Skip Navigation
Employment Opportunities

Jobs at Member Institutions & APLU

Job Postings enable you to post your own job and find other job listings offered by APLU members. This service is free for APLU members. For more information, email

Apply Now
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park
Website URL:
Posted: 03/30/2021
Head, Humanities and Social Sciences

Head, Humanities and Social Sciences

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Head, Humanities and Social Sciences at the rank of Assistant or Associate Librarian. This 12-month tenure-track faculty position at University Park reports to the Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communications and is responsible for the oversight of services, collections, budget, and performance management of approximately 20 faculty and staff in this discipline-based unit.

The Head, Humanities and Social Sciences is expected to be actively engaged in outreach to library users, collaborators, and donors and participate in activities related to collections, research support, and instruction, as well as devote time to research, scholarly activity, and services to the University, the society, and the profession.

The University Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, experience and people, and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. We encourage candidates who thrive in a welcoming multicultural environment to apply. More information on Penn State's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence can be found by visiting Information about the University Libraries' Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility efforts can be found by visiting


The Head, Humanities and Social Sciences will lead, manage, promote, and enhance library services and collections related to humanities and social sciences through following activities:

Leadership: Lead a team of approximately 20 faculty and staff and represent the unit to work closely with relevant colleges such as the College of Liberal Arts, Arts and Architecture, Education, and Health and Human Development, as well as related research institutes, centers and departments. Directly supervise approximately 12 positions, including the director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Take leadership to promote resource sharing among peer institutions, e.g. the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA).

Management: Develop and prioritize unit goals in consultation with the Associate Dean for Collections, Research, and Scholarly Communications. Motivate employees, promote effective use of library space to enhance user engagement, manage budget, and collaborate with others to achieve unit goals.

Outreach and liaison activities: Build relationships with faculty and students in humanities and social sciences, obtain their input to enhance library services, regularly communicate libraries' priorities and changes, and maintain credibility of libraries' decisions.

Collections: Assess, develop, and maintain collections in all formats to support research and teaching in humanities and social sciences. Advance the transition to digital collections while acquiring print and other resources when the e-version is not available or as needed. Coordinate collections activities within the unit, assess collections to ensure they reflect users' needs, make acquisition and cancellation decisions for the unit, manage collections space for humanities and social sciences, withdraw duplicated and low-use items as appropriate, and represent the unit at relevant internal and external committees. Collaborate with others in related subject areas, including Commonwealth Campus Libraries (CCLs) and peer institutions. Advocate for effective use of collections budget. Actively participate in collective collection development activities, such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) BIG collection project.

Scholarly communications: Promote open access (OA) and open educational resources (OER) within humanities and social sciences, in collaboration with relevant departments. Participate in scholarly communications initiatives including digital publishing, copyright, and digital curation.

Instruction: Design and deliver a program of library instruction that supports the curriculum of relevant academic units.

Reference and research support: Provide reference assistance and research consulting for subject-specific research.

Donor relations: Participate in donor activities and advocate to enhance humanities and social sciences collections and services with donor support.

Research and service: Engage in research, scholarly publication, and professional service activities at local, regional, and national or international levels in areas appropriate to academic librarianship and the disciplines served.

The Assistant Librarian should possess a graduate degree in library or information studies or other appropriate degree; must have demonstrated potential ability as a librarian; and must have shown promise of growth in research and service.

The Associate Librarian should possess the same qualifications as the Assistant Librarian, 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.

Required Qualifications:

• Master of Library Science degree from an ALA-accredited institution (or equivalent)

• Demonstrated successful outreach initiatives

• Demonstrated successful leadership experience

• Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills

• Work experience at an academic or special library

• Familiarity with discipline-specific library resources

• Experience with collection development, instruction and reference consultations

• Ability to work effectively in a rapidly changing environment

• Ability to work independently and collaboratively

• Strong commitment to diversity, equity, respect and inclusion

• Ability to meet the requirements of promotion and tenure. Please visit to learn more about the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.

Preferred Qualifications: an advanced degree in humanities and/or social sciences; experience managing and supervising people; experience promoting OA and OER; and familiarity with promotion and tenure practices in a research library.


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 in teaching, research, service, and outreach. The University Libraries is ranked among the top 10 research libraries in North America, according to the Association of Research Libraries investment rankings, and provides services at University Park and 22 other campus locations throughout Pennsylvania as well as online. We serve more than 6,400 faculty and 46,800 students at University Park, 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, a land-grant institution, 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 Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. For more information, please visit and

Compensation and Benefits:

Tenure-track faculty position, with rank and salary dependent upon qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance and health care coverage, state or TIAA retirement options, and educational privileges. In addition, faculty in the University Libraries are afforded funds for professional development travel annually. Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events and those trips are reimbursed at full cost within limits established by the University.

Application Instructions:

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted online. All application materials should be uploaded at the same time at the time of application. Interested candidates should upload a letter of application including a diversity statement, resume or vita, and the names and contact information of three professional references (including email addresses). Review of applications will begin on April 1, 2021 and continue until position is filled.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

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.

Copyright ©2017 Inc. All rights reserved.