Dean of Libraries

Hope College

Hope College is a four-year liberal arts college where academic excellence and vibrant Christian faith join together in a supportive and welcoming community. With over 3,200 students, Hope is listed in the first tier among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation and ranks #22 and #49 for Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects and Best Undergraduate Teaching, respectively (U.S. News & World Report, 2023). Niche ranks Hope #20 among Best Christian Colleges in America and #62 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America. Hope is dedicated to providing a rich liberal arts curriculum and experience to all students, including those in our professional programs. Hope is a 2022 recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and has been nationally recognized by the Council on Undergraduate Research (2017 AURA Recipient). Hope, about 30 miles from Grand Rapids, MI and just minutes away from Lake Michigan beaches, is recognized as one of 45 colleges that develop a lifelong love of learning—praised as raising “higher education’s moral and intellectual level” (Colleges that Change Lives).


Hope College has four academic divisions: 1) Arts, 2) Humanities, 3) Social Sciences, and 4) Natural & Applied Sciences. Divisions contain multiple academic departments. Additionally, we have a number of interdisciplinary academic programs, living-learning communities, academic outreach programs, and a leadership structure for the General Education program. The administrators, staff, and faculty in these divisions collaborate to provide an excellent, ecumenical Christian liberal arts education.


Dean of Libraries

Hope College seeks a consultative, innovative, and inspiring leader of the Van Wylen Library, including the Archives and Special Collections. Exceptional applicants will build upon strengths of the libraries such as managing metadata, teaching information literacy, providing research services, and collaborating on technical innovations across campus. Moreover, the Dean will provide oversight of all library and archives programs, services, and operations. This includes recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff and advocating for the library’s centrality to the college’s academic mission. The Van Wylen Library is a 2004 recipient of the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award (Association of College and Research Libraries) and earned the 2021 Group Innovation Award from the Commision for Career Services of the American College Personnel Association with Hope’s Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. The library strives to strengthen cultural and intellectual diversity of the faculty, staff, and academic pursuits in alignment with both the college’s mission and the Hope Forward program. The Dean of the Libraries reports directly to the Provost and is a member of the Deans’ Council and Administrative Cabinet. The anticipated start date for this position is July 1, 2024.


Job Description

    • Provide dynamic, forward-thinking leadership for library faculty and staff, including the Archives.
    • Create a shared vision that aligns with the college’s mission while advancing academic excellence via structures and functions in the libraries.
    • Champion the role of the library in the integration of Christian faith and liberal arts.
    • Build a strong team concept in the library by hiring and retaining a highly qualified and diverse staff, by providing clear performance goals and consistent performance evaluations, by mentoring staff, and by promoting professional development opportunities.
    • Promote continued excellence in teaching by library faculty.
    • Be a strong and articulate advocate for the library programs and staff and persuasively represent the library to the administration, faculty, students, external clientele, and the broader educational community.
    • Partner with Philanthropy & Engagement and the Office of Sponsored Research & Programs to pursue additional funds for the library through gifts and grants.
    • Collaborate with the Provost and Business Services to make strategic budget allocations.
    • Provide creative planning and supervision for the use and maintenance of library facilities and equipment.
    • Be an active liaison between the library and Computing & Information Technology in order to take advantage of emerging technologies.
    • Prepare an annual report that details the work of library services and provides specific goals for improving the library which are consistent with resources and the overall strategic plan for the college and library.



Application Instructions

Candidates are asked to submit electronically: (1) a cover letter detailing a) their understanding of and commitment to the Christian faith, b) plan to engage the full mission of Hope College, c) a description of how they will strive to uphold the Deans’ Council Guiding Commitments, and d) their demonstrated experience performing major functions of the Dean of Libraries; (2) a curriculum vitae; and (3) the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of five references, as well as a brief description of the professional relationship they have with each reference listed. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the candidate.


Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to all aspects of Hope’s mission as a liberal arts college and our Christian Aspirations. We daily strive for inclusive excellence. As part of the application, we ask all candidates to describe how they will engage and support the holistic mission of the College, particularly how their mature understanding of and commitment to the Christian faith, the liberal arts, and inclusive excellence shapes their approaches and identities as teachers, scholars, and leaders.


The application can be found at Review of applications will commence on October 16, 2023.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Ability to provide creative and dynamic leadership.
  • A vision for libraries to be an environment of intellectual curiosity and pursuit that calls the community they serve to utilize the space and services to meet the needs of scholarship and learning.
  • A Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program (or equivalent degree).
  • A clear vision for and understanding of academic librarianship and archival management in the 21st century; a thorough knowledge of and experience with emerging technologies and their impact on all aspects of the library; and the ability to translate that knowledge into an effective strategy for meeting the needs of library users both today and in the future.
  • A passion for and commitment to providing the best possible user-oriented library services.
  • Five years or more in a leadership role in an academic library environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide collaborative and collegial leadership that engages, empowers faculty and staff in a manner that promotes a healthy work environment.
  • Active participation in international, national, or regional library associations.
  • Ability to communicate to diverse constituents—administrators, staff, faculty, students, and the broader community—in a liberal arts setting.
  • The ability to manage the budget within the given resources and realign resources to meet new needs.
  • A demonstrated record of collaborative leadership, with a preference for library management experience.
  • Evidence of personal integrity, professional conduct, and a commitment to diversity and cultural awareness.
  • An understanding of and commitment to the undergraduate liberal arts college, the mission of Hope College, and the historic Christian faith.