Head of Curators, UCLA

Department: Library Special Collections
Rank and Salary: Associate Librarian – Librarian ($66,878 – $113,947)
Position Availability: Immediately
Application deadline for first consideration: July 21, 2022

The Head of Curators for Library Special Collections (LSC) leads and oversees a curatorial team focused on building research resources collaboratively, expanding collection-building practices beyond the canon, supporting UCLA’s teaching, learning and research mission, and developing and implementing proactive approaches that support long-term ethical stewardship. UCLA Library Special Collections seeks an engaged, experienced leader to guide and steer the Curatorial Team away from siloed collection-building of rare and unique materials towards a holistic, interdisciplinary team centered and focused on furthering the library and LSC’s strategic priorities. The incumbent will be leader who can represent LSC curators while working with and supporting other units in LSC and across the UCLA Library.

Position Duties

In close collaboration with co-unit heads and the Director of LSC, the Head of Curators works to direct the intersecting priorities of each unit towards LSC’s strategic stewardship goals and objectives. As a vital member of the LSC leadership team, the incumbent proactively contributes to a highly collaborative and integrated team and fosters cohesive team-building across LSC.

While this person has direct supervisory responsibility over LSC curators, the incumbent will also collaborate closely with selectors across the Distinctive Collections Division and across the library in supporting interdisciplinary and cross-departmental acquisitions. This includes providing communication and education about collection development criteria and practices, the value and importance of appraisal, and stewardship capacities within LSC.

The Head of Curators will advance a philosophy and approach centered on principles of diversity, equity and inclusion that impact access and use of collections.  They will provide strategic leadership toward approaches and mechanisms for responsible collection-building, developing a reparative framework for stewardship, and focusing on the long-term, cyclical nature of donor and stakeholder relationships. They will lead the development of processes and initiatives that support access for LSC collections, including, but not limited to guiding their unit in contributions to collection documentation and reappraisal activities.

The successful candidate will be committed to promoting and enhancing diversity through engagement with and promotion of the [UCLA Principles of Community]( http://www.ucla.edu/about/mission-and-values).

 Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Embraces ethical stewardship and centers equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of this position.
  • Leads and articulates a collections vision and philosophy that centers equity, diversity and inclusion and redresses historical inequalities and erasures, while balancing institutional realities.
  • Cultivates a strong culture of collaboration, open communication, information-sharing, inclusion, and trust, fortifying a shared community of learning and growth among team members.
  • Serves as primary contact to Library Development for exploring new acquisitions or fundraising opportunities related to building rare and unique collections.
  • Teaches and mentors curators on building and maintaining beneficial relationships with Library Development.
  • Represents LSC to campus and external audiences in relation to curatorial responsibilities.
  • Serves on related department, library, and university councils and working groups.
  • Works with the leadership team to develop, assess, and evaluate the collection priorities for all curatorial areas in LSC on an ongoing basis.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in LSC and across the library to build rare and unique collections and to actively promote their use by students, faculty and community members.
  • Disseminates and promotes use of rare and unique collections at the UCLA Library via social media, blogs, community engagement, virtual and physical exhibitions, lectures, workshops, research guides, and symposia.
  • Provides curricular consultations and instruction, and collaborates on instruction development and implementation with faculty and library colleagues to incorporate primary source instruction and LSC materials into curriculum.
  • Provides specialized reference services for LSC materials in collaboration with the Public Services, Outreach, and Community Engagement Unit.
  • Collaborates proactively with colleagues across the library in re-appraising and supporting stewardship of archival and bibliographic materials in LSC’s historical collecting areas.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in the Collections Management Unit to support the holistic stewardship of existing and future collections.
  • Works closely with Library Development to identify and steward donors, collections, and endowed gift funds.

Basic Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • At least 6 years of professional experience as a librarian/curator working with rare and unique materials and a record of progressive responsibilities.
  • At least 3 years professional supervisory experience that includes directing the work of librarians and/or library workers.
  • Demonstrated experience cultivating and facilitating long-term relationships with current and potential donors while navigating the complicated interactions necessary to steward cultural heritage collections.
  • Demonstrated experience mentoring colleagues and direct reports on best-practices for navigating and managing beneficial donor relationships.
  • Demonstrated experience training or mentoring colleagues on curation – appraisal, ethics and privacy, copyright, acquisitions, etc.
  • Commitment to a responsible collection building and reparative framework in collection development and stewardship.
  • Knowledge of special collections practice and technologies in relation to bibliographic, archival, and born-digital material.
  • Experience using content and collections to connect students, faculty and researchers to activate rare and unique materials in teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrated experience with time management and project planning, management, completion, and assessment.
  • Ability to demonstrate cultural humility, and experience building and maintaining responsible and ethical community relationships.

