Associate Director for Special Collections and Area Studies, Ohio State

Website Ohio State University Libraries

The Ohio State University Libraries aspires to be the leading library advancing the educational, research, and engagement missions of a national flagship public university. We seek a dynamic, growth-oriented, and values-driven leader to provide strategic direction and vision for our Special Collections and Area Studies operations, services, and resources in support of this ambitious vision. Reporting to the Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries, the Associate Director will lead organizational efforts to enhance knowledge creation, enable student success, and broaden community engagement through the active use of unique and distinctive collections at Ohio State and beyond. A member of the Libraries’ senior administrative group, the Associate Director joins a high-functioning team that practices and models shared leadership, process-oriented communications, and participatory decision making.

The Special Collections and Area Studies division comprises the University Archives; the Byrd Polar Archives; the Ohio Congressional Archives; the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, which includes the renowned William Charvat Collection of American Fiction; the Hilandar Research Library, which houses the largest collection of medieval Slavic manuscripts on microform in the world; the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, the world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics; the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute collection of performing arts research materials; and the Libraries’ distinctive collections supporting Chinese and Korean, East European and Slavic, Japanese, Jewish, Latin American, and Middle Eastern studies.


Leads the Special Collections and Area Studies division, comprised of approximately 17 library faculty and 23 staff who acquire and manage collections and provide research, instructional, and outreach services for the Ohio State scholarly community and researchers worldwide.

Oversees a variety of educational public programs, such as symposia, lectures, and exhibitions that showcase and broaden the curricular and scholarly use of Ohio State’s unique and distinctive collections.

Advances the digitization, discovery, and use of Ohio State’s unique and distinctive collections in partnership with the Associate Director of Information Technology and Associate Director of Content and Access.

Promotes the ongoing development of a learning-centered organization and its people through the active modeling of its values (discovery, connection, equity, integrity, and stewardship) and alignment with its strategic intent.

Shares leadership on the executive and management teams, which provide strategic direction for planning, decision making, communications, and organizational development.

Engages in growing philanthropic support to enhance collections, services, and outreach in partnership with curators, archivists, and the Libraries’ advancement team.

Required Qualifications

Master’s degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA-accredited program or an advanced degree in archival administration or museum studies.

Minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in a large academic or research library or comparable experience elsewhere.

Demonstrated success in planning, oversight, and administration in academic/research libraries, including effective leadership, coaching, and budgetary skills.

Knowledge and understanding of significant trends and issues in academic/research libraries, specifically in special collections and area studies, including the use of technology for preservation, discovery, access, and delivery.

Ability to inspire, build trust, lead organizational change, empower professional growth, and engage library faculty and staff in delivering user-centered services.

Strong commitment to actuating the Libraries’ equity, diversity, and inclusion values.

Excellent interpersonal, oral, written, and collaboration skills for communicating complex issues and perspectives to a diverse range of constituencies.

Strong analytical and decision-making skills.

Record of research, publication, and scholarly achievement sufficient to warrant appointment with tenure at the Associate Professor level.

Desired Qualifications

National or international reputation in archives, area studies, or special collections librarianship.

Significant record of participation in relevant collaborative initiatives and professional associations.

Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support.

Discover Ohio State

For 149 years, The Ohio State University’s campus in Columbus has been the stage for academic achievement and a laboratory for innovation. The university’s main campus is one of America’s largest and most comprehensive. As Ohio’s best and one of the nation’s top-20 public universities, Ohio State also includes a top-rated academic medical center and a premier cancer hospital and research center. As a land-grant university, Ohio State has a physical presence throughout the state, with campuses and research centers located around Ohio.

About The Ohio State University Libraries

The Libraries promotes innovative research and creative expression, advances effective teaching, curates and preserves information essential for scholarship and learning at Ohio State, and shares knowledge and culture with the people of Ohio, the nation, and the world. Libraries faculty and staff live these values in all that we do: Discovery, Connection, Equity, Integrity, and Stewardship.  Learn about our strategic directions here

The Libraries’ greatest resource is our faculty and staff. Their expertise produces value beyond the collections and their commitment to continual improvement and innovation is one of the most significant ways the Libraries meets the diverse and evolving information needs of university students, faculty, staff, alongside scholars throughout Ohio and the world.

As a global leader, the Libraries is actively engaged in local, statewide, national, and international initiatives to help shape the future of academic research libraries. These activities and the innovations that result enhance our ability to acquire, manage, and preserve emerging information resources, support knowledge creation, and enable its effective transmission to future learners. Information about the Libraries is available at

The Libraries strives to provide welcoming, supportive environments for all to pursue and share knowledge. The Libraries is guided by our strategic priorities that facilitate, celebrate and honor diversity, inclusion, access and social justice. All positions are expected to contribute to building and advancing this environment, and we encourage candidates to apply who share these values.


The position is full-time, regular, tenure-track faculty appointment and reports to the Vice Provost and Director of University Libraries. Salary and faculty rank are dependent on qualifications and experience


The university offers competitive benefits in the form of 22 days’ vacation, 15 days’ sick leave, 10 holidays, hospitalization, major medical, surgical-medical, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance at 2.5 times one’s annual salary. State and alternative retirement choices are also available. For a summary of benefits, see:


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received by April 21, 2019. Please send cover letter, CV, references, and salary requirements to Randall McKenzie at Please include “Associate Director for Special Collections and Area Studies” in the subject field.

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.  The Ohio State University is a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

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