Associate Librarian, The John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI, USA

The John Carter Brown Library invites experienced curators and library managers with special collections... 

Associate Librarian

The John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI, USA

Posting Date: June 22, 2015

Closing Date: When Filled

The John Carter Brown Library invites experienced curators and library managers with special collections experience to apply for the position of Associate Librarian. A new position at the Library reporting to the Library's Director, the Associate Librarian will have primary responsibility for all aspects of the day-to-day management of the library's operations, including its readers' services division, cataloguing and technical services, acquisitions and conservation, building and collections management, and exhibition planning. The Associate Librarian will assist the Director in making strategic decisions related to the programs and activities of the Library, will advise on industry practices and trends related to digitization and outreach, and will play a public relations role in the Director's absence as well as being an integral part of the Library's advancement team.

The successful candidate will have experience managing a professional staff – ideally in a special collections department at a college, university, or another independent research library – as well as experience in collections development, research services, collection management, cataloguing and technical services, imaging, and exhibition planning. Applicants for this position should have an M.L.S. degree or equivalent library experience. Although this is not a position with curatorial responsibilities per se, scholarly or professional experience with historical collections that complement our areas of curatorial competency – including Latin American and European books, maps and prints, and manuscript collections from the colonial period – is welcome. Proficiency in caring for rare and fragile primary research material and experience working with digital surrogates in a research environment are likewise necessary for this position. Other necessary skills include: excellent writing, communication, and interpersonal skills; knowledge of basic cataloging principles; an ability to work independently and collaboratively with peers and colleagues within and beyond the institution; proficient computer skills in word processing, database, and webpage management, and the uses of technology in a research environment; and a thorough understanding of principles for arranging and managing special collections.

The Associate Librarian will supervise 4 FTE staff members (the Assistant Librarian for Research and Reference Services, the Head of Cataloguing, the Manager of Imaging, and the Coordinator of Academic Programming and Public Outreach) and will represent the Library both in the Director's absence as well as at professional meetings. The Associate Librarian will also meet regularly with the Library's curatorial staff to coordinate institutional priorities including acquisitions, exhibitions, services to researchers, and outreach to local, regional, national, and international constituencies.


*       Master's degree in library /information science and/or graduate degree in a discipline relevant to the Library's collection.

*       At least five years of experience with special collections services and operations, ideally as a manager.

*       Demonstrated ability to work as a leader, articulating a vision, setting a direction, and accomplishing new initiatives.

*       Demonstrated knowledge of rare books, manuscripts, archives, or special collections.

*       Experience in working with curatorial, technical services, conservation, and digital library staff to develop goals for acquiring, processing, and making special collections fully accessible.

*       Demonstrated understanding of and receptiveness to the uses of emerging technologies in archival and special collections.

*       Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills with experience in working collaboratively with others.

*       Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

*       Evidence of success in fundraising and/or obtaining grants.

*       Evidence of scholarly engagement and active participation within the profession.


About the Library:

The John Carter Brown Library is one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. An independent research library established in 1846 and located since 1904 on the campus of Brown University, it is renowned for its collection of books, maps, and manuscripts related to the history of the Americas from the arrival of Europeans c. 1492 to the independence movements of the late-eighteenth and early- nineteenth centuries. It also houses a highly regarded fellowship program that attracts between 30 and 40 scholars from around the world each year; an ever-expanding digitization program, with ambitions to become even better connected to today's dynamic environment of digital scholarship; a world-class curatorial staff, with professional expertise in the fields the library serves; cutting-edge academic programming; and an intimate and elegant research environment that is the envy of its peers.

To Apply: To apply, please visit Brown University's career opportunities website at: and reference the Associate Librarian, John Carter Brown Library position (REQ118138). Complete an application online, attach documents, and submit for immediate consideration. Documents should include cover letter, resume, and the names and e-mail addresses of three references. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Applications can also be sent via regular mail to:

The John Carter Brown Library

Associate Librarian Search Committee

Box 1894

Providence, RI  02912

Questions about this position can also be directed to Neil Safier, Director and Librarian, at