Applicants with all the above basic qualifications and any of the following preferred qualifications or professional experiences are strongly encouraged to apply: 1) Experience in donor relations and stewardship; 2) Grounding/familiarity in copyright law, privacy law, contract law; 3) Interest or experience with open access and open scholarship; 4) Professional working proficiency in a language other than English; 5) Experience in building rare and unique post-custodial or community-centered archives; 6) Experience in organizing and processing archival collections and widely-used tools for accessioning, describing and making them available, such as ArchivesSpace.

General Information

Professional librarians at UCLA are academic appointees. Librarians at UCLA are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and all other benefits granted to non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits. Relocation assistance may be provided.

Appointees to the librarian series at UC shall have professional backgrounds that demonstrate a high degree of creativity, teamwork, and flexibility.  Such background will normally include a professional degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science graduate program.  In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities.  Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.

Application Procedures

Anyone wishing to be considered for this position should apply here: https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/JPF07549

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter describing qualifications and experience;
  • Current resume/vitae detailing education and relevant experience; and
  • Statement of Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) – Equity, diversity, and inclusion are key components of The University of California’s commitment to excellence. Thus, teaching, research, professional, and public service contributions that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion are encouraged and given due recognition in the evaluation of each candidate’s qualifications. Please provide an EDI statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing marginalized communities, and your awareness of and commitment to promoting an inclusionary library and campus environment. Describe your past, and/or future contributions to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Candidates are invited to review the following:
  • Names and contact information for three professional references, including a current or previous supervisor.

Candidates applying by July 21, 2022 will be given first consideration for this position. UCLA welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women and minorities. UCLA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

Description of Unit

Library Special Collections (LSC) is an enterprise-wide, organizational entity within the UCLA Library System that builds and stewards special collections resources, services, and operations. The department consists of three units: Curators; Collection Management; and Public Services, Outreach, and Community Engagement, supported by functional teams that address department-wide processes, administration, and internal communication. The Public Services, Outreach, and Community Engagement Unit integrates public services for LSC including reference and instruction, exhibits, programmatic events and activities, outreach and community engagement, as well as the Center for Primary Research and Training. The Curators Unit is responsible for collection development and acquisition of materials in support of research and teaching. The Collection Management Unit supports the acquisition (purchase and gifts), and processing of special collections materials. The entire staff of approximately 30 FTE work together holistically as a team to build, preserve, and provide access to the outstanding special collections of the UCLA Library.

Description of Institution and Library

As one of the world’s great public research universities, UCLA integrates education, research, and public service so that each enriches and extends the others. From its beautiful neighborhood campus in a uniquely diverse and vibrant city on the Pacific Rim, teaching and research extend beyond the classroom, office, and lab through active engagement with communities, organizations, projects, and partnerships throughout the region and around the world.

UCLA’s diverse community of scholars encompasses nearly 30,000 undergraduates pursuing 125 majors, 13,000 graduate students in fifty-nine research programs, and 4,000 faculty members including Nobel Laureates; Rhodes Scholars; MacArthur Fellows; winners of the Fields Medal, National Medal of Science, Pritzker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize; and recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. UCLA ranks tenth in the Times of London Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, twelfth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and fifth in the U.S. by Washington Monthly. The National Research Council ranks forty of its graduate and doctoral research programs among its top ten.

To enable these accomplished students, faculty, and staff to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge for the benefit of global society, the UCLA Library is re-envisioning how it is acquired, synthesized, and shared across academic audiences and with the public.  It was among the first academic libraries to develop subject-specialist librarians and to launch a program to enhance students’ research skills. Its Special Collections pioneered the acquisition by public institutions of rare and unique books, children’s literature, pulp and detective fiction, works by or about women and minorities, screenplays, architectural plans, and Los Angeles-related materials and today leads the way in collecting archival resources in digital format such as emails and manuscripts.  It has launched innovative data management services and an affordable course materials initiative that have served as models for other libraries.

The Library serves UCLA students, faculty, and staff whenever and wherever they need its resources and expertise. Reconfigured, high-tech spaces and services in its ten campus libraries enable users and librarians to explore and work with print and digital materials collaboratively or individually, pursue new lines of inquiry, and develop new pedagogical approaches as well as novel forms of scholarship.  More than 3.5 million people visit annually, while an additional 3.4 million visitors enter online through its virtual front doors.

Whether on campus or online, the Library forms the intellectual heart of UCLA, a hub for cutting-edge discovery, scholarship, and instruction.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of the University of California and key components of the University’s commitment to excellence.  The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.  For the complete University of California policy on discrimination, harassment, and affirmative action see:  [University of California – Policy Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace](https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction)

Under federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  Employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.

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