Head of Special Collections

University of Missouri-Kansas City

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Application Deadline

Open Until Filled


Not Specified


Kansas City, MO


Not Specified



Minimum Education

Master's Degree

Library Experience

Not Specified

Supervisory Experience

Not Specified

Type of Library


This job is more than 3 weeks old or the application deadline has passed.

Job Description

Dynamic urban academic research library seeks innovative and knowledgeable leader with strong public service orientation, experience with rare book, manuscript, and sound recording collections, and knowledge of digitization projects for the position of Head of Special Collections at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) University Libraries. Leads daily operations of the Special Collections Department, which includes the Kenneth J. La Budde Special Collections and internationally known Marr Sound Archives. In conjunction with the Assistant Director for Public Services and Special Collections, formulates the department’s strategic plan within the context of the University Libraries’ strategic plan. Sets priorities for the collections and their preservation, management and development of dedicated and knowledgeable staff, and management of digital initiatives. Works closely with faculty, students, scholars and researchers to develop new teaching, learning and research opportunities using the Special Collections as an integral part of the overall library resources and services. Successful candidate will have an opportunity to transition the department—staff and collections—to shared space that will be featured in a major renovation and expansion of the Miller Nichols Library. The Kansas City region’s rich array of cultural and academic organizations provides established partnerships and offers many new opportunities to partner with professional colleagues on events, exhibits, programming, grants and digitization projects. The successful candidate will actively participate with UMKC library leadership in the stewardship of established and potential donors. The Special Collections at UMKC houses the Snyder Collection of Americana, the Suzanne Statland Collection on Holocaust Studies, the Richard W. Bolling Papers, the Truman Library's Student Research File, and a number of other smaller collections. The department also offers marvelous research opportunities in music history, especially American music history and the history of American jazz. The Marr Sound Archives, a unit of the Special Collections Department, holds over 300,000 sound recordings in formats that include LPs, 78s, 45s, cylinders, transcription discs, instantaneous cut discs and open-reel tapes. The focus of the collection is the American experience as reflected in recorded sound. The UMKC University Libraries were recently awarded a $502,000 Andrew W. Mellon grant to catalog the J. David Goldin Collection of transcription discs. More information about the Special Collections can be found at http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col/index.html.

Additional Info & Requirements

Salary: Rank and salary commensurate with education and experience. Minimum starting salary: Librarian II: $45,000+; Librarian III: $50,000+. Excellent benefits and support for professional growth opportunities. (For information about Librarian ranking, see: http://www.umkc.edu/lib-council/handbook/promotion-comm/2-3-3-1PromCommAcadStatusLibns.htm Required Qualifications: Must have an ALA-accredited MLS, an additional graduate degree preferably in history or another discipline in the humanities or arts, and a minimum 3 years progressively responsible rare book and manuscript experience and knowledge of digital formats and standards. Must have evidence of successful supervisory experience, the ability to manage a department of eight staff, and transition the staff and collections to a new merged space and realigned service operation. Must have excellent analytic, problem solving skills; exceptional interpersonal skills; strong skills in communication, both orally and in writing; and a strong commitment to public service. Must show evidence of professional initiative, mature judgment; understanding of the scholarly research environment. Must be able to thrive in a team setting, handle multiple responsibilities in a dynamic environment, and operate effectively in a diverse academic community. Preferred: Grant-writing experience and successful work with donors. Experience in the development of digital library content to support teaching and learning.

The Community

UMKC is a comprehensive research university exemplifying the values of education first, innovation, accountability, diversity, and collaboration. See: http://www.umkc.edu/aboutumkc/values.asp In a large area of green space and in Kansas City’s research/cultural corridor, the campus is located in the heart of one of America’s most affordable and attractive cities. UMKC holds a firm commitment to engage and lead the larger community in a variety of ways appropriate to its status as a forward-thinking cultural, intellectual and educational center point. The University of Missouri-Kansas City recognizes that a diverse faculty, staff and student body enriches the educational experiences of the entire campus and greater community. To this end, UMKC is committed to recruiting and retaining faculty, students and staff who will further enrich our campus diversity and making every attempt to support their academic, professional and personal success.

HR Info

Send letter of application, resume, names of three references to: Bonnie Postlethwaite, Chair of Special Collections Librarian Search Committee, University Libraries Administrative Office, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, 816-235-1531 or submit via e-mail to: umkcula@umkc.edu Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must state their current visa and residency status. All final candidates will be required to successfully pass a criminal background check prior to beginning employment. For best consideration, applications should be received by May 30, 2008. Application review continues until position is filled. UMKC is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Posted Apr 30, 2008