Head of Research Services – Pennsylvania State University Libraries – University Park, PA

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seek applications and nominations for the position of Head of Research Services for the Special Collections Library. The person appointed to this tenure-track faculty position will manage and coordinate all aspects of reference services provided to onsite and remote researchers.

The Head of Research Services reports to the Head of the Special Collections Library and is responsible for overseeing the Reading Room, maintaining appropriate security procedures in the handling of collections in the Reading Room, developing and maintaining public service policies and procedures, planning and coordinating the public face of user services to the academic community, and directly supervising the research services staff, who have responsibility for operations and services related to the collections and their use by scholars, students, and the general public.


  • Directly supervises research services staff; may supervise interns or student assistants.
  • Defines cohesive strategies for managing remote and in-person reference activities, including (but not limited to) training, policies, and procedures for the Reading Room, fulfilling duplication requests, as well as collections retrieval and reshelving.
  • Oversees the Special Collections Library’s use of Aeon (researcher and collections management system).
  • Coordinates and provides reference service to faculty, students, and other researchers on a rotating basis, including occasional weekend duty.
  • Works in collaboration with the Instruction and Outreach Archivist, Curators, and the University Archivist to coordinate instruction and outreach activities.
  • Provides vision and oversight of the Special Collections Library website. Working with the Instruction and Outreach Archivist, provides leadership and oversight for use of social media, such as the Special Collections blog, to promote Special Collections services and collections to the research community.
  • Manages, in consultation with curators, the rights and permissions for publication and reuse of items in collections.
  • Develops institutional strategy for tracking and reporting archival use and impact metrics, and coordinates assessment efforts.
  • Works with the Archivist for Collection Management to align collection usage trends with processing strategies and develop effective archival discovery mechanisms.
  • With the Digital Records Archivist and others, develops strategies for providing access to the growing collection of born-digital archival content.
  • Works closely with other public service heads on general policies and overall direction for research services in the University Libraries.
  • Completes other projects as assigned/directed.
  • Engages in research, scholarly publication, and professional service activities. Participates in local, regional, or national professional organizations; enriches professional expertise by attending conferences and continuing education opportunities.
  • Represents the Special Collections Library on relevant library committees, task forces, etc.


  • MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited program, or a Masters degree in Information Science, Archival Science, or a related field.
  • Experience with special collections research services, ideally gained in an academic library setting.
  • Experience training and supervising staff, interns, and student assistants.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Experience with cataloging systems and archival discovery tools.
  • Ability to work effectively, both independently and collaboratively, in a collegial environment.
  • Potential to achieve the requirement for tenure and promotion in the areas of librarianship, research, and service.
  • Please visit http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/policies/ulhrg07.html to learn more about the University Libraries Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.


  • Subject knowledge in one or more of the Special Collections Library’s primary collecting areas, such as modern American literature and history, labor history, and/or university history.
  • Experience working with modern institutional records.
  • Experience with born-digital materials.
  • Experience using Aeon.

Penn State, a land-grant institution is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago. Based on current Association for Research Libraries investment rankings, The Pennsylvania State University Libraries are ranked among the top ten research libraries in North America. A student survey completed in 2014 found overall student satisfaction with the University Libraries to be at the top of its category. The University Libraries hold membership in ARL, CRL, CLIR, and DLF. Collections exceed 5.8 million volumes and include more than 102,000 current serial subscriptions. The University Libraries are located at University Park and 22 other locations throughout Pennsylvania, and they serve approximately 6,000 faculty and 44,000 students at University Park, and more than 92,000 students system-wide.

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library at University Park holds more than 200,000 printed volumes, over 25 million archival records and manuscripts, and another million photographs, maps, prints, and audio-visual items. More information about all special collections in the University Libraries is available online at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/speccolls.html.

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 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, Philadelphia, and Detroit. For more information, please visit http://www.libraries.psu.edu and http://www.cibcc.org.

Rank and salary are dependent upon qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance and health care coverage, state or TIAA/CREF 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.

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted online at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/jobs/facjobs/hdrs.html. 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). Please reference Box HDRS-LIBJ in your letter of application. Review of applications will begin March 27, 2015 and continue until position is filled. Questions may be addressed to Lindsey Harter, Faculty Search Coordinator, at lap225@psu.edu.

Employment requires successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.

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 www.police.psu.edu/clery/, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.