Director, Center for Global Collections

Director, Center for Global Collections

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

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The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

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Posted Job Title
Director, Center for Global Collections

Job Profile Title
Director C

Job Description Summary
The University of Pennsylvania Libraries seeks a forward-thinking and collaborative leader to serve as the inaugural Director of the Center for Global Collections. This position is an excellent opportunity for a thoughtful and pragmatic leader with an imaginative vision for global studies collections. Penn seeks an individual who can provide organizational leadership while collaboratively designing new and innovative services that demonstrate the value of Penn's distinctive collections to the intellectual work of a global community of scholars, teachers, students, researchers, and the broader public. The nascent 18,000 square-foot Center for Global Collections, boasting five seminar rooms, staff of 8 Librarians and $2 million collections budget, is located within the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library at the heart of Penn's West Philadelphia campus.

Reporting to the Assistant University Librarian for Collections Strategy within the division of Collections & Scholarly Communications, the Director provides strategic vision, leadership and oversight for the Center in building world-class distinctive global collections, engaging programming, and moving the Center toward an ever-higher standard of excellence, innovation, and access. The Center for Global Collections supports the full diversity of research and pedagogy in area studies across disciplines and time periods, paralleling the Libraries' breadth in support of cross-disciplinary, trans-regional, and innovative scholarship.

The Director for the Center for Global Collections is responsible for the programmatic aspects of liaison and outreach; community engagement; research support; collection development oversight and coordination; budget administration; and direct supervision and mentorship of 8 librarians supporting Africana Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese and Korean Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and South Asian Studies. The successful candidate must be able to inspire and lead staff and possess a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism; a user-driven orientation; and a collegial outlook and spirit. The Director oversees development and maintenance of the Center's collections including budgeting and monitoring of allocations and transfers. The incumbent represents the department on the Collection Development Council and works with four other coordinators on Library-wide collections-related strategic planning and policy coordinating the work of the Center with the Libraries as whole.

The Director provides vision and leadership developing research support and instruction outreach in support of scholarship in area studies and works in partnership with colleagues throughout the Penn Libraries to develop and maintain research and instructional services and programs to benefit the entire Penn community. The incumbent provides both practical and intellectual support to scholars seeking access to the Center's resources and serves as an enthusiastic resource for faculty interested in the pedagogical possibilities of the Center's materials. The Director builds strong partnerships with schools and centers, deans, faculty, students and staff in support of the University's teaching and research mission and evaluates outreach efforts.

The Director envisions and leads the Center's outreach, engagement, and donor stewardship activities developing programming and events that highlight and promote the Center's collections. The incumbent maintains the departmental web presence and works with Office of Communication to tell the Center's story in a compelling way both online and in print. In collaboration with the Libraries Office of Advancement, the Director nurtures effective stewardship relationships with donors and participates in fundraising activities.

The successful candidate will demonstrate commitment to the Penn Libraries value of collaboration and build partnerships at the local, regional, national and international level. The Director works closely with the Kislak Center for Special Collections, the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Global Studies Technical Services and the Libraries Offices of Advancement and Communications. The Director develops and maintains strong relationships and collaborative programs with partner institutions and demonstrates leadership at Penn and when representing the Penn Libraries in professional organizations and to other external constituencies.

Job Description

  • Strategic Vison: Provide strategic vision, leadership and oversight for the Center for Global Collections, building world-class distinctive global collections. Set priorities and manage multiple projects, meeting deadlines and budget targets.
  • Supervision: Oversee Center for Global Studies librarians including direct supervision, hiring, training, setting priorities, evaluating, and mentoring of 8 librarians for Africana Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Romance Languages, Russian/East European Studies, and South Asia Studies as well as coordination of the general collection development and management responsibilities of the Judaica Librarian.
  • Outreach and Engagement: Develop engaging programs and events to promote the Center's collections. Maintain the departmental web presence telling the Center's story in a compelling way. Work with Office of Communications to share information both online and in print.
  • Collection Development: Oversee the collection development and management (including the budgeting and monitoring of materials allocations totaling $2M) of the Center's collections. Represent the Center for Global Collections as a member of the Collection Development Council advising the Assistant University Librarian for Collection Strategy about the scholarly resource needs of Penn constituents, preparing budget recommendations, and coordinating the work of the Center for Global Collections librarians in relation to the Penn Libraries as a whole.
  • Research and Pedagogical Support: Provide vision and leadership in research support and instructional outreach in support of scholarship in area studies at Penn. Provide practical and intellectual support to scholars seeking to access the Center's resources. Build strong partnerships with the schools and centers; deans; faculty; students; and staff in support of the University's teaching and research mission. Serve as an enthusiastic and expert resource for faculty who may be curious about the pedagogical possibilities of the Center's materials.
  • Donor Stewardship: In collaboration with the Libraries Office of Advancement, nurture effective stewardship relationships with donors and participate in fundraising activities.
  • Collaboration and Professional Activities: Develop and maintain collaborative programs with area and partner institutions. Participate in professional activities outside of Penn and monitor developments and best practices elsewhere to encourage innovation and ensure the excellence of the Libraries.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned


1. Master's degree from an ALA-accredited library school with a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience, or the equivalent in education and training.

2. Experience successfully supervising staff -- setting priorities and inspiring staff to share and achieve them; fostering teamwork; managing change; and supporting the professional development of staff.

3. Experience in collection development and management, budget management, and responsible fiscal practices.

4. Experience supporting research library service programs and a strong commitment to responsive, innovative research support and outreach services.

5. Demonstrated record of collaboration at intra- and interinstitutional levels.

6.Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing work environment as well as the ability to work independently and collegially with librarians and users. Ability to collaborate effectively in a decentralized matrix environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

1. Graduate degree in a field related to area studies in addition to a MLS.

2. Experience in donor relations, deeds of gift.

3. Knowledge of current and developing patterns of scholarship and publishing in relevant fields of study.

4. Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and direction in a research library.

5. Experience building partnerships to enhance learning and student success.

6. Demonstrated interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse users and colleagues.

7. Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in building, maintaining, and delivering library collections and services.

8. Excellent oral and written communications; customer-service and problem-solving skills; analytical ability; flexibility and a strong commitment to innovation, creativity and excellence.

9. Knowledge of and experience with academic technologies for research and teaching and with digital humanities.

10. Knowledge of issues related to non-roman language materials.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Budgeted Pay Range:

Up to $120K commensurate with education and experience

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Library

Pay Range
$72,837.00 - $116,539.66

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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