Special Collections Librarian

Chapel Hill
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Created: December 19, 2012


The Health Sciences Library (http://hsl.lib.unc.edu/) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks a knowledgeable, innovative, collaborative, user-focused and service-oriented individual for the position of Special Collections Librarian. This position is charged with building health sciences special collections encompassing a wide variety of materials recognized for being unique or having historical value. This position leads efforts to ensure these materials are easy to discover and use by users on and off campus, and effectively preserved for the present and future. This position raises awareness of how special collections and related services can better support current and future scholars and students, and evolves the program in response to user interest and needs. This position works with teams at the Health Sciences Library (HSL) and the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library to achieve these goals.

Reporting to the Head of Resources Management Services, the Special Collections Librarian will lead and manage the Health Sciences Library's Special Collections program, promoting awareness and use of health sciences special collections, including those now housed in the Health Sciences Library and in Wilson Library. The individual in this position will work closely with faculty, library staff, donors, and dealers to develop health sciences collections to promote health sciences historical scholarship, and will support and encourage activities of the Bullitt History of Medicine Club (https://www.med.unc.edu/bhomc) and other units at UNC with an interest in the history of the health sciences. The Special Collections Librarian will work to build and maintain effective communication and working relationships with the HSL Director in matters relating to donors, especially as they relate to the history of the health sciences, with the HSL Director of Development/Communications, and other HSL staff. Additionally, the individual in this position will work the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library team of curators to enhance the visibility of the HSL special collections and the impact for users of those collections through close collaboration with Wilson Library to extend the range of possibilities in public services and programming for both libraries.

Most of UNC's health sciences special collections are housed at the Health Sciences Library, which maintains the Benson Reid Wilcox Historical Collections Reading Room. The special collections at the Health Sciences Library include not only printed works, such as books, pamphlets, journals, broadsides, posters, and ephemera, but also manuscripts, letters, photographs, student notebooks, drawings, and other documents, as well as medical instruments, artifacts, models, and other objects. These materials range in date from the 1500s to the present day, encompassing the history of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health, and the allied medical sciences. The history of the health sciences in North Carolina is strongly represented. Noteworthy items include Vesalius' 1543 anatomical classic, De Humani Corporis Fabrica; Edward Jenner's 1798 work on smallpox, An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae; and The Confederate States Medical and Surgical Journal. The Health Sciences Library recently received a donation of 163 rare books to establish the Sheldon Peck Collection on the History of Orthodontics and Dental Medicine, and funding to establish a new endowment to help preserve and grow this collection (http://hsl.lib.unc.edu/news2012/gifts-rare-books-and-endowment-fund-bring-preeminent-dental-collection-hsl)

The Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library (http://www.lib.unc.edu/wilson/) has significant national and international literary and historical holdings, from clay tablets to medieval manuscripts to modern printings and artists' books, including materials of interest to scholars in the health sciences. Wilson Library's Rare Book Collection houses the Carl W. Gottschalk Collection on the kidney in the history of medicine. In addition to the Rare Book Collection, the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library includes the North Carolina Collection, the Southern Historical Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, and University Archives and Records Management Services, with extensive holdings primarily documenting the University, North Carolina, and the American South.


ALA-accredited master's degree in library or information science or advanced degree in archives administration or other relevant field. Working knowledge of standard special collections library procedures typically acquired through at least one year of relevant experience. Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in history of one or more health sciences areas. Demonstrated commitment to serving information needs of health professionals and the general public. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of constituencies including students, faculty, researchers, health professionals, donors, library and archive professionals, state and local government officials, and the general public. Demonstrated ability to excel both independently and as a team member in a collaborative working environment. Excellent time management and problem-solving skills. Excellent interpersonal skills and oral and written communication skills. Strong project management skills.

At least four (4) years of experience in a related professional capacity. Prior experience working in an academic research library. Prior experience in the acquisition, storage, and dissemination of historical and archival materials. Knowledge of archival practices. Reading knowledge of Latin, German, or other relevant languages. Demonstrated proficiency in the creation of Web pages, scanning technology, and digital content management. Successful grant writing experience. Experience with exhibits, publications, and/or public programming. Experience using social media. Fund-raising and development experience.

The University and The Libraries
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the country's oldest state university. UNC Chapel Hill has an enrollment of approximately 29,000 students, employs more than 3,500 members of the faculty, and offers 69 doctoral degrees as well as professional degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and law. Library collections include over 6.5 million volumes. The Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the Center for Research Libraries. Together with the libraries at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, the members of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) provide services and collections to their students, faculty, and staff in support of the education, research, and service missions of the universities.

The University Library invests proudly in its employees, strives to create a diverse environment of respect and collaboration, and encourages vision and innovation.

The Region
The Triangle region is one of the most desirable places to live and work in North America and offers its residents a wide array of recreational, cultural, and intellectual activities. The mountains or the seashore are less than half day's drive from Chapel Hill.

The University of North Carolina is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.

Salary and Benefits
This is a twelve-month academic librarian appointment; salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Standard state benefits of annual leave, sick leave, and State or optional retirement plan. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, librarians enjoy the benefit of academic status and are members of the faculty council.

Deadline for Application
Review of applications will begin on January 12, 2013. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but preference will be given to applications received by the begin review date.

To Apply:
Please visit http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/11301 and complete the online application. Please include a letter of application, a resume and the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of three professional references, one of which must be a current supervisor. Additionally, please indicate in your cover letter where you first learned of this position.


Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 15:05 UTC

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