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Director of the Central Library, Vanderbilt University (apply by Sept 30)

Director of the Central Library-1701651

Vanderbilt University seeks an innovative and creative leader to guide the further development of the Central Library (humanities and social sciences) of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library system. The director will supervise and lead the staff of the largest of nine campus libraries within the university library system. The Central Library supports programs within the College of Arts & Science and all disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, as well as a growing number of interdisciplinary fields.

We are looking for a leader who can work together with faculty and students on research, learning, and innovation in diverse and interdisciplinary areas of study and research, including digital humanities. The Director works collaboratively with library colleagues to determine priorities, assess strengths and weaknesses, and develop service strategies that enhance and support the academic mission of the University. The Director will create partnerships with academic departments, research centers, institutes, incubator programs, and learning communities throughout the University. The successful candidate will bring a combination of expertise and experience from both an appropriate academic discipline and library/information science.

Specific responsibilities:

Provide dynamic leadership for development and management of the Central Library and department staff (currently twelve professionals, seven paraprofessionals). Set policies, procedures, and priorities for the library. Plan, implement, monitor and review all activities of Central, incorporating new services and programs as needed. Manage staff including training, setting priorities, and staff development. Plan and monitor the budget for the department.

Engage and collaborate with librarians and faculty to provide effective teaching and learning opportunities.  Work with subject specialists and staff to develop best practices and excellent library facilities for humanities and social science areas of the University.  Keep abreast of relevant academic, economic and social trends as well as professional issues and practice.

Collaborate with other senior leaders in the areas of Outreach; Liaison Instruction; Content/Collections; Scholarly Communication; Exhibit and Event Planning; and campus-wide leaders of strategic initiatives.  Develop goals and objectives in all areas of responsibility to implement and enhance the policies and strategic initiatives of the university library.

Participate in the larger library system by leading pan-library committees or working groups.

Participate in professional activities outside of Vanderbilt and monitor developments and best practices elsewhere to encourage innovation and ensure the excellence of the Library.


This is an exciting time to be at Vanderbilt University. With an enrollment of over 12,500, Vanderbilt is ideally situated on a wooded campus in the heart of vibrant Nashville, Tennessee. The Jean and Alexander Heard Library System is an integral part of the intellectual and cultural life of the university and community. Our libraries are engaged in major initiatives within Vanderbilt, as well as nationally and internationally.

Our libraries have an exceptionally talented and dedicated staff of almost 170, an annual budget exceeding $34 million, and hold over 4.2 million volumes. The Heard Library includes nine libraries, system and the nationally acclaimed Vanderbilt Television News Archive. Our innovative digital exhibits programs have attracted national attention along with our Gold LEED Central Library renovation. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” — as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.” For more information, please see


 APPLICATIONS received by September 30, 2017 will receive first consideration; interested individuals must apply to be considered. Please apply online at http://www.vanderbilt.jobs. Refer to requisition number 1701651. Include a letter of application, resume, and the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three references (current and former supervisors only). Background screens will be performed and education will be verified prior to employment. Please be prepared to provide required information and/or documentation.

Basic Qualifications

Required Qualifications

Master's degree in Library or Information Science from a program accredited by the American Library Association, or equivalent

Graduate degree in humanities or social science discipline

Minimum of five years of related experience in an academic, research, or corporate library setting

Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and direction in a research library

Ability to build and maintain relationships with colleagues across disciplines, both within and outside of the library system.

Experience supervising and/or leading librarians and career staff

Ability to value and encourage diversity, inspire, build trust, lead organizational and cultural change, foster innovation and empower staff growth

Experience participating in managing a budget for a department, project, team or committee

Demonstrated customer service skills, flexibility and a strong commitment to innovation, creativity and excellence

In-depth knowledge and experience using information resources to support academic research and scholarship at all levels

Evidence of excellent communication and interpersonal skills

Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a highly collaborative setting 

Evidence of increasing involvement in professional activities outside the University

Preferred Qualifications

PhD in an appropriate field

Demonstrated leadership in reference and research services at a university level

Proven ability in the area of engagement and outreach

Evidence of creative leadership and entrepreneurial spirit

Experience participating in collection development and effectively managing collection funds in an academic or research library

Demonstrated knowledge of scholarly communication processes