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Associate University Librarian, Special Collections, Brown University, Providence, RI




The Brown University Library is seeking an energetic, creative, and forward-looking leader to steward and expand engagement with the University's outstanding special collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, and other special materials. Reporting to and working in close partnership with the University Librarian, and providing oversight and direction to curatorial and support staff, the AUL for Special Collections will provide exemplary leadership for special collections resources, programs, services, operations, and facilities. 


The AUL for Special Collections will develop a compelling and creative vision that strengthens the activities and wider visibility of the historic and recently renovated John Hay Library as a center of scholarship and education. In shaping and implementing a vision for special collections, the AUL must be able to engage successfully with the University's faculty and academic leadership, work with undergraduate and graduate students, partner with the University Librarian on grant opportunities and donor-based fundraising, and collaborate with other Library departments to ensure that the goals, practices, and processes relating to special collections are integrated with those of the Brown University Library as a whole. The successful candidate must have the management and supervisory skills necessary to realize an ambitious agenda that demonstrates the relevance of special collections to scholars and students in the 21st century.


The AUL for Special Collections will work with faculty and Library staff to promote the use of Brown's special collections materials in research, teaching, exhibitions, outreach, and public programs across all academic disciplines. Oversight of special collections includes understanding the importance of preservation and conservation of material objects, the current climate of digital records preservation, the use of special collections in teaching, and the array of current tools for developing innovative digital initiatives to enhance delivery of special collections content and services to scholarly and non-scholarly audiences alike. The AUL will actively develop and contribute to initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion as integral to academic excellence through the work of special collections and throughout the Library. In developing and implementing a vision for how the collections are understood and used, the AUL will direct the curatorial staff in evaluating collections strengths, setting acquisition priorities, and establishing effective collection management practices.


The AUL for Special Collections directly supervises six professional staff (four curators, a Reader Services librarian, and the University Archivist) and has general oversight for ten additional staff as well as student assistants. As a member of the Library's senior leadership team, the AUL for Special Collections will work collaboratively and collegially to ensure a high degree of integration of services and functions across the Library, participate in the development of Library policies and procedures, advance Library-wide planning and evaluation, and contribute to setting the Library's strategic directions. The AUL will also work creatively and collaboratively with other collections-based and public humanities-oriented units at Brown, including the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the John Carter Brown Library, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and explore partnership opportunities with institutions outside the University.  The successful candidate will represent the Brown University Library in relevant local, regional, and national professional organizations.


Essential Qualifications:

  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience with management or leadership in a special collections environment, or closely related work.
  • Master's degree in library/information science, graduate degree in a relevant field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.
  • Superior oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.


To Apply: Please visit Brown University's career opportunities website at: and reference REQ151468. 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.


Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

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