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Librarian/Borderlands Curator (Assistant or Associate)

Librarian/Borderlands Curator (Assistant or Associate)

University of Arizona Job Location: Arizona Apply By: August 12, 20221 Date Created: 07-08-2021

Position Summary

The University of Arizona Libraries seeks a driven, collaborative, service-oriented professional as a Borderlands Curator / Librarian. This position meets the information needs of students, faculty, and other customers of Special Collections by highlighting collections emphasizing the U.S. - Mexico Borderlands; providing reference service and primary source literacy instruction, curating exhibits, and acquiring archival collections, in particular for the areas relevant to the U.S - Mexico Borderlands. The Borderlands Curator / Librarian participates in developing policies for collection development and collection management in Special Collections, assists in mentoring and supervising Special Collections graduate students, oversees and administers scholar research awards including the Ken Wolfgang and Kendra Gaines Library Endowment and the Kathy Cowan/Paul Shephard Library Endowment, and plays a fundamental role in the execution of the new Mellon-funded grant project on integrating library services into data-intensive humanities research on the borderlands. This is a continuing-eligible or continuing track, academic professional position. Incumbents are members of the general faculty and are entitled to all accompanying rights and privileges granted by the Arizona Board of Regents and the University of Arizona. Retention and promotion are earned through achievement of a record of excellence in position effectiveness, scholarship, and service.

Characteristic Duties

  • Establish and maintain ongoing communications with students, faculty, researchers and donors. Assess and evaluate information and service needs of users/patrons.
  • Develop and maintain ongoing communications with Special Collections' donors, especially those supporting collections emphasizing the history and culture of the Borderlands.
  • Oversee and administer scholar research awards including the Ken Wolfgang and Kendra Gaines Library Endowment and the Kathy Cowan/Paul Shephard Library Endowment.
  • Oversee and develop all policies for collection development and collection management in Special Collections providing guidance and leadership in collection building of archival collections related to the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands.
  • Apply relevant and effective pedagogical methodologies and best practices related to the institution’s full range of audiences and communities; create appropriate interpretive content; and teach research methodology, primary source literacy, and interpretative skills.
  • Identify, evaluate and select information resources including archival material for Borderlands collections.
  • Work with development office and potential donors to determine archival donation options.
  • Curate digital and physical exhibitions relevant to the Borderlands collections and plan associated events such as lectures and receptions as appropriate.
  • Curate events relevant to the Borderlands collections as well as events related to courses taught in collaboration with units/faculty on campus.
  • Develop and provide library education, course-related instruction and other specialized educational sessions to primary customers and other groups. Develop and prepare appropriate instructional and educational aids. Organize and provide student research showcases as appropriate with courses taught in collaboration with units/faculty on campus.
  • Initiate and contribute to departmental digital initiatives related to access of borderlands collections.
  • Work towards implementation of Guidelines for the Stewardship of Archival Materials by or about Indigenous Peoples at the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections.
  • Contribute to Reading Room desk coverage. Answer reference inquires on-site and via telephone, mail, and e-mail. Develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of Borderlands collections and contribute to other areas as well.
  • Participate in library-wide activities such as strategic project teams, cross-functional teams, and other teams as needed to complete the goals of the library.
  • The UA Libraries support the UA’s diversity and inclusiveness strategic initiatives designed to create an inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, and students.  The candidate is expected to support diversity and inclusiveness efforts in the University Libraries Special Collections department.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Understands the basic history, theory, and professional practices relating to materials generally found in special collections research libraries, including but not limited to rare books, maps, prints, photographs, ephemera, archives, manuscripts, original artwork, audiovisual media, and digital materials.
  • Understands the significance of original artifacts and the nature and value of primary materials for learning, teaching, research, and outreach.
  • Ability to develop and maintain knowledge of current and evolving standards, guidelines, rules, best practices, tools, and trends regarding acquisition, appraisal, processing and describing special collections materials in all formats.
  • Knowledge of humanities, history, and culture as these contribute to the understanding, development, and promotion of special collections.
  • Familiarity with and commitment to the standards, ethics, guidelines, trends, and best practices in use by special collections professionals and promulgated by core professional groups such as ACRL's Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, the Society of American Archivists, and the American Association of Museums.
  • Commitment to the profession and professional organizations, including providing leadership within the broader professional community.
  • Commitment to life-long learning as applied to professional development in a special collections environment.
  • Understands the basic theory and practice of collection development as these concepts apply to building and shaping collections, to identifying sources for particular materials, to donor relations, and to managing funds.
  • Ability to balance and complete multiple concurrent projects, set priorities and adapt to a rapidly changing environment
  • Strong commitment to customer service, community engagement, and teamwork
  • Strong commitment to the standards, ethics, security guidelines, and best practices from professional groups such as ACRL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section and the Society of American Archivists.
  • Demonstrated ability in developing and maintaining foreign language and cultural competencies appropriate to the repository's collections and the needs of researchers and community.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of digital humanities and digital scholarship enterprise; experience with developing, implementing or managing digitization projects and experience with related technical platforms.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of U.S. - Mexico border disciplinary studies.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with DACS, EAD, and Dublin Core.
  • Demonstrated understanding of appropriate preservation and conservation practices for archival, rare books, and other special collections materials.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with new and emerging standards and technologies relevant to the bibliographic control of digital collections, including metadata standards.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and inclusive environment, one that values and leverages the benefits of diverse perspectives.
  • Positive attitude and strong demonstration of Our Values: Collaboration, Continuous Learning, Diversity, Innovation, and Integrity.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited institution.
  • High level of fluency in Spanish and English (verbal and written communication)
  • Formal coursework or training in rare books, archives, and special collections librarianship.
  • Evidence of the ability to achieve continuing status (equivalent to tenure), including contributing to the information/library profession and to fulfilling the responsibilities of a library faculty member through service and scholarship.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with collection development best practices as these concepts apply to building and shaping collections, to identifying sources for particular materials, and to donor relations.
  • Demonstrated teaching experience or familiarity with the pedagogical skills required to provide effective Special Collections instruction.
  • Experience providing effective reference assistance to patrons of a research–oriented academic library.

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