Saturday, October 1, 2011

Positions in the Pioneer Valley: Library Director, Hampshire College

Director of the Library
Hampshire College
Hampshire College, an independent, innovative liberal arts institution and member of the Five College consortium with Amherst, Smith, and Mount Holyoke Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, seeks a highly accomplished professional for Director of the Library. Hampshire College, founded in 1965, offers approximately 1500 full-time students a full range of liberal arts programs through an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based curriculum. Hampshire students have access to more than 6,000 courses, 8 million library volumes, and the academic facilities of all five campuses. The institutions collaborate in many ways, including joint faculty appointments and the sharing of certain facilities and administrative functions. The College is located in the beautiful Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts and contributes to the rich cultural environments of the college towns of Amherst, South Hadley and Northampton.
The Director of the Library is the chief academic and administrative officer of the library. Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty, the director holds responsibility for coordinating programs, scholarship, and service activities within the Hampshire Library as well as within the Five College consortium, one of the oldest and most successful consortia in the country. The mission of the college library is to provide information resources and services in an exciting academic environment that supports Hampshire students in the development of innovative research and critical inquiry skills. The director will provide leadership in developing programs, services, collections, and digital/media asset management; provide leadership in evaluating and assessing library programs, facilities, space utilization, and construction projects, as well as collections, archives, and services; and ensure excellence in linking library information resources and information technology. The qualified candidate will set the library's fiscal priorities and direction consistent with strategic use of resources; foster a collaborative approach to managing the library and its personnel; and participate in fundraising, grant writing and developing donor relations to benefit the library. In addition, the director will be expected to develop collaborative relationships with the National Yiddish Book Center and the Eric Carle Museum for Picture Book Art. Built directly adjacent to the campus (and on land originally belonging to the campus), these two institutions comprise Hampshire’s “Cultural Village” and add to the richness and attractiveness of our corner of South Amherst.
An MLS degree from an ALA accredited (or an international equivalent) program is required; a second master's degree or a doctorate is preferred. A minimum of five years progressively responsible academic library experience in a supervisory/administrative capacity is required. The selected candidate must be a highly skilled leader able to respond to the emerging teaching, learning, and research needs of the College community; have an understanding of the academic process and trends in higher education, and a strong commitment to excellence in library service in support of the College's mission; and demonstrated commitment to fostering the library's essential role in the academic program. This position requires a strong background in emerging technologies as they relate to academic libraries; an understanding of issues related to scholarly communications and intellectual property; proven financial and personnel management skills; excellent interpersonal, communication, presentation, and negotiation skills; and a strong record of scholarly and professional achievement. The qualified candidate will possess the capacity to lead and manage a dedicated library staff; foster open communication and cooperative relationships in the college community, and have a commitment to working with a diverse constituency.
Review of applications will begin November 1, 2011. Hampshire College offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits program. Please submit your cover letter, resume and names/phone numbers of three professional references via our website at Hampshire College is an equal opportunity institution, committed to diversity in education and employment.
The history of our institution and its library is a fascinating one, as we were pioneered many concepts and practices that have since become commonplace. Applications should of course be addressed to the above, but I am happy to share any historical background and insights that I have derived from my service to the institution.

Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship

In recently discussing the awarding of the SHARP DeLong Book Prize to John B. Hench, I referred to his great service over many years at the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a service recently honored through the creation of the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship.

It is now time for a new round of applications.  From the press release by the AAS:
Scholars who are no more than three years beyond receipt of the doctorate are invited to apply for the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship, a year-long residential fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society. The purpose of the post-dissertation fellowship is to provide the recipient with time and resources to extend research and/or to revise the dissertation for publication. Any topic relevant to the Society's library collections and programmatic scope, and coming from any field or disciplinary background, is eligible. AAS collections focus on all aspects of American history, literature, and culture from contact to 1876, and provide rich source material for projects across the spectrum of early American studies.

The Society welcomes applications from those who have advance book contracts, as well as those who have not yet made contact with a publisher. The twelve-month stipend for this fellowship is $35,000. The Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow will be selected on the basis of the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the appropriateness of the project to the Society's collections and interests, and, above all, the likelihood that the revised dissertation will make a highly significant book. Further information about the fellowship, along with application materials, is available on the AAS website. Any questions about the fellowship may be directed to Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at AAS, at

The deadline for applications for a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship to be held during the 2012-2013 academic year is October 15, 2011.