Job description

Working/Functional Title

University Librarian

Position Summary

The Michigan State University Libraries today are the Main Library, which includes several internal branch libraries, the Gull Lake Library, and the Gast Business Library. The core mission of the MSU Libraries has been and continues to be to fulfill its land grant commitments to the people of Michigan, MSU undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. It has grown from a 200-volume collection in 1855 to an institution that ranks within the top 30 largest ARL member institutions by the ARL Investment Index.

The MSU Libraries also serve as a welcoming and much-utilized undergraduate academic space in the center of campus. With over 3,000 available seats in the Main Library, and a wide-variety of student-friendly spaces, including group study rooms, computer labs, and a cafe, the Libraries are deeply embedded in the day-to-day life of the students of MSU. The Libraries host a wide array of events and activities that attract students, faculty and community members year-round. In the past several years, the Libraries have invested significantly in upgrading the physical spaces in the building to make them welcoming and comfortable, and this investment has paid off in terms of increased use.

An ambitious transformation has been underway at Michigan State University and leaders at the institution are setting their sights on being a global institution in service of the world, a "world grant university". The MSU Libraries are integral to this endeavor, serving to support students, staff, and faculty with resources and training wherever they are, as well as to promote the campus’ work beyond state and domestic borders. Deans of the many academic units and many other members of the Provost’s Office are looking to the University Librarian for active collaboration to support and propel both curricular and research development on campus. A recent example of this is the Digital Scholarship Lab, which is a joint venture between the College of Arts and Letters and the MSU Libraries. The 10,000-square-foot space in the Main Library features a 360-degree immersive visualization room and is available to faculty to support their research and promote innovative instruction. Librarians and faculty partners across disciplines will promote a wide range of research endeavors through consultation, advising, workshops, and instruction sessions.

In addition to the broad role the University Librarian will take on campus, there are also the traditional and operational responsibilities of leading the MSU Libraries. With the assistance of a strong leadership team, the University Librarian directs the recruitment, development, and retention of the diverse and talented staff, and must have the ability to manage a highly complex organizational structure with skill and respect. Consultative leadership and empowerment on an individual level have been key to the success of the Libraries, and broadening this to interactions and collaborations on the campus level is crucial. The University Librarian leads the MSU Libraries’ Executive Committee, which is composed of the Associate Directors of: Collections; Digital Information and Systems; Human Resources, Text Management and Interlibrary Services; Public Services; Special Collections and Preservation; and Technical Services. Many of these senior librarians have held leadership roles within other departments in the MSU Libraries, making for a highly-informed and comprehensive approach to the administration of the organization.

With the support of the Director of Development, the University Librarian is an active ambassador for the University and the MSU Libraries, and has had tremendous success with individual donors for collections support. In the past twenty years, the Libraries have added more than 75 endowments, which have made possible many of the improvements undertaken recently.

Minimum Requirements

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience working in collaborative, entrepreneurial environments and will possess a deep understanding of current trends and issues relevant to academic librarianship, including pedagogy and inquiry, digital libraries and library technologies, outcomes assessment, strategic planning, and advocacy. The incoming University Librarian will have strong leadership skills and show creativity, persistence, and skill in communication as well as goal-setting and achievement. A demonstrated commitment to creating safe, inclusive, diverse spaces for all is crucial. A Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited program or other equivalent educational preparation and experience is required. A second advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred. A significant record of progressively responsible leadership and management experience in an academic library setting is strongly preferred.

Required Application Materials

Michigan State University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and CV.

Special Instructions

Review of applications will begin on March 19, 2018, and will continue until filled.  Michigan State University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and CV here:




Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 2/23/2018
Application Due: 12/28/2018
Work Type: