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The Pennsylvania State University
University Park
Website URL:
Posted: 05/2/2022
Associate Dean for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies

Associate Dean for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies

Penn State University Libraries, embarking on an inclusive, holistic University-wide strategic plan embracing and elevating the, has reimagined and realigned its As a result of this effort, the University Libraries seeks an Associate Dean (AD) for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies to join a cohort that expands its newly recalibrated leadership team and shapes one of several new administrative portfolios. Reporting to the Dean of University Libraries, this AD will collaborate with the senior library administrative team as well as leaders throughout the enterprising organization to set the vision and strategic directions for Penn State University Libraries. This leadership position provides a unique opportunity to join a national top ten research library intent on elevating the Libraries' integral role in advancing the University's tripartite mission of teaching, research, and service at all Penn State campuses. Penn State University Libraries consists of one unified system dispersed across 23 campuses and online programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Portfolio Description

The Associate Dean for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies provides leadership in how research libraries apply digital strategies to acquire, preserve, enhance, and expand access to distinctive collections. With oversight for an evolving set of projects and priorities in a complex, collaborative, and dynamic land-grant university environment, the AD will have oversight for the Libraries' critical role building, stewarding, and fostering engagement with rare and unique collections in a variety of formats. The AD will seek and support new and existing partnerships with University collaborators as well as community and external partners. The AD will also support the pursuit of innovative ways to increase visibility, advance equity and inclusion, and partner with entities whose missions and priorities align with the Libraries such as Penn State' Center for Black Digital Research (CBDR).

This portfolio also emphasizes building and maintaining a robust digital and technological infrastructure through the development, maintenance, and implementation of content management systems and repositories, including open source products, that support a wide range of digital scholarship and publishing services and stress best practices in the discovery, organization, and preservation of digital assets. The AD will provide vision and direction leading to the creation and curation of digital objects and content that support research, teaching and learning, and engagement.

To achieve this vision, the AD for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies will provide guidance and vision for multiple units pursuing an evolving set of projects and priorities in a complex, collaborative, dynamic, and rapidly changing university environment. The successful candidate will support collaboration and innovation to address the growing prominence of open access and scholarship in a research university setting. This position provides leadership, strategic direction, and support related to digital strategies and distinctive collections for users at Penn State's 23 campus locations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its highly regarded online World Campus.

Direct reporting lines include:

Cataloging and Metadata Services, including cataloging services, creating metadata for digital collections, loading record sets, and physical processing for library materials in all formats and languages for all university libraries at Penn State.

Research Informatics and Publishing, including digital humanities, research data services, data analysis and visualization, maps and GIS, the Center for Black Digital Research and repository as well as open scholarly publishing services.

Library Strategic Technologies, including user experience, content strategy, and user services; discovery, access, and accessibility strategies; IT infrastructure and platforms management and support; software and web applications development; Libraries' website management and services; and service desk and workstation management.

Preservation, Conservation & Digitization, including digital reformatting and digital library production, digital and physical preservation, and the care and handlings of rare and general collections including conservation services and disaster response and recovery.

Key University partners:

The Center for Black Digital Research was launched in 2020 in partnership with and support from the College of the Liberal Arts, the Provost's Office, and the Libraries is housed at the University Park campus. The AD will work with the CBDR, a public-facing, collaborative, principles-driven research center, and with units throughout the Libraries to strategize, vision, and support the implementation of the shared mission to build distinct and diverse digital collections; to recruit and support diverse librarians and library staff of color; to advance public-facing, innovative scholarship, and student training; and to build pipelines that prepare students for diverse careers.

• In partnership with the Department of Art History, the University Libraries supports the mission of the Center for Virtual/Material Studies. By sharing administrative sponsorship of the Associate Director position, the two partners enhance collaboration in the area of digital art history research and scholarship and facilitate research innovation and support for short and long-term projects among historians of visual and material culture, data and information specialists, curators and managers of Penn State collections, computer scientists, and materials scientists.


Most senior library administrators are located at the University Park campus. This position will be based at the University Park campus. While the University Libraries embraces opportunities for hybrid work arrangements, travel outside of University Park should be anticipated, including some overnight travel, for in-person meetings.


Senior Level Administration

As a member of the University Libraries' senior leadership team, this AD:

• Works collaboratively to provide vision and direction for the research, teaching, and service mission of the Libraries.

• Helps to implement the Libraries' strategic plan, support institutional goals, and build a strong culture of engagement and shared decision-making.

• Participates in the Libraries' key planning, budget, operations, and personnel decision-making activities.

• Facilitates cross-organizational communication while fostering a culture of transparency in decision- making.

• Represents the Libraries with donor relations and fundraising with leadership and development teams within the Libraries.

• Participate in University initiatives and represent the Libraries in University-wide planning and administration (may represent the Libraries in local, regional, and national arenas).

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility:

The University Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and people and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. The AD is expected to:

• Advance the Libraries and Penn State's diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility goals,

• Improve efforts to recruit and retain a diverse community of library employees, and

• Contribute to an environment of positive growth and development for all employees.

