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Human Capital Services

Head of Morse Department of Special Collections (K-State Libraries)

Apply now Department: 3670003040 Hale Library
Job no: 504455
Work type: Academic / Faculty - 12 month
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Categories: Library, Executive / Director / Management

About This Role:

If you see opportunity where others see obstacles, if you seek to influence change while others follow the status quo, if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime, career-defining opportunity: We have a role for you at K-State Libraries.

Following the May 22, 2018, fire in Hale Library, the university’s 550,000-square-foot main building, the administration, faculty and staff, who had been looking forward to the creation of a first-floor learning commons, will instead reimagine the institution from the ground up.

Special Collections holdings on the fifth floor of Hale Library experienced some smoke damage, but fortunately, all materials are dry. Plans for cleaning are underway. The new reality allows for potential expansion of special collections’ footprint in the building.

In spearheading these changes and developing the Hale Library of the future, the new head of special collections will need proven change leadership experience and demonstrated resilience. Fundraising will be a key component of this position; the successful candidate will work collaboratively with the dean and other administrators to grow the department’s potential.

The Head of the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections reports to the Associate Dean of the Research, Education, and Engagement Division, serves as a member of the Libraries' Strategic Leadership Council and provides direction and leadership to six faculty and four professional/support staff curating archival and unique collections.  This is an opportunity for individuals interested in providing leadership in a highly collaborative work environment.

The Department Head guides the ongoing development of physical and digital collections, services, and programs to the university and community.  The Head must have thorough knowledge of and commitment to digitization of holdings and digital scholarship initiatives and an ability to lead amidst organizational change.  This individual will have frequent contact with established donors and potential donors for acquisitions of unique materials and financial gifts to support the department's work.

This is a full-time tenure-track academic appointment carrying full faculty status and responsibilities including scholarship and service to meet both the Libraries' and the University's requirements for tenure and promotion.  To be successful in this position, the incumbent must demonstrate excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills to establish and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues in an environment where flexibility and collaboration are essential. 

Core Responsibilities

  • Provide strong leadership during a period of post-fire renovation, which will include re-integration of dispersed collections and staff and re-establishment of full departmental services
  • Participate in the Libraries' outreach to university, community, and wider audiences, including donor development, fundraising, and grant-writing
  • Provide direction, vision, and innovation in advancing progress towards and assessment of the department's and Libraries' strategic goals
  • Set policies and procedures for collection development for digital and physical special collections, creating a body of resources that support original scholarship, innovative learning, transformative teaching, and the University’s academic priorities
  • Promote awareness and integration of collections – especially primary sources – and staff expertise into university teaching, research and learning activities
  • Ensure strong collaboration and cooperation with other departments and units in the Libraries
  • Develop partnerships at the university, state, regional, and national level to address issues and challenges facing special collections, records management, and archives operations in the digital environment
  • Serve actively on library and university committees and teams, pursue involvement in professional organizations or associations, and develop professionally through research, publishing, presentations, or grant-writing

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and promotes inclusion in every sector of the institution. The university actively seeks individuals whose commitments and contributions will advance the University's dedication to the Principles of Community.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in library, information, or archival sciences from an American Library Association accredited program or relevant advanced degree with special collections experience
  • Demonstrated communication, collaboration, facilitation, and teamwork skills complemented by the ability to take initiative, demonstrate flexibility, and build consensus
  • Strong record of innovative leadership in organizing resources (human, technical, and financial) including a minimum of three years of successful personnel supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate vision for the value of special collections and archives to learning, research, teaching, and community engagement in an academic environment
  • Strongly user-oriented as demonstrated by public programming, user education, and other community outreach activities
  • Successful experience working with persons from diverse backgrounds
  • Demonstrated experience with management and preservation of textual archival and special collections and non-print formats, such as photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, and digital files
  • Evidence of success in the stewardship of donors
  • Demonstrated expertise in digitization of archival and unique collections for heightened virtual access
  • An established and evolving professional record of scholarly/creative accomplishments and professional service to meet K-State Libraries promotion and tenure criteria

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Record of successful grant writing and administration
  • Demonstrated experience in the development of educational programs, such as symposia, exhibitions, and scholarly conferences, that showcase special collections, and promoting curricular and research use of special collections in the academic community
  • Second graduate degree

About the Department:

The Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections acquires and preserves a rich array of historic materials.  More than one million items – from manuscripts, rare books, photographs, and more – serve the diverse research needs of academics, casual researchers, and individuals seeking information on the history of the K-State community.  University Archives preserves the institutional records and history of Kansas State University and is a significant part of this department.

The Morse Department of Special Collections holds a wide range of materials with artistic, literary, and historical value.  The Cookery Collection is one of the top research collections of its kind in the United States.  It contains over 38,000 cookbooks and related volumes that date from 1487 to the present.  The Consumer Movement Archives preserves and documents the history of the consumer movement in the United States by providing a repository for the papers and records of consumer leaders, activists and organizations, and by promoting the scholarly use of the material.  Our military history collections date from the Civil War.  We also hold the personal papers of important Fort Riley and K-State alums, including Lieutenant General Richard Seitz, and nationally known journalist voices such as Marlin Fitzwater and David Dary. 

How to Apply:

Combine the following documents into a single PDF file and upload with your application.

  1. A letter of application. To greatly strengthen your application, please apply your communication skills to clearly address the position responsibilities and qualifications listed above, and demonstrate how your work style, vision, and other distinctive qualities would enhance our organization.
  2. A curriculum vitae
  1. Names and contact information for three references

Screening of Applications Begins:

Screening begins immediately.

Salary Range/ Pay Rate:

The Libraries aim to attract exceptional talent, and we offer competitive salary in recognition of responsibilities and experience.  This appointment carries a percentage increase for the assignment of administrative responsibilities.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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Applications close:

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