Vice Provost and Director of Libraries

The University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) seeks nominations for and expressions of interest in the position of Vice Provost and Director of Libraries (“Director”). Reporting to the Provost, the Director will be expected to build on and advance Penn’s reputation as a leader in defining the place and capabilities of a library in the 21st century. They will expand the University’s reach and access to print and digital collections and programming in support of research, teaching, and learning; foster internal and external partnerships and collaborations; collaborate with the communities of scholars on campus; recruit and nurture a diverse, professional staff; and garner and manage resources toward strategic goals.

The Penn Libraries serve the world-class faculty and students of Penn’s 12 schools. The mission of the Penn Libraries is to provide high-quality information resources—both print and digital—in a reliable, responsive, and timely manner. The Penn Libraries have expertise in the collection, curation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge contained in its holdings and through its consortial relationships. The Penn Libraries are a force for the democratization of access to information and hands-on scholarly experimentation, equally available to all at the University and, increasingly, to the world. Collections at the Penn Libraries comprise more than 8.3 million volumes, over 192,000 journals, some 3.5 million digitized images, and extraordinary, rare, and unique materials that document the intellectual and cultural experience of ancient and modern civilizations. Through collaborative relationships, the Penn Libraries supplement Penn’s great local collections with physical access to the Center for Research Libraries (approximately five million items), the combined holdings of the Ivy League (more than 70 million volumes), and exclusive electronic access to some two million public domain titles in the HathiTrust. Today, the Penn Libraries play an instrumental role in developing new technologies for information discovery and dissemination and are noted for groundbreaking work in digital library design.

The Vice Provost and Director of Libraries oversees 407 FTE staff members and is responsible for an annual budget of $70 million. The Library’s organization includes eight Associate/Assistant University Librarians, 164 professional librarians, and 174 staff members. As a senior academic officer, the Director reports to the Provost, is a member of the University’s leadership team, and works closely with campus administration, faculty, and colleagues throughout the University in planning and implementing the goals of the Libraries.

Candidates will possess: expertise in an academic discipline, and/or the field of library/information science but other backgrounds and experiences will be considered; a record of setting and achieving strategic goals; a deep understanding of the changing nature of scholarly communication; a vision for the new roles academic research libraries will play; demonstrated success in integrating technology to support and improve services, build collections, and enable innovative programming; a proven record of managing resources effectively; a commitment to developing best practices for the acquisition, preservation, and use of printed and digital materials; and an uncompromising commitment to academic excellence, to the highest ethical standards, and to the creation and support of a vibrant and broadly diverse community of faculty, students and staff across the University.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Although the search will remain open until the position is filled, review of candidate materials will begin immediately. Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described herein, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of the candidates.

Materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the university’s consultants, Park Square Executive Search, at  Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Jonathan Fortescue, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Anne Coyle, Partner, or Kyle Meingast, Principal, Park Square Executive Search, LLC, 125 Summer Street, 18th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Phone: (617) 401-2991.

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate 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 status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice).