The John Carter Brown Library (JCB), an independently administered library and research center, founded in 1846 and located at Brown University since 1901, seeks a Director and Librarian. The Libraryâ™s unique research collection serves a global community of scholars. The Library offers fellowships; sponsors lectures and conferences; regularly mounts exhibitions for the public; and publishes catalogues, bibliographies, and other works that interpret its holdings.Â
The Director will oversee and build upon its world-renowned collection of primary sources for the study of the Americas from ca. 1492 to ca. 1825. The Libraryâ™s collection consists of some 50,000 rare books, at least 20 percent of which were printed before 1700, supported by around 16,000 reference books and secondary works. The Libraryâ™s collection of early maps relating to the Western Hemisphere is among the finest in the world. Extensive holdings in the literature of European exploration and travel in the Western Hemisphere span first Latin editions of the Columbus letter of 1493, through nearly all of the contemporary narratives of Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, and English exploration, colonization, and settlement, supplemented by texts in Native American languages.
A robust fellowship program supports a community of 40 to 50 short- and long-term research residencies from around the world each year, and the John Carter Brown Library welcomes a regular stream of scholars, independent researchers, students, and others who wish to consult its materials. The collections support a wide range of scholarly investigation ranging from geography and environmental history, the economy of colonialism and slavery, the societal and political development of the Americas, and the experience of indigenous peoples as recorded in written records. In addition to its exhibitions and public programming, the Library has been a leader in making its materials widely available to researchers, students, and members of the public throughout the world with high-quality digitization and internet access.
The Libraryâ™s close association with Brown University and its faculty, as well as its links to scholars and institutions in the United States and abroad, offers a network of resources invaluable for fellows and researchers of its collections. The Library also provides for and fosters educational and research opportunities for the graduate and undergraduate educational community through the engagement of the Brown faculty.
Reporting to the Provost and the John Carter Brown Library Board of Governors, the Director provides leadership for establishing the Libraryâ™s strategic and operational priorities and oversees all programmatic and administrative activities of the Library. With ultimate supervisory authority over a staff of around 15 professionals, the Director is responsible for the enhancement and growth of the Libraryâ™s renowned collection and reputation as a leading international center for advanced research in history and the humanities, including intellectual vision and leadership for the Library's community of fellows and advancing the Libraryâ™s digital presence and mission. The Director has ultimate responsibility for the Libraryâ™s finances, including management of a $3.2 million annual budget, stewardship of endowed funds with a value totaling $85 million, and cultivation of new resources through fundraising and grants.
The successful candidate should have an earned doctorate in a field directly related to the scope of the collection and interests of the Library and will ideally have had proven administrative supervisory experience in a scholarly setting. Extraordinary candidates without an earned doctorate or comparable administrative experience will be considered.
The Director reports to the Libraryâ™s Board of Governors with respect to the goals and directions of the Library, and to the Provost of Brown University regarding university administrative matters.
Leadership and VisionÂ
Plan and implement a long-term vision and strategy for the John Carter Brown Libraryâ™s programs, resources, digital initiatives, and services.
Ensure and maintain the highest standards possible in all of its programs and events
Provide intellectual leadership for the Libraryâ™s community of resident fellows and other affiliated scholars.
Build and strengthen partnerships with allied libraries and scholarly institutions locally, nationally and globally.
Sustain and enhance collaborations with Brown University faculty, students, academic programs, and senior administration.
Steward and enhance the Libraryâ™s scholarly and financial assets.
Build and maintain relationships with non-profits, as well as philanthropic and private sectors.
Cultivate relationships and collaborations with the Brown alumni community.
Promote working relationships with authors and researchers who have their chief audiences among the first peoples of the Americas AND/OR Promote working relationships with authors and researchers whose native language is not English.
Serve as a spokesperson for the John Carter Brown Library, promoting the Libraryâ™s activities, nurturing important partnerships, and maintaining a vibrant community of engaged former fellows, friends, and scholars.
Provide overall leadership for Library staff, including curatorial, cataloging, digital services, programmatic, and administrative/operational roles.Â
Ensure alignment between staffing structure and strategic and operational goals.
Promote and maintain an effective and collaborative workplace culture, including appropriate attention to staff professional development.
Resource Cultivation Â
Independently and in partnership with the Universityâ™s Division of Advancement, manage and cultivate existing relationships with donors and funding agencies, and develop new opportunities for financial support
Maintain and build upon relationships with dealers and collectors of rare materials within the Libraryâ™s collection scope.
The ideal Director and Librarian is a dynamic, creative, collaborative, and seasoned leader with demonstrated experience working in libraries with various constituents in an academic setting. Successful applicants would ideally have fluency in the following:
Demonstrated success with developing and executing a programmatic vision and strategy.
Experience with higher education institutions, research libraries, or experience working with academic partners.
Track record of developing and leading high-functioning, diverse teams of professionals.
Experience with nonprofit governance, organizational development, and strategic planning.
Experience with managing staff with a broad range of skill sets.
Experience in budgetary and financial management; fundraising and grant-seeking; and management of libraries.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Demonstrate a willingness and ability to support a diverse and inclusive environment.
The successful candidate should have the following interests, skills, and experience:
Doctorate degree in a field directly related to the scope of the collection and interests of the Library, or equivalent experience required.
Minimum of five years of professional experience in increasing levels of management responsibility of entrepreneurial endeavors and programs. Â
The candidateâ™s qualifications, education and skills will determine if the position is a grade 14 or grade 15.
Background check satisfactory to Brown University.
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.
Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.
Internal Number: REQ169843
About Brown University
Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island and founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Alpert Medical School, School of Engineering, Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership and the IE Brown Executive MBA.