Dir Rare Books & Spec Col

Rochester, NY


The River Campus Libraries (RCL) at the University of Rochester seeks an innovative and collaborative leader to provide visionary leadership and organizational direction for programs, initiatives, and services around our rare books, university archives, and special collections. The successful candidate will be a forward-thinking professional who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the changing nature of librarianship and the implications for special collections. As part of RCL’s Leadership Team and as a key member of the Scholarly Resources and Curation (SRC) portfolio, the Director will provide leadership and strategic vision for the department by blending traditional and innovative academic library practices that integrate special collections content and services with the teaching, learning and research mission of this multidisciplinary research institution. The Director will foster a team-oriented work environment and facilitate communication and collaborative relationship building within and external to RCL. They will develop and nurture intentional collaborations and partnerships with civic, non-profit leaders, and community members across Rochester to enhance how RCL and the University meaningfully and equitably invest, involve, and integrate with our community-at-large. Landmark collections include Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Louise M. Slaughter, William H. Seward, the Kodak Historical Collection, and an international collection of AIDS Education posters. Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Scholarly Resources, the incumbent will work closely with the Vice Provost/Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries on advancement and donor relations.


Strategic Leadership

  • Articulate a compelling vision, in alignment with and support of the River Campus Libraries’ Strategic Priorities, for the value of rare books, special collections and archives in advanced research, classroom teaching, and broader community engagement.

  • Establish and oversee RBSCP’s strategic directions and priorities for a range of proactive and responsive services in support of faculty, graduate, and undergraduate student research and teaching using primary source materials and distinctive collections.

  • Establish and oversee RBSCP’s strategic direction and priorities for a range of proactive and responsive services and programs in support of the sustainable and effective development and stewardship of RBSCP’s rare and distinctive collections (physical and digital).

  • Collaborate with colleagues across the SRC Portfolio, River Campus Libraries, and UR Libraries on strategic projects and initiatives that leverage RBSCP’s expertise and collections.

Research and Engagement

  • Develop collaborations and partnerships with colleagues at cultural institutions in the Rochester-area and beyond on projects and program such as events, exhibitions, collections, preservation, and processing initiatives.

  • Develop and nurture intentional collaborations and partnerships with civic, non-profit leaders, and community members across Rochester to enhance how RCL and the University meaningfully and equitably invest, involve, and integrate with our community-at-large.

  • With the Vice Provost & Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries and the University’s Office of Advancement, actively participate in developing strategic opportunities to attract external funding, including philanthropic donations, institutional, and in-kind gifts.

  • Cultivate key donor relationships to advance departmental initiatives and works (i.e., collection development, processing work, experiential learning programs).

Collections and Spaces

  • Ensure alignment between the development/stewardship of physical and digital special collections, including both donations and purchases, and RCL’s and RBSCP’s strategic priorities.

  • With RBSCP’s Assistant Director for Collections, collaborate with colleagues across RCL to evaluate, integrate, streamline, and improve technical services, preservation, and digitization workflows for special collections.

  • With the Assistant Dean for Scholarly Resources and Curation, develop and implement space planning for the department and collection. Ensure staff and collections spaces provide appropriate environmental conditions.

Supervision and Budgets

  • Directly supervise RBSCP’s two Assistant Directors and the University Archivist.

  • Mentor and support the professional advancement of all RBSCP staff.

  • Provide budgetary support and oversight for the department’s internship and fellowship opportunities.

  • Effectively steward and oversee the department’s operating budget and endowed accounts, a combined budget of approximately $1 million.


  • Maintain currency with library functions, resources, practices, and procedures in the areas of special collections and archival management, teaching, and engagement.

  • Participate in and contribute towards RCL and University committees, meetings, and events.

  • Maintain professional collaborations with RCL colleagues and other campus constituencies.

  • Contribute to the profession through active participation in conferences, associations, research, writing, etc.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program in library, information, or archival science or equivalent combination of knowledge/experience and advanced professional or academic degree in a relevant discipline required.

  • An additional advanced professional or academic degree in a relevant discipline preferred.

  • Minimum of five years of professional experience, demonstrating increasing responsibility in a research library environment required.

  • Demonstrated experience in managing and stewarding budgets and endowments required.

  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, including grant writing and donor relations required.

  • Experience in or commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, and belonging through archival practice, scholarship, and service required.

  • Seven years of professional experience preferred.

  • Three years demonstrated management and leadership experience preferred.

  • Thorough knowledge of professional theory and best practices in managing, collecting, organizing, and preserving rare books, archival collections, and special collections required.

  • Proven ability to work effectively and collaboratively with diverse user communities, including students, faculty, researcher, colleagues, and community members required.

  • Expertise in applying new and emerging information and library technologies to special collections, and experience with digital scholarship initiatives.

  • Outstanding written and oral communications and interpersonal skills required.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility required.

  • Project management skills and experience preferred.

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $86,482 - $129,723 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: Central Administration
Full/Part Time: Full-Time