More information on Penn State's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence can be found by viewing Penn State's Diversity Statement: For additional information about the Libraries' diversity efforts, please visit

Administration and Oversight for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies

This Associate Dean:

• Provides leadership, direction, and oversight of the division to advance student learning, faculty productivity, and community engagement.

• Leads the development and implementation of the Libraries' digital framework, and identifies the needs of users in the design and deployment of innovative technological solutions, leading to Penn State student and faculty success.

• Provides collaborative leadership and advocacy for the continued development of, and engagement with, the Libraries' distinctive collections across subjects and formats, including developing and implementing a holistic vision and strategy for a digital collections program encompassing both digitized and born-digital materials.

• Serves as the key library administrative liaison to Penn State's Information Technology division and the Office of Information Security, ensuring the Libraries' compliance and alignment with critical IT services, policies, and procedures.

• Fosters collaboration and seeks collaborations and partnerships (i.e., CBDR, PA Digital, Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal), both within and external to the Libraries and the University, to support the evolving needs of users and to extend the reach of the Libraries' collections and content and expand the impact of Penn State's scholarship.

• Working with the division's faculty and staff, identifies, anticipates emerging technology trends and implications as well as the needs of user communities to plan, implement, and assess services and programs.

• Supervises and mentors the department heads reporting directly to the Associate Dean while supporting and facilitating the professional development for all librarians and staff.

• Supports the promotion and tenure process for the division's faculty and serves a critical role in the Libraries' strong mentoring program.


A Master of Library Science degree from an ALA-accredited institution (or equivalent) with qualifications commensurate with tenure requirements at Penn State. University Libraries also values the following:

• Ability to develop and implement a strategic vision and lead collaborative, user-centered efforts across library units and/or with external partners in a broader setting (i.e., University).

• Demonstrated supervisory and empathetic leadership skills that build consensus and support strong, self-sufficient teams.

• Evidence of substantive leadership initiatives that advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

• Commitment to shared governance.

• Substantial relevant experience at an academic, special, or research library or related institution.

• National reputation for distinguished scholarship and professional accomplishments.

• Strong record of service in appropriate professional or disciplinary associations.

• Strategic and empathetic visionary who has experience working with strong self-sufficient teams.


The Penn State University Libraries are a strategic asset to Penn State, advancing intellectual discovery, information literacy, and lifelong learning, all in support of the University's strategic goals of teaching, research, and service. The University Libraries is ranked among the top 10 research libraries in North America, according to the Association for Research Libraries investment rankings, and provides services at University Park and 22 other campus locations throughout Pennsylvania including online programs. We serve more than 6,800 faculty at University Park, 4,124 faculty at the Commonwealth Campuses, and approximately 97,500 students university-wide. More than 120 faculty librarians in the University Libraries benefit from extensive technological resources and research support services. Penn State is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, Digital Preservation Network, AP Trust, SPARC, CNI, the ACRL Diversity Alliance and a number of other organizations.

The University Park campus is set in the State College metropolitan area, a university town located in central Pennsylvania. State College offers a vibrant community with outstanding recreational facilities, a low crime rate, and excellent public schools. The campus is within a half-day's drive to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, or Pittsburgh. The University Park Airport is served by three major carriers with flights to Philadelphia, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, and Tampa. For more information, please visit and

Compensation and Rank:

The successful candidate will hold a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of Associate Librarian or Librarian within the University Libraries. The rank and salary are dependent upon qualifications and experience.

Applicants for the Associate Librarian rank should have:

• A graduate degree in library or information studies or other appropriate degree, demonstrate excellence in librarianship, show evidence of an established reputation in research, and have a strong record of service to the University and the profession.

Applicants for the Librarian rank should have:

• In addition to the qualifications for Associate Librarian, the Librarian should demonstrate sustained excellence in librarianship, give evidence of creativity in his/her field of specialization (including a continuing capacity for significant contributions in research and creative accomplishments), and show evidence of leadership in the profession. The rank of Librarian should be reserved for persons of proven stature in librarianship, research, and service.

Penn State offers a comprehensive benefits program, with choices of retirement plans, health benefits, optional insurance programs, tuition discounts for employees and eligible family members, generous vacation time, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In addition, the University Libraries provides annual professional development funds to all faculty members. Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events. Expenses reimbursement will be in accordance with University Travel Policy. Please visit to learn more about the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure.

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted via Workday. Interested candidates should upload a letter of application and a resume or CV. A candidate's application materials are expected to provide clear evidence of their commitment to, and the impact of, the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout their librarianship, teaching, research, and/or service.

Candidates also must provide four professional references, indicating their professional relationship to each reference. References will be contacted later in the search process. Furnished references must include a current/previous direct supervisor, a colleague, an employee who was/is a direct report, and one at the candidate's discretion. Review of applications will begin May 23, 2022 and continue until position is filled. To nominate a candidate to receive additional information about this position, please send names and contact information (email and phone number) to:

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.