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Director of Collection Strategies

Director of Collection Strategies

Columbia University Libraries Job Location: New York Date Created: 10-14-2019

Columbia University Libraries seeks an innovative and motivated professional for an exciting opportunity to join its senior leadership as the Director of Collection Strategies. The Director will serve as thought leader and advocate for organizational and budgetary effectiveness, developing comprehensive and transformative strategies for building and maintaining research collections at scale. To this end, the Director will collaborate with colleagues across the Libraries in ensuring that our collections support the Libraries’ efforts to drive innovation in areas such as diversity and inclusion, collaborative collecting with partners, digital collections development, scholarly communication, and user-centered approaches to developing research and learning services. The Director works closely with colleagues directly overseeing the distributed staff who make selection and collection development decisions, manage collections budgets, and apply the overarching collection strategies in their specific contexts.

The Director oversees key areas related to collections: the effective structure and management of the Libraries’ nearly $30 million collections budget; licensing and negotiation of electronic resources; collection analysis; strong and continual advocacy with vendors and publishers to advance new collecting models, and; evolving policies and strategies for collection development.

The Director is a central figure in synchronizing shared collections and coordinated collection development initiatives that we are actively building with strategic partners, particularly those within the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP)* and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation. The Director will also build robust collections assessment and analysis services and expertise to the organization. This growth area is integral to implementing data-informed models that continually align collections investments with the broader but evolving research, teaching, and scholarly communication aspirations of the Libraries and the University.

The Director will lead ongoing efforts to apply values-based criteria to collections budget allocations in ways that balance and reconcile historical collecting strengths with current and emerging needs of the organization. This balance will reflect a range of areas of concentration, from ensuring appropriate allocations along subject and discipline lines, to increasing investments that promote open collections, to providing access to emerging resource types and means (e.g., datasets; streaming), and to the application of collections funds beyond initial acquisition to also include investments that support efficiencies (e.g., shelf-ready, metadata provision) and the entire stewardship lifecycle of resources (e.g., digitization, preservation, conservation). The Director is also a key figure in building internal horizontal structures that strengthen the broad community of staff in the Libraries responsible for collections, and leads the collaborative, cross-divisional committee charged with evaluating major collections expenditures and for establishing overarching collection strategies, policies, goals, and initiatives.

We encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences, identities, and abilities to apply for this exceptional opportunity to join an evolving Libraries and University community. Columbia University Libraries is a globally-recognized academic research library system, serving one of the world’s most important centers of research and learning in the most exciting and dynamic city in the world. Talented Libraries staff build, sustain, and make discoverable collections that transcend traditional boundaries of format and domain, keeping pace with a dynamic and rapidly evolving information environment and creating opportunities for users to encounter 4,000 years of human thought.

Our decisions are informed by new curricula developed to meet the needs of a more diverse student body, new and emerging areas of research from a broad spectrum of researchers, including graduate students and newly-hired faculty, as well as by perspectives from the diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, or underserved populations and communities. As a workplace, the Libraries provides a supportive, connected environment where every employee’s perspective is valued, and every employee is encouraged to grow. All staff members have an impact on Columbia’s mission to advance knowledge at the highest levels and make the results of research accessible to the world.

Columbia University Libraries and its Collections

Columbia University Libraries is one of the world’s foremost repositories of research collections. The Libraries builds and maintains general collections in a broad and evolving spectrum of areas that support research and teaching and has developed renowned distinctive collections in its Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, and in Global Studies.

Please visit the Libraries’ About our Collections** website for a detailed description of the scope of our collections. Please also refer to the History of the Collections*** and our new Collection Development Policies & Strategies,**** implemented in May 2019.

* Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP): https://recap.princeton.edu/

** Columbia University Libraries, About our Collections: https://library.columbia.edu/collections.html

*** Columbia University Libraries, History of the Collections: https://library.columbia.edu/about/policies/collection-development-policies-strategies/general/history_of_collections.html

**** Columbia University Libraries, Collection Development Policies & Strategies: https://library.columbia.edu/about/policies/collection-development-policies-strategies.html

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