DIRECTOR OF THE LIBRARY
Amherst College invites applications and nominations for the position of director of the library. Reporting to the provost and dean of the faculty, the director of the library is a critical partner in the intellectual engagement that characterizes relationships between students and faculty at Amherst. The college is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff.
The mission of the Frost Library is to “foster inquiry, discovery, and creation by teaching the craft of research, organizing information and leading others to it, producing freely available scholarship, curating collections for posterity, and building community.” All of the library’s work revolves around a 2015 aspirational statement derived from this mission. The library boasts more librarians per student and per faculty member than nearly any other library in the country.
In collaboration with a team of forty-six talented and dedicated staff members, the new director of the library will have a tremendous opportunity to build upon the library’s exceptionally service- oriented culture. In addition, the director will be asked to lead library staff in a process of developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic vision for the future of the college’s Robert Frost Library—encompassing both the library’s role on campus and its relationship to the evolving information landscape. Amherst participates with Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Five College Consortium. As a member of the Five College Librarians Council, the director of the library will support the consortium’s collaborative efforts surrounding joint resources and the implementation of a shared open-source library services platform.
Founded in 1821 and located in Amherst, Massachusetts, Amherst College prepares its students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum, and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world.
Amherst has approximately 1,850 students, and the college’s student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1. The college’s students come from fifty-six countries, and 45 percent of Amherst’s U.S. students self- identify as students of color. The Amherst faculty comprises more than two hundred full-time scholar-teachers. Amherst offers forty majors in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.
The six-story, 120,000-square foot Robert Frost Library, which is located at the core of the campus, houses collections in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and fields within the sciences. Collections include more than 1.3 million print volumes and millions more electronic items, including journals, databases, films, music, and troves of manuscripts and archival materials. The campus also boasts the Vincent Morgan Music Library, the Keefe Science Library, and the Center for Russian Culture, located in nearby buildings. Additionally, the Frost Library enjoys a special relationship with the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC., which was bequeathed to the college by Amherst alumnus Henry Clay Folger in 1932.
In support of Amherst’s goal of taking new approaches to liberal arts education, the library and information technology colleagues are reimagining the production and dissemination of liberal arts scholarship in ways that make that scholarship universally available. The library created a five- person Department of Digital Programs, which is dedicated to identifying unique material in Amherst’s collections, digitizing it, and disseminating it free of charge to all. The library also established the Amherst Press, the first academic press in the U.S. devoted to publishing open- access, scholarly monographs. The press offers a new model for publishing in the liberal arts, by producing books subject to the same, rigorous, peer-review employed by top university presses, but then making those publications freely available in electronic form. For more information on about the Frost Library, please visit https://www.amherst.edu/library/about.
The ideal candidate for the director of the library will hold an ALA-accredited degree or an international equivalent, or an advanced degree in a relevant field, as well as demonstrate effective leadership and management experience within an academic library setting. Because Amherst is committed to ensuring an inclusive community in which faculty, staff, and students from a diverse range of backgrounds can thrive, candidates from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply, as are those who share Amherst’s dedication to inclusivity and enact it in their personal and professional lives.
Please send nominations, applications, and queries in confidence and electronically to:
Matthew Bunting, Managing Associate
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LP
Amherst College does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity), age, disability, genetic information, military service, or any other characteristic or class protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. Amherst College complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.