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Pennsylvania State University
  • Position Number: 1237868
  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Position Type: Libraries

Head Librarian, Social Sciences and Education

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries invites applications and nominations from entrepreneurial, user-oriented professionals for the position of Head, Social Sciences and Education. This 12-month tenure-track faculty position reports to the Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communications and is responsible for the oversight of services, collections, operating budget, and performance management of faculty and staff in this discipline-based unit. Social Sciences and Education directly supports a variety of departments and programs, including African studies, African American studies, anthropology, education, communication sciences and disorders, criminology, human development and family studies, political science, psychology, sociology, and women's, gender and sexuality studies. In addition, the unit assists with the research needs for other programs such as demography, ecology, geography, health policy and administration, human development and family studies, labor and employment relations, and law. The Head, Social Sciences and Education is expected to be actively engaged in strategic outreach to library partners and stakeholders and also participate in activities related to library governance, library-wide efforts to develop systems, services and collections, as well as devote time to research, scholarly activity, and services to the University, the society, and the profession. The University Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, experience and people, and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. We encourage candidates to apply who thrive in a welcoming multicultural environment. More information on Penn State's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, can be found by visiting For additional information about the Libraries' diversity efforts, please visit Responsibilities and Duties: The Head, Social Sciences and Education will lead a team of seven highly engaged librarians and five to six staff, and will serve as the liaison to one or more of the supported academic departments. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book is housed within Social Sciences and Education, and the director of the Center will report to this position. The Head will represent the concerns of and advocate for the department to University Libraries administration. Additionally, the Head will participate in developing the overall Libraries' strategy for services by developing departmental goals, managing human, space, fiscal, and computer resources to achieve those strategic goals; foster a working environment in which all staff are encouraged to develop their skills to effectively contribute to library services; participate in reference and instruction programs; further the Libraries' efforts in responding to changes in scholarly communication and research data management; and collaborate with other divisional librarians and department heads in prioritizing services and initiatives, planning for their implementation, and setting system-wide policies and practices. Qualifications: Requires a Master of Library Science degree from an ALA-accredited institution (or equivalent); relevant post-degree experience in public services at an academic or special library; broad familiarity with discipline-specific literature including major print and electronic sources and databases; demonstrated successful leadership and strategic planning ability; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; the ability to work effectively in a rapidly changing environment; a strong commitment to diversity, equity, respect and inclusion; and the demonstrated potential to achieve the requirements for tenure and promotion in the areas of librarianship, research, and service. Please visit to learn more about the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. Preferred qualifications include: an advanced degree or graduate level study in one or more of the relevant academic disciplines supported by this position; experience in managing a branch or subject library or library departmental operation; experience supervising professional librarians and library support staff; experience with developing print and digital collections and managing an acquisitions budget; demonstrated success reaching out to and working collaboratively with all levels of users and staff, across all functions of the library system, and familiarity with promotion and tenure practices in a research library. Environment: The Penn State University Libraries are a strategic asset to Penn State, advancing intellectual discovery, information literacy, and lifelong learning, all in support of the University's strategic goals in teaching, research, service, and outreach. The University Libraries is ranked among the top 10 research libraries in North America, according to the Association for Research Libraries investment rankings, and provides services at University Park and 22 other campus locations throughout Pennsylvania as well as online. We serve more than 6,400 faculty and 46,800 students at University Park, and approximately 97,500 students university-wide. More than 120 faculty librarians in the University Libraries benefit from extensive technological resources and research support services. Penn State, a land-grant institution, is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the Association of American Universities. The University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the international Center for Research Libraries. The University Park campus is set in the State College metropolitan area, a university town located in central Pennsylvania. State College offers a vibrant community with outstanding recreational facilities, a low crime rate, and excellent public schools. The campus is within a half-day`s drive to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, or Pittsburgh. The University Park Airport is served by three major carriers with flights to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. For more information, please visit and Compensation and Benefits: Rank and salary are dependent upon qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance and health care coverage, state or TIAA retirement options, and educational privileges. In addition, faculty in the University Libraries are afforded funds for professional development travel annually. Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events and those trips are reimbursed at full cost within limits established by the University. Application instructions: Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted online. To be considered for the position, interested candidates should upload a letter of application, resume or C.V., and the names and contact information of three professional references (including email addresses). Review of applications will begin July 16, 2018 and continue until position is filled. Questions may be addressed to Lindsey Harter, Faculty Search Coordinator, at Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

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CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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