Head of Collection Development, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA

Department/Organization: Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, Graduate Theological Union
Status: Exempt, full-time, benefited
Effective Date: 09/2021


The Graduate Theological Union is a premier center for the study of religion and theology in the United States. With eight member schools, five centers, and five affiliates we model interreligious dialogue and collaboration amongst a multitude of faiths and practices. We are undergoing rapid change in the context of a Five-Year Strategic Plan, and the Head of Collection Development will take the lead on navigating physical and technological change while supporting both traditional and cutting edge research methodologies. Some of the traditions we support are many thousand years old, and the successful candidate will lay the groundwork for research level support of these traditions for 100 years into the future.

Primary Position Purpose:

Under the supervision of the Director of Library Services, the incumbent will lead the library collections through a time of rapid transition towards digital resources. They hold primary responsibility for development, maintenance, and assessment of the library’s monographic, serial, and electronic resources. Supervises Acquisitions staff, Preservation staff, and student assistants. Serves as an active member of the Library Management Team. Manages acquisitions budgets. Shares oversight of the Technical Services Department.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops and maintains the library’s globally relevant collections in religion and theology and stewards them through times of rapid change.
  • Curates eResources and effectively transitions holdings towards remotely accessible models wherever possible.
  • Works closely with Faculty to identify materials which may be transferred to the Internet Archive so that we may maintain a growing collection in a static library footprint.
  • Provides effective stewardship of the materials budget, assesses budget allocations, establishes target deadlines, and prioritizes requests for end-of-year purchasing.
  • Provides appropriate oversight in matters pertaining to the shelving, use, and general maintenance of the collections.
  • Consults regularly with the Departmental Directors regarding academic programs or initiatives affecting Library collection priorities.
  • Identifies, negotiates, and maintains effective working relations with GTU colleagues, faculty, students, vendors, subscription agents, and other stakeholders or suppliers.
  • Serves as primary reporter for collections and acquisitions statistics in all formats.
  • Supervises the activity of Acquisitions staff, Preservation staff, and student assistants.
  • Coordinates selection activities with the University of California, Berkeley in accordance with the Cooperative Collection Agreement (1999).
  • In conjunction with the Director of Library Services and relevant Library committees and staff, revises collection and preservation policies as needed to maintain currency.
  • Serves on the Library Management Team; the Library Disaster Planning and Response Team, and participates in other Library and GTU committees as appropriate.
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned.

Qualifications/Experience Needed:

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • Master’s degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited program.
  • At least three years professional experience performing Collection Development/Acquisitions in an academic library.
  • Ability to interpret bibliographic records in at least one foreign language.
  • Demonstrated ability in management and selection of electronic resources, analytics, and discovery systems.
  • Knowledge of religious and theological literature.
  • Experience with bibliographic databases and library automation software, preferably OCLC and Innovative Interfaces
  • Experience in the development of a departmental budget, budget management, and the production of reports related to the department.
  • Previous supervisory experience.


  • Two years supervisory and training experience of Acquisitions, Serials, or Conservation staff.
  • Experience developing and maintaining strong vendor relationships, including the negotiation of license agreements.
  • A degree in theology, religion or philosophy; or three years demonstrated library experience in the subject area.

Special Skills:

  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively with library staff, diverse faculty and student populations, donors, and vendors.
  • Commitment to customer service excellence.
  • Clarity in oral and written communication.
  • Working understanding of the nature and functions of a graduate level research library, with a respect for the value of the book and primary resources; as well as an intimate understanding of the role of digital resources in theological education.
  • Ability to thrive within a complex organization and to view the library within the context of the larger institution.
  • Negotiating and problem-solving skills.

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Hours of work: 37.5 hours per week, but can occasionally exceed 40 hours per week.
  • 95 percent of the work is indoors, and 5 percent is outdoors (traveling to off-campus meetings).
  • Indoor work environment is temperature controlled.
  • Considerable amount of public contact with faculty, administrators, staff, students, and vendors is essential.
  • Vision – ability to see items necessary to carry out essential job functions. Close vision required for reading and working with computer and library equipment.
  • Hearing – ability to hear sounds of individuals and groups.
  • Clear Speech – ability to communicate clearly to others is essential part of job.
  • Sitting – ability to sit for long periods of time at computer and during meetings.
  • Standing – ability to stand on frequent basis.
  • Walking – ability to walk to various areas within the GTU library and to offsite meetings.
  • Lifting/Carrying – ability to lift and carry books and files occasionally – up to 50 lbs.
  • Standing/Squatting – ability to bend/stoop/squat sometimes to reach lower shelves.
  • Reaching – ability to reach above and below shoulder, sometimes at arms’ length.
  • Pushing/Pulling – ability to push/pull desk and filing cabinet drawers, book carts and hand trucks.
  • Manual Dexterity – ability to grasp books and other items and to use a computer keyboard and mouse.
  • Regular attendance – required to manage day to day operations of the position.
  • Travel: ability to attend off-campus meetings.

Tools and Equipment Used:

Including, but not limited to: Phones, computers, printers, copiers, shredders, basic book repair tools.

Full Job Announcement:


To apply, please send cover letter and resume to hr@gtu.edu

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