curricula.
• Contribute to the profession through publications, presentations, teaching, and other professional activities.
• Seek out appropriate roles in professional associations, research and/or publication on the regional, national and international level.
• Participate actively in ULS and campus-wide working groups and committees, as appropriate.

Minimum Degree Required:
• MLIS or other advanced degree in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience in libraries, museums, archives, or other cultural heritage research centers.

Minimum Qualifications:
• 3-5 years' experience
• Demonstrated leadership skills and a history of progressively increasing levels of management responsibility;
• Demonstrated commitment to building and advancing diversity and inclusion in staffing, collections, programs, and services;
• Demonstrated ability to influence and collaborate effectively with staff, peers, senior management, faculty and students, university administration, and colleagues at partner institutions;
• Knowledge of the rare book, archives, and manuscript trades;
• Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills;
• Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines;
• Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal and communication;

Preferred Qualifications:
• Demonstrated experience cultivating prospective and existing benefactors, and in designing innovative ways to keep donors engaged with A&SC's staff, collections, programs, and its spaces, both physical and digital;
• Demonstrated experience designing, testing, implementing, and promoting new technologies that advance teaching, learning, student success, collections stewardship, scholarly communications, and research endeavors broadly;
• Evidence of scholarly activity in an area related to the ULS mission or operations.

The University of Pittsburgh Library System
The University of Pittsburgh's University Library System ( is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and contains over 7 million print and electronic books, journals, databases, archival materials and special collections. The University Library System (ULS) consists of 12 libraries and employs 65 faculty librarians and 96 staff. In addition to the ULS, the University of Pittsburgh includes libraries for the health sciences and law school.
The ULS stands at the center of intellectual life at the University of Pittsburgh, fostering connections and knowledge creation and dissemination that help faculty, students, and researchers from around the world to excel in research, scholarship and creative expression. It supports and enhances faculty and student productivity through its extensive collections, innovative Open Access publishing, and user-centered focus.
The ULS remains focused on many areas of strategic priority, including research support, digital scholarship and creation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and is continuously positioning our services to respond to and anticipate changes in research, teaching, and learning. We are also in the midst of a top-to-bottom renovation of Hillman Library, the central library of the University of Pittsburgh campus which saw nearly 1.7 million visitors in FY19. The reinvented Hillman ( will be a light-filled home to spaces, from vibrant to serene, for digital making and exploration, showcasing unique collections, advancing academic study, and fostering energetic, collaborative exchange.
This is an exciting time to join the Pitt library system and contribute to envisioning the library of the future.

The University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh is one of the nation's oldest institutions of higher education. Pitt people defeated polio, unlocked the secrets of DNA, led the world in organ transplantation, and pioneered TV and heavier-than-air flight. Today, they're among the leaders in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine and research on Alzheimer's disease—among many other endeavors. Pitt students, alumni, and faculty members have won Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, Rhodes Scholarships and NCAA championships, among many other honors. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 63 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America.
For more information, please see:

The City of Pittsburgh
The city of Pittsburgh is located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the United States, Pittsburgh is recognized for its natural beauty and unique blend of cultural, education, and technological resources. Additional information on the city of Pittsburgh can be found at:

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package including one-month vacation per year; excellent benefit plans; TIAA/ Vanguard; and tuition assistance.
Successful candidate will meet the criteria for appointment at the rank of Librarian I or II and will be hired on an initial 3-year renewable contract. For further information, please see: .  Successful candidate will also be expected to recognize, respect, and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds in all aspects of their work and take initiative in learning about issues relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Please apply through the University of Pittsburgh's Talent Center, requisition number 21006983. In addition to creating a Talent Center account, please upload/attach a cover letter, CV, and three professional references with contact information. Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to Sharon McMasters (

Visa sponsorship is not offered with this position.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled; primary consideration will be given to those received by October 11, 2021.
The University of Pittsburgh is an Equal Opportunity Employer -- Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled