Associate University Librarian for Collections Strategies— Northwestern University

Post date: Oct 13, 2021

REPORTS TO: Dean of Libraries/University Librarian

POSITION TYPE: Full-time Librarian Faculty

LOCATION: Evanston Campus

Join our team and help shape a new strategy for research information services! Lead and implement change and innovation as we benefit from lessons learned during the past couple of years. Our shared approach to strategic leadership is an opportunity for creative and multi-functional library professionals. Northwestern University Libraries invites applications for a full-time, faculty appointment as Associate University Librarian for Collection Strategies.

SUMMARY: The Associate University Librarian for Collections Strategies (AUL CS) advances the libraries’ mission and contributes to the achievement of library and university strategic goals within a highly collaborative, user-focused research and learning environment. Provides organization-wide leadership as part of the senior leadership team, advising and assisting the dean and other leaders in all aspects of library management and planning. Communicates a vision for the future that integrates local collections with consortial and collaborative networks; implements multiple strategies to fulfill faculty, student, and the NU campus community information resource needs. Leads and supervises staff engaged in a range of collections work, including acquisitions and materials budget management; repository development and digitization; preservation and collections care; print collection management; metadata, authority control, and catalog database maintenance operations. Represents the university and the libraries in groups and cooperative programs related to assigned responsibilities and in other situations as appropriate.


Organizational Leadership: The AUL CS advances the libraries’ mission and contributes to the achievement of library and university strategic goals within a highly collaborative, user-focused research and learning environment. Northwestern University is committed to building a culture of inclusivity and equity; the AULs contribute toward that culture, integrating principles of inclusion, diversity, and accessibility into all levels of leadership and decision-making.

The AUL CS serves on the executive committee, which is the libraries’ senior leadership group. Assists the dean and works with other members to carry out the mission of the organization, ensuring its effective services and operations and shaping its strategic success. Also serves on the leadership team, which is a forum that focuses on leadership development and the library’s commitment to learning organization principles. Represents the university and the libraries in groups and cooperative programs related to assigned responsibilities and in other situations as appropriate. Coordinates cross-unit initiatives and programs, especially, but not limited to, those related to collections.

Strategic Portfolio: Within the larger context of library-wide leadership and professional flexibility, the AUL CS articulates strategies related to library collections and content, leading librarians, and staff across all operational areas of the organization to achieve strategic collections objectives. Sets direction for libraries that includes concerted effort to build those collections identified as being important to international cultural heritage, and that balances emphasis on digital, print, and other formats. Identifies and evaluates emerging technologies and professional practices that can serve the NU campus in the context of fulfilling faculty, student, and the community information resource needs. Some issues of current priority include participation in large-scale collaborative acquisition models, open access initiatives, linked data, the deployment of repository development resources, and how print preservation and management drives collections and spaces. The libraries are committed to developing and maximizing cooperative relationships in the context of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) as well as other consortia.

Supervision and Management: In the libraries’ current organizational configuration, the AUL CS has supervisory and management responsibility for the staff and activities of the acquisitions, repository and digital curation, metadata services, preservation, and print collection management departments. This responsibility includes direct supervision of the unit heads; providing vision, support, and guidance to all librarians and staff; providing high level oversight for the collection development officer’s management of the libraries’ $13M+ materials budget; and participating in the cross-unit collection strategies committee. Promotes communication and cooperation among the units of the University Libraries; between the library organization and other campus groups, including libraries on the Chicago and Qatar campuses; and in the context of institutional collaborations, such as the BTAA, the Center for Research Libraries, HathiTrust, the Consortium of Academic Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI), the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), and the Samvera open-source software development community.


  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information science or an advanced degree in another relevant field combined with significant experience working in a research library.

  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible experience leading operations or projects in an academic library or other not-for-profit organization with a higher education or cultural heritage-related mission.

  • Significant knowledge and understanding of the place of academic library collections in the higher education and research landscape; record of success in shaping collection development policy and practice according to user needs.

  • Knowledge of, and experience working in, at least one of these areas: acquisitions, metadata, preservation, repository development. Readiness to gain knowledge and understanding in other areas sufficient to supervise staff effectively and to plan, lead, and assess progress.

  • Demonstrated expertise in supervising, developing, and coaching professional, technical, and managerial staff, record of support for staff development and continuing education.

  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, diversity, equity, and access.

  • Record of scholarship, professional involvement, and service expected experience with grant proposals and projects helpful.

  • Evidence of ability to develop and maintain successful collaborative relationships with colleagues required; experience with successful collaborations involving multiple organizations helpful.

  • Demonstrated success in change management, acting as a catalyst and working as a collaborative partner.

  • Excellent communication skills: ability to listen actively, speak and write clearly, and effectively present information and ideas to groups.

  • Enthusiasm for learning organization principles and readiness to embrace Northwestern University Libraries Organizational Vision and Values.

Library Environment:

Northwestern University is a highly selective private university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois and in Doha, Qatar. One of the leading private research libraries in the United States, Northwestern University Library serves the educational and information needs of the NU community as well as scholars around the world. Its collection contains more than 7 million volumes, a full array of digital resources, and collections of distinction in Africana, transportation, and 20th-century and contemporary music. Northwestern is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). See more information about University Libraries at:

First consideration for applications received by November 12, 2021

All librarians at Northwestern are benefits-eligible, non-tenure-track faculty and represented in the Faculty Senate. Please apply for this position on the NUHR Recruitment Website ( In accordance with Northwestern University policy, successful applicant will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

Equal Opportunity:

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.