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Director, Distinctive Collections

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Director, Distinctive Collections

Associate Librarian/Librarian


Organizational Unit
Special Collections, Collections & Scholarly Communication Division

Position Overview

The University of California, Riverside Library seeks applications and nominations for the position of Director, Distinctive Collections. The Director will be committed to building research collections that support creative scholarship of the highest order, passionate about modern special collections, and expert in new and emerging information and library technologies. The Director plays a senior leadership role in an innovative, deeply collaborative environment. With responsibility for Special Collections’ strategic direction, administration, and day-to-day operations, the Director leads a tightly-integrated team of professional and support staff.

Located an hour’s drive to the east of Los Angeles, an hour west of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, an hour east of ocean beaches, ninety minutes north of San Diego, and an hour south of mountain ski resorts, UCR is located in an area of dramatic landscapes and rich cultural traditions. The University is a dynamic, aggressively-developing land grant research institution dedicated to preparing its diverse student body to be successful competitors in the world marketplace of ideas. UCR boasts the first new School of Medicine to open on the West Coast in forty-three years; a new School of Public Policy; and the Bourns College of Engineering, ranked 10th in the world according to an international ranking organization.

UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body. Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification.

The UCR Library is a critical partner in preparing UCR’s students to be globally competitive while simultaneously preparing them for careers in the Inland Empire and beyond. The mission of the UCR Library is no less than to bring the world’s information resources to the UCR community and to ensure that UCR students, faculty, and staff have the skills to fully exploit those resources to change the world for the better.

The UCR Library is building a team of intensely collaborative, forward-thinking colleagues dedicated to providing excellent services to our students, faculty, and community members in a rapidly evolving information environment. The successful candidate will be technologically sophisticated; committed to problem-solving in local, regional, national, and international arenas; and able to develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

The UCR Library is comprised of four facilities housing more than 3,000,000 volumes, 97,000 print and electronic journals, and 2,300,000 microforms. The Library provides services to more than 21,000 students and 1,830 faculty and other academics in an organization that is planning for and experiencing extensive growth. The successful candidate will join an enthusiastic staff of 118 librarians and support personnel (including student FTE) in the work of building a research library of excellence within a dynamic and diverse university ranked among the top 50 in the nation. The UCR Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Among the unique collections of the UCR Library are the Water Resources Collections and Archives, the Rupert Costo Library of the American Indian, the Paul Chou Collection of Chinese history and culture, the George Brown Papers, collections documenting the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy. Information about the UCR Library is available at

The UCR Library is an integral part of the University of California library system. With collections totaling 30 million volumes, UC’s more than 100 libraries are surpassed in size on the American continent only by the Library of Congress collection. In addition, UC’s California Digital Library provides the core of the University’s digital collections. CDL also assists UC to share resources and holdings more effectively, and provides leadership in applying technology to the development of library collections and services. Organizationally situated within the UC Office of the President, the CDL operates in close collaboration with all UC campuses and their libraries.


Under the general direction of the Associate University Librarian for Collections & Scholarly Communication, the Director supervises a staff of six librarians, curators, and paraprofessionals, and is responsible for all aspects of the collections, services, operations, development, and stewardship of Special Collections.

The Director

• Sets policies and priorities for collection development for digital and physical special collections, with focus on unique 20th- and 21st-century content, creating a body of resources that support original scholarship, innovative learning, transformative teaching, and the University’s academic priorities
• Provides programmatic oversight for Inland Empire Memories, an alliance of libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations dedicated to identifying, preserving, interpreting, and sharing the rich cultural legacies of inland Southern California
• Works closely with Collection Development, University Archives, Research and Instruction Services, and others, to ensure that all University Library collections grow in alignment with University academic priorities
• Identifies, analyzes, and initiates new collecting areas for Special Collections and the University Library, supporting the research and teaching of the University
• Works with Information Technology, Scholars Lab, and other Library and University departments and staff to develop infrastructure that establishes a national presence for UCR as a center for digitization and digital humanities
• Serves as administrator for Special Collections, and oversees all operations, including research, reference, and access services, instruction programs, collection development and management, preservation, budgets, personnel, program planning, and outreach
• Participates in the Libraries’ and University’s outreach to university, community, and wider audiences, including donor development, fundraising and grant-writing, in collaboration and consultation with library administrators and University development officers
• Represents Special Collections and the UCR Library at events, regional, national, and international meetings and conferences, and campus, consortial, organizational and professional activities


• MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution, or equivalent
• An additional advanced professional or academic degree in relevant field of study
• Minimum of ten years’ professional experience, with demonstrated effectiveness in supervision and management, including progressively increasing scope of management responsibility in a research library or similar setting
• Demonstrated record of accomplishment in collection development and management, including digitized and born-digital materials
• Demonstrated ability to articulate vision for the value of special collections and archives to learning, research, teaching, and community engagement, and provide leadership to achieve organizational goals and priorities
• Experience working with collectors and donors to cultivate gifts of collections and financial resources, and maintaining successful donor relationships
• Demonstrated experience with management and preservation of archival and special collections in non-textual formats, such as photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, and digital files
• Thorough knowledge of and commitment to digital scholarship initiatives
• Demonstrated experience building strong relationships between the library, university academic departments, university community, alumnae/I, and external communities
• Ability to thrive amidst organizational change, including capacity to respond effectively to change
• Demonstrated high level of initiative and creativity
• Strong interpersonal skills with ability to work successfully in an intensely collaborative environment with a broad range of people from culturally diverse backgrounds including colleagues, administrators, students, faculty, donors, and alumni


• Ph.D. in relevant field of study; background in American history, with focus on the American West in the 20th century highly desirable
• Ability to read and speak at least one foreign language; fluency in Spanish highly desirable
• Archival certification
• Familiarity with copyright and intellectual property issues relating to archives and special collections
• Demonstrated success in fundraising, including acquiring grant funding, individual and corporate gifts
• Demonstrated experience in development of educational programs, such as symposia, exhibitions, and scholarly conferences, that showcase special collections, and promoting curricular and research use of special collections in the academic community
• Demonstrated potential for leadership in university, regional, state, national, and international programs and initiatives

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience within a range of $67,509-$116,200. Appointment at rank of Associate Librarian or Librarian depending upon qualifications and experience. Advancement through the librarian ranks at the University of California is through a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, occurring every two to three years, each of which includes substantial peer input. Excellent retirement system, health, and vacation benefits.

Application Information

Please complete and submit the information requested in AP Recruit (cover letter addressing qualifications and experience related to the primary duties of the position, resume/curriculum vitae, and three to five professional references as directed at The final date to apply is August 17, 2015.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V. (pdf)

  • Cover Letter - Cover Letter (pdf)

  • Statement of Research - (pdf)

  • Statement of Teaching - (pdf)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through teaching, research, professional activity, and/or service. (pdf)

  • Misc / Additional - (pdf)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)