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The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park
Posted: 07/06/2023
Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of Eberly Family Special Collections Library

Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of Eberly Family Special Collections Library

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seeks applications for the position of Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Distinctive Collections and Digital Strategies, this position provides strategic leadership and administration of the Special Collections Library (SCL). This position will build on existing efforts to increase the diversity of materials and histories in special collections and archives; promote equity and inclusion in description of and access to special collections materials; and pursue creative methods to engage with students, faculty, and the wider community in educational and research experiences using rare and archival collections. The Huck Chair and Head of Special Collections is responsible for fostering dynamic partnerships to develop and steward rare book and modern manuscript collections in a variety of physical and digital formats. As an endowed faculty position, the Huck Chair manages a versatile discretionary fund in support of Special Collections programs, collection development, travel, and research.

The University Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, experience and people, and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. We encourage applicants who want to contribute to a welcoming multicultural environment. More information on Penn State’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence can be found by visiting http://equity.psu.edu/diversity-statement. Information about the University Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility efforts can be found by visiting https://libraries.psu.edu/about/diversity. Information about the University Libraries’ employment opportunities, processes, and culture can be found at https://libraries.psu.edu/about/jobs

Duties and Responsibilities:

Provide leadership and strategic direction for Penn State’s special collections and university archives:

• Articulate and implement departmental vision and strategies for engagement through the primary functions of the department, including collection development, stewardship, reference, and instruction
• Lead operations for the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at University Park including budgeting, personnel management, and space planning
• Direct a department with approximately 20 full-time employees, which includes full­-time faculty and staff, as well as part-time employees, student interns, and graduate assistants
• Work with the Dean’s administrative office and Libraries Development in representing the libraries through donor relations, while actively pursuing opportunities to support Special Collections through grants, gifts, and fundraising
• Coordinate with other administrators to advance the Libraries’ Strategic Plan, and contribute to library-wide budgeting, planning, and policy development
• Collaborate with key partners across the University Libraries, including Cataloging and Metadata Services; Library Learning Services; Libraries Strategic Technologies; Access Services; Preservation Conservation and Digitization; Center for Black Digital Research; Public Relations and Marketing; and Commonwealth Campus Libraries.



• Demonstrated experience building programs, services, and teams with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging
• Experience leading an archives or special collections library
• Strong collaborative and empathetic leadership skills
• Demonstrated knowledge of effective outreach and student engagement strategies for working with diverse faculty, staff, and students
• Demonstrated ability to clearly, concisely, effectively and empathetically convey ideas to different audiences
• Proven record of accomplishment in collection development and donor relations
• Distinguished scholarship and professional accomplishments in the areas of librarianship, research, and service which meet criteria for appointment with tenure. Please visit https://libraries.psu.edu/policies/ul-acg07 to learn more about the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure Guidelines
• Accredited terminal degree and substantial professional experience in a relevant field


• Participation in digital and scholarly communications initiatives
• Proven experience on the use of information technologies to improve user experience, access, collection management, and/or preservation
• Demonstrated experience with budgeting and strategic planning
• Experience supervising employees
• Success in securing and managing grants

About the Eberly Family Special Collections Library

The Eberly Family Special Collections, located on Penn State’s University Park Campus, builds, stewards, and facilitates engagement with distinctive research collections and primary source materials. We acquire materials of institutional, historical, and cultural value to support https://www.psu.edu/this-is-penn-state/mission-and-values and the https://libraries.psu.edu/about/university-libraries-strategic-planto make materials available for intellectual discovery, use, and learning that benefits the Penn State community, scholars, students, and the citizens of Pennsylvania and beyond. In addition, we engage in instruction, outreach, and interpretation in collaboration with partners across the campuses to support information literacy, critical engagement with materials, and pursue collecting and documenting opportunities that attend to gaps or erasures in the historical record.


Consisting of over 50,000 linear feet and 225,000 volumes, the Eberly Family Special Collections Library’s historical collecting strengths include: English and American literature; Utopian literature; African­-Americana and the African Diaspora; German literature in English translation; the history of industrial unions and the U.S. labor movement; Pennsylvania social, political, and economic history; and the 168-year history of Penn State University. In 2019, SCL implemented a new vision for collection development that acknowledges existing collection strengths while seeking to build in new areas that meet the evolving research needs of contemporary researchers. As part of our collecting mission, we place a high value on increasing the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and voices found in our holdings, prioritizing material from historically marginalized communities. Our commitment to ensuring a more equitable scholarly record is reflected in our https://libraries.psu.edu/about/libraries/special-collections-library/eberly-family-special-collections-collection-development and https://libraries.psu.edu/about/libraries/special-collections-library/statement-more-inclusive-archival-collections.


The Special Collections Library is organized into four functional teams that support the department’s mission and goals. Members of the Curatorial Team collaborate on strategic acquisition efforts and in the stewardship of a generous collection endowment. Curators also engage in departmental outreach and instruction efforts, including SCL’s exhibition program. The Collection Services Team leads all collection stewardship efforts, including accessioning, arrangement and description, and conservation. The team works closely with the Preservation, Conservation & Digitization and Cataloging & Metadata Services units to make collections discoverable and manages the University Libraries’ instance of ArchivesSpace. The Research and Instruction Services Team facilitates access to collections for both remote and onsite students, faculty, staff, and scholars. The team also coordinates and facilitates an active course-related instructional program. The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of the University and works closely with members of the Penn State community across the Commonwealth (including administrative offices, faculty, students and alumni) to identify, acquire, and maintain records of value.


The Special Collections Library promotes use and engagement with its distinctive collections through a number of programs. The Special Collections Library supports a robust student employment program, including endowed student assistantships and internships. The Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts is an annual event, named in honor of the first Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair for Special Collections, which features scholars and practitioners interested in the artistry, history, and materiality of the book broadly construed. We host at least two major physical exhibitions every year in our spacious gallery space as well as numerous student-curated digital and pop-up exhibits throughout the year. We annually support researchers spending an extended amount of research time in our reading room thanks to a research and travel grant program. An emerging oral history program in the University Archives expands our understanding of Penn State’s history through projects designed to record the experiences of students and alumni from historically marginalized communities.

This is a tenure-track faculty position. Based upon the University and Libraries’ standards for endowed positions, it is anticipated that the successful candidate will be appointed at the rank of Librarian with tenure. The successful candidate will engage in research and scholarly publishing, demonstrate leadership in professional or disciplinary associations, and participate actively in local, national, and international initiatives. The appointee will take leadership roles in library action and governance.

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted via Workday. Interested candidates are expected to 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, a current or former direct report, and one at the candidate’s discretion.

Apply online at https://apptrkr.com/4320543

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 http://www.police.psu.edu/clery/, 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.