The University of Iowa Libraries

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Special Collections Librarian


 Position Vacancy

Librarian (I) or Specialist Librarian (II)

Position Description
: Reporting to the Head, Special Collections, the Special Collections Librarian is responsible for the design and implementation of innovative library services and instruction programs that enhance access to and understanding of a broad range of rare book, manuscript, archival, and digital materials. General responsibilities include:

  • Developing, implementing, and assessing the Special Collections instruction program.
  • Coordinating visits by classes and creating presentations. Interacting with faculty and departments to address their instruction needs.
  • Actively developing an expansive and creative instructional program, engaging new audiences from all educational levels, and increasing support for the integration of Special Collections into undergraduate curriculum.
  • Initiating new ways to engage students and the community with primary source material.
  • Working closely with liaisons and other instruction librarians throughout the UI Libraries.
  • Contributing to an exhibition program inside and outside of the Libraries using Special Collections material.
  • Participating in outreach and social media activities.
  • Collaborating with colleagues working in areas of collection development, archival and manuscript processing, rare books cataloging, preservation, and digitization.
  • Providing reference services, participating in collection development, and supporting day-to-day operations.
  • Participating in Libraries’ initiatives outside of Special Collections & University Archives by serving on Libraries’ and campus committees and contributing to other relevant activities and events.
  • Maintaining a course of personal professional development through active participation in rare book, manuscript, and archives professional associations or other professional activities external to the Libraries.


Required Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in library science from an ALA accredited institution or a graduate degree in an academic discipline with advanced training in archives administration, rare book or manuscript management.
  • Three or more years of experience is required for appointment at the Specialist Librarian level.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of or experience with current and emerging best practices for library instruction.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of or experience with emerging trends in rare book and manuscript librarianship.
  • Demonstrated ability to work creatively in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and sensitively with library and university colleagues, faculty, students, and other patrons.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment where consultation, flexibility, collaboration and cooperation are essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity in the workplace or community.
  • Demonstrated interest in professional development that will enhance the candidate’s value to the Libraries, the University, the profession, or the scholarly community.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in a Special Collections, archives, or museum environment.
  • Experience teaching and designing curriculum or coursework, particularly at the undergraduate level.
  • Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of issues involved with planning, delivering, and assessing primary source literacy instruction.
  • Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of the history of the book, bibliography, book arts, and archival processing.
  • Experience with or demonstrated knowledge of digital collections, social media tools, and digital humanities concepts, tools, and techniques.


Universal Competencies:

  • Positive Impact/Achieving Results: Ability to utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs. Able to demonstrate ethical behavior in diverse situations while producing results.
  • Service Excellence/Customer Focus: Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner. Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.
  • Collaboration and Embracing Diversity: Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner while appreciating the unique contribution of individuals from varied cultures, nationalities, genders, ages, etc.


The University of Iowa Libraries: The University of Iowa library system consists of the Main Library, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and a number of branch libraries. The Libraries has more than 5 million volumes including thousands of electronic resources and coordinates the development and maintenance of the University’s locally-created open access digital resources including the digital library, featuring more than 800,000 digitized texts, images, audio and video recordings, as well as Iowa Research Online, our institutional repository. Our Special Collections include over 200,000 rare books, ranging in age from the 15th century to newly created artists’ books.

The University of Iowa is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), ARL, OCLC, CRL, SPARC, CNI, CLIR, LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and Portico. The Libraries provides a program of support for professional development activities and its staff members are actively engaged in national cooperative efforts.


The University and Iowa City: A major research and teaching institution, the University of Iowa offers internationally recognized programs in a diverse array of academic, medical, and artistic disciplines, from otolaryngology to fiction writing, printmaking to space science, hydraulic engineering to dance. The University consists of a faculty of 2,800 and a permanent staff of 16,000 serving 31,000 students, almost 40% of whom are from out of state and close to 10,000 of whom are registered in graduate and professional degree programs. Approximately 11% of the University’s faculty and staff and 14% of its student body are members of minority groups, and 12% of the students are from foreign countries.

The University of Iowa is home to the Writers’ Workshop, the oldest graduate creative writing program in the country, and the blueprint for many of the creative writing programs that now thrive on campuses worldwide. It is also home to the International Writing Program where, since 1967, over a thousand writers from more than 120 countries have participated. The University has recently instituted a program in creative writing in Spanish. In 2008, UNESCO designated Iowa City as a world City of Literature.

Iowa City is a community of some 68,000 people (more than 150,000 live in the surrounding area) with excellent educational, recreational, and cultural advantages. It is consistently cited in the national media as a city with an excellent quality of life. The city is readily accessible via interstate highways and a major airport is only 30 minutes away. The community is growing in its diversity; within the Iowa City Community School District, 33% of the students are minority, with 17% identifying as African-American, 9% as Latino/Hispanic, 7% as Asian-American, and .4% as Native American during the 2012/13 school year.


Salary and appointment: Start date is negotiable. Appointment will be made at the Librarian (I) or Specialist (II) level, depending on experience and qualifications of successful candidate. Salary ranges: Librarian $43,000 to $46,000; Specialist $47,000 to $60,000. The University of Iowa offers an attractive package of benefits including 24 days of paid vacation per year, your choice between two retirement plans and two University of Iowa health insurance plans, dental insurance, pre-tax child and health care spending accounts, and additional options.


Application Procedure: To apply for this position, please visit the University of Iowa Jobs@UIOWA website at Applications must be received by Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

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