Director of Special Collections

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Created: November 1, 2012


Lead, manage and develop services and collections that document the history of women, the college and the book. Develop and implement strategic digital initiatives to make unique resources widely available. Work closely with faculty and instructional librarians to teach research methods for and provide hands-on experience with primary sources. Extend and expand Special Collections resource base through alumni and donor cultivation and external funding. Collaborate with library leadership and staff to realize the vision and mission of the Libraries.

Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership & Planning: Actively contribute to library-wide strategic planning, policy development, assessment and resource management. Demonstrate leadership in and commitment to the concepts and practices of the learning organization throughout the libraries.
Develop and sustain a vision for Special Collections that supports the Libraries’ overall mission and vision. Develop strategic plans and initiatives. Collaborate effectively to strengthen and develop services in response to user needs, new opportunities, evolving technologies and trends in academic libraries and higher education.

Management: Lead, guide and support the Sophia Smith Collection/College Archives staff and services to collect, provide access to, and preserve Smith archive collections, in all formats, that document the history of women and women’s education at Smith. Work closely with Development to acquire funding from foundations, individuals and other sources. Through grant writing, grant development and donor cultivation supplement and extend the archives’ ability to acquire, process and provide access to collections. Develop and implement strategies for sustainable collection development and growth. Identify and obtain new collections that build on historical strengths and support evolving and emerging areas of women’s history research. Initiate digital projects with the best potential to enhance teaching and research.

Achieve operational excellence through effective allocation of resources, continuing assessment and adoption of best practices. Actively promote teamwork, collaboration, continuous learning and staff development within the framework of a learning organization. Foster open, active and participatory communication within the group, across the Libraries and with partners outside the Libraries and the College. Supervise staff.

Teaching, Learning & Research: Promote and facilitate the use of archival collections in the college curriculum. Support and strengthen existing curricular initiatives and collaborate with faculty to develop new initiatives that leverage archive holdings. Co-direct the Archives Concentration with a faculty member and an advisory committee. Participate in instructional activities.

Extend and promote access to the collections using current and emerging technologies. Develop and implement strategies and programs that increase digital access to collections for faculty, students and researchers worldwide. Interpret the archives to students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumnae, scholars and the public through a wide array of modes of communication ranging from on-site talks to online exhibits.

Master’s degree with a PhD preferred in a field relevant to archives use and/or management; 5 years of progressively responsible experience in planning, implementing, and managing archives; substantial supervisory and leadership experience; demonstrate subject knowledge in women’s history; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Skills: Ability to think strategically at both a systems level and a group level. Ability to apply critical, analytical and innovative thinking to work. Ability to successfully: manage projects; prioritize work; and identify and solve problems. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Demonstrated ability to work in a collegial and collaborative environment. Demonstrated continuous learning of new skills, their application and sharing with colleagues. Familiarity with best practices in special collections and digital scholarship.

Additional Information
Smith College is an equal opportunity employer encouraging excellence through diversity.


Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012 02:03 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:46 UTC