Head of Special Collections, University of Houston (Revised)

The University of Houston Libraries are seeking a progressive and forward thinking leader prepared to...

Head of Special Collections, University of Houston (Revised)
Responsibilities:   The University of Houston Libraries are seeking a progressive and forward thinking leader prepared to articulate a vision and direction for a growing special collections and archives that supports the University's objectives of advancing research, improving student success, and increasing national recognition.  The Libraries' Special Collections enhances the traditional strengths of a rare books and archives department with a growing number of contemporary collections that reflect the vitality and diversity of the City of Houston.  The position provides direction and oversight to a group of 6 librarians, 4 regular staff members, and 2 post-doctoral staff members curating archival collections and rare books.  The Head oversees the ongoing development of archival collections, work with academic departments, preparation of collections for digitization, and a full calendar of exhibits.  There is frequent contact with established donors and potential donors for acquisitions of unique collections, as well as fundraising and management of departmental endowments.  The Head of Special Collections serves as a member of the Library Management Council, the Public Services Council, and the Digital Collections Management Committee.  The position reports to the Associate Dean for Public Services.  The position is available February 2, 2015.
Appointment to an endowed professorship is possible for a candidate with an exceptional record of scholarly productivity and professional engagement.
Required –

  • American Library Association accredited Master's degree
  • Management and supervisory experience in increasingly responsible positions
  • Experience in special collections and/or archives
  • Understanding of processes and technologies for managing, providing access to, and preserving digitized and born digital materials
  • Experience caring for archival and/or rare book collections, which may include physical and electronic formats
  • Demonstrated success in the stewardship of donors
  • Demonstrated innovative leadership in organizing resources (human, technical, and financial) to assure an efficient and effective organization

Preferred –

  • Record of successful external grant activities 
  • Background in rare books

Salary:  $96,000 to $100,000 expected hiring range, depending on qualifications and experience.  Comprehensive benefits package; choice of retirement programs including TIAA-CREF; tax deferred annuity program available; release time to take a class up to 3 hours/week; no state or local income tax.
Library Information:  Special Collections was founded in 1968 and serves as the main teaching and research center for primary sources at the University of Houston. Special Collections holds over 7,000 linear feet of archival collections, approximately 105,000 rare books, and over 2,000 periodicals and 1,100 historical maps.  Collection strengths include Architecture and Planning; Contemporary Literature; Energy (oil and gas); Environmental Houston; Ethnic Houston; Hispanic Collections; Houston and Texas History; Houston Hip Hop; Performing Arts; University Archives; USS Houston and Military History; and the Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, as well as rare books from medieval manuscripts to modern artists' books.  Special Collections has active instruction and outreach programs and collaborates with other library departments in developing and presenting a growing collection of unique digitized materials (
The UH Libraries are a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance, the Hathi Trust, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Digital Library Federation, and the Texas Digital Library.  The campus libraries provide access to over 3.1 million volumes.  Total staff includes 69 professionals and approximately 135 support staff.  Additional information about the University Libraries is available at:
The UH Libraries' Strategic Directions document focuses on targeting services to specific user groups, reimagining library spaces, improving outreach, and increasing national recognition.  Further information and the complete document are available at: .  The Strategic Directions support an ambitious set of goals adopted by the University and the further the Tier One effort (  We seek to recruit librarians who can relate their work to these strategies and understand their role in advancing these strategic imperatives.
General Information:  The University of Houston comprises 13 colleges and schools offering close to 80 degree programs with an enrollment of about 40,000 students, 7,200 of whom are enrolled in graduate studies.  Reflecting the multicultural community of metropolitan Houston, UH is one of the most ethnically diverse research university campuses in the nation.
Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, offers all the cultural and recreational opportunities of a great city and is within easy reach of the Gulf of Mexico.  It enjoys a very reasonable cost of living and was selected by Forbes as topping the list of America's coolest cities (
For additional information, including information about Houston's flourishing arts scene and entertainment offerings, please see:  For information about housing and living in Houston see:
Application Deadline:  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send letter of application, names of 3 references, and resume to Damon Camille, Recruitment Coordinator, University of Houston, 114 University Libraries, Houston, Texas 77204-2000.  Applications may also be submitted by email to: .
Potential applicants seeking further information should contact John Lehner, Associate Dean for Personnel, Planning, and Systems, at 713-743-9801 or .