Current Job Openings:

      Special Collections Librarian


Title: Special Collections Librarian
Reports to: University Archivist and Head of Special Collections and University Archives
Schedule: Full-time (37.5 hours per week; exempt); standard work week; occasional evening and weekend hours

Position Summary

The individual in this position manages rare books and other printed materials, literary manuscript collections, early manuscripts, and ephemera collections in the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), including their development, organization, description, accessibility, digitization, preservation, promotion, and assessment. The Special Collections Librarian engages in educational planning and instruction, reinforcing the significance of rare books and primary source materials as curricular resources, and explores the use of technology to advance teaching, learning and research with special collections materials. This position coordinates the Libraries’ digitization projects involving SCUA materials including digital outsourcing, quality control, preservation, and storage, and participates in digital preservation planning and workflows.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities
Educational Planning and Instruction (30%)

● Design and implement strategic and pedagogically appropriate instruction for library users to highlight the rare book and print material, early manuscript, literary manuscript, and ephemera collections.
● Engage faculty in planning, developing, and assessing information literacy instruction for rare and manuscript materials.
● Develop web-based guides, tutorials, or other instructional resources.
● Explore the use of technology to advance learning, teaching, and research with the department’s collections including digital exhibits.

Collection Management and Development (25%)

● Manage rare books, and other printed materials, literary manuscript collections, early manuscripts, and ephemera collections, including coordinating with the Head of Special Collections to develop an overall strategy for bringing these collections in line with professional cataloging and preservation standards and best practices.
● With the Head of Metadata and Cataloging, train staff, set priorities, and implement local cataloging and metadata policies and procedures aligned with national standards and practices. Create original metadata for Special Collections materials in all formats. Develop and document workflows and procedures for accessioning and describing rare book and literary manuscript materials.
● Proactively identify preservation needs and priorities for rare book and special collections materials and coordinate and carry out these preservation activities. 
● Promote a secure environment for the safe use and storage of rare materials.
● Consult with faculty and other stakeholders to develop the rare book and manuscript collections to sustainably support teaching and learning. Research and recommend new rare book and manuscript acquisitions to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives within the context of the SCUA collection development policy.  
● Assess offers of gift materials and make recommendations to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives. Consult with the Head of Collection Management on gifts that include potential materials for the circulating collections.

Digital Projects (25%)

● In consultation with the Library Technology and Digital Initiatives department, SCUA and other stakeholders, serve as the project manager for the Libraries’ digitization projects involving SCUA materials. Coordinate the development of strategies, methods, and workflows to implement approved projects. Develop documentation to outline the scope and description of projects, procedures, and technical specifications.
● Coordinate and participate in SCUA digitization initiatives to include communication with potential vendors, vendor selection, content selection, digitization, description, quality control, delivery, and preservation. Monitor project activities and adhere to timelines.
● Train and supervise student employees and other SCUA employees as needed in digitization and other work related to digital projects.
● Collaborate with SCUA and other stakeholders to identify projects and determine priorities for digitization.
● Promote and assess the use of digital projects.
● Participate in digital preservation planning and workflows.

In addition to specific job responsibilities, all SCUA library faculty (15%):

● Provide reference services to members of the Colgate community and other researchers through individual research consultations, in-person and remote inquiries, and scheduled reference hours, including evening shifts.
● Assist researchers in identifying relevant materials and retrieve items from storage areas.
● Promote and sustain a cooperative and consultative relationship between SCUA and other campus entities, such as academic departments and programs. 
● Work with the other members of the Special Collections and University Archives department to ensure the security and preservation of the collections.
● Participate in departmental outreach activities including social media.
● Support departmental class instruction sessions.
● Participate in creating and mounting exhibits that highlight important aspects of the department’s collections, particularly as they relate to the curriculum and important university events.
● Assist with writing grants to support departmental initiatives.

In addition to specific jobs responsibilities, all library faculty (5%):

● Participate in library faculty governance.
● Participate in University governance and/or serves the University in other ways as appropriate.
● Demonstrate an active commitment to the library profession as described in the Library Faculty Handbook.

It is expected that all Colgate University Libraries faculty and staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These are: user-centered focus; collaboration; effective team skills; creative problem solving; continuous learning; and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


●    An ALA-accredited master’s degree or an equivalent international degree (or expected completion of degree within one academic term of hiring date).
●    A passion for rare books and knowledge of the history of the book.
●    Knowledge of current practices related to the organization and preservation of rare books and primary source materials. 
●    User-centered service orientation with the ability to provide responsive and innovative services in support of learning, teaching, and research.
●    Ability to manage projects and a willingness to seek creative solutions to challenges.
●    Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a variety of colleagues in a rapidly changing environment.


●    2 or more years of professional experience in rare books.
●    Knowledge of current cataloging and metadata rules and standards (for example, DCRM(B), AACR2, LCSH, MARC21, RDA, MODS, or METS).
●    Knowledge of current practices and standards related to the digitization of rare books and primary source materials.
●    An ability to train others in the organization and preservation of rare books and primary source materials.
●    Experience in planning and implementing exhibits.
●    Experience providing high quality public service, providing instruction, and building patron relationships.
●    Demonstrated awareness of new modes of scholarship and instruction employing materials typically held in special collections and archives.
●    Reading knowledge of at least one non-English European language, preferably Spanish, French, or Latin.
●    Supervisory experience.

Application Instructions

Application instructions can be found at  Candidates will need to upload a letter of application, curriculum vita, and provide email addresses for three professional references. Colgate strives to be a community supportive of diverse perspectives and identities. Candidates should describe in their letter of application how their approach to teaching, scholarship, and/or professional service might support the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Official transcripts will be required of candidates selected for an on-campus interview.

Review of application materials will begin on January 6, 2020, and continue until the position is filled.

Colgate University is a highly selective liberal arts university of 2900 students situated in central New York state. It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Applicants with dual-career considerations can find postings of other employment opportunities at Colgate and at other institutions of higher education in upstate New York at