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Head, Humanities & History

Head, Humanities & History

Columbia University Job Location: New York Apply By: 04/13/2029 Date Created: 03-12-2018

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The Columbia University Libraries seeks an energetic, creative, and team-oriented Head of Humanities & History to provide leadership and vision for research, learning, and collection development activities in support of Columbia University’s humanities and history faculty, students, and researchers. Leading a team of librarians, the Head of Humanities & History develops, coordinates, and supports innovative and effective research support services and collection building, in close alignment with the needs and priorities of humanities and history faculty, students, and curricula at Columbia. In collaboration with the Head of Global Studies, the Head of Humanities & History will develop and coordinate services and collaborations that support research and learning, setting goals and success indicators for staff and routinely reviewing activities to evaluate their effectiveness at meeting the needs of students and researchers. Additionally, the Head will continue to define and shape the role of liaison librarians, addressing the needs of interdisciplinary programs, initiatives and research. Crucial to this work will be coordination of cross-unit training programs and professional development opportunities for staff.


The Head will play an equally important role in shaping evolving methods of collection-building for history and for a range of subject areas and programs within the humanities. In coordination with other units within CUL and external partners, the individual in this role will implement and support innovative strategies related to collection development, including collaborative and digital collecting initiatives.

This new position reports to the Director of Humanities & Global Studies, a newly merged unit comprised of the Humanities & History team, the Global Studies team, the Burke Library of the Union Theological Seminary, and the Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library. The Head of Humanities & History will be part of a four-person management team guiding and advancing the goals and mission of the Humanities & Global Studies unit.


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ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS, MIS or the equivalent combination of a relevant advanced degree or experience working in an academic library;

Experience in providing research support services for humanities and history disciplines, including awareness of faculty and student research needs, methodologies, and practices;

Experience with and/or knowledge of collection development strategies and practices, including communicating with vendors, managing approval plans, and evaluating and assessing collections;

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;

Excellent problem solving abilities.




Preferred Qualifications:


Knowledge of the scholarly communication environment for humanities and history, and an understanding of the role of the research library in the research and learning enterprise;


Conversance and interest in emerging methods of digital humanities and scholarship practices;


Experience in supervising and mentoring staff;


Engagement and experience in professional forums related to research support and collection building.




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As one of the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a dynamic, multicultural, intellectual community. The Columbia University Libraries are comprised of a diverse and engaged staff committed to furthering the University’s teaching and research mission through innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence. 

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position.

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