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Social Sciences Librarian

University of Pennsylvania

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Services
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Social Sciences Librarian

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Social Sciences Librarian

Job Profile Title
Librarian C

Job Description Summary
The Social Sciences Librarian supports the research and teaching mission of the University of Pennsylvania as a team member among librarians managing the Penn Libraries' social science collections and providing liaison work to Penn academic schools, departments, and programs in the social sciences.

Job Description

The librarian is responsible for serving as the Libraries' liaison to the School of Social Policy & Practice and the Psychology Department (School of Arts & Sciences). The librarian develops strong working relationships faculty, students, and affiliated researchers to support their scholarly and intellectual needs through collections and services. The librarian will be responsible for providing group and individual instruction and consultation for basic and advanced research and for academic courses. The librarian will provide library support for aspects of scholarly communication, including copyright and publishing guidance and related scholarly services. Additional subject area responsibilities may be assigned.

The librarian will provide leadership for building and delivering social sciences collections and services that further diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The librarian will support readers and Libraries colleagues in using statistical software for quantitative data analysis and in using software tools for other research methodologies, and will be the principal contact for systematic reviews support in the social sciences.

Collection development responsibilities include selection of materials in all formats for assigned subject areas, budget and fund management, endowments stewardship, approval plan oversight, and gift review, collaboration with collections librarians in making major purchases, and reviewing trends in publishing modes and practices. The librarian may participate in departmental planning, Penn Libraries committees, task forces or programs, and collaborate with colleagues across the Libraries, campus, and with partner institutions.


1. Serve as academic engagement librarian to the School of Social Policy & Practice, the Psychology Department (School of Arts & Sciences), and to other subject areas as assigned. Develop strong working relationships with School and Department faculty, students, and affiliated researchers; support their scholarly and intellectual needs through collections and services. Be responsible for providing group and individual instruction to the School, the Department, and other subject areas as assigned. Provide consultations for basic to advanced research and for scholarly communication and author services. Prepare online guides and related informational materials; and match School and Department needs with an evolving program of Library services. Engage with the School and Department by attending lectures and events and holding office hours. Monitor and disseminate current awareness of developments in assigned subject areas and their scholarly practices.

2. Manage collections in social work, psychology, and other subject areas as assigned. Build collections through selection of materials in all formats; collaborate with collections librarians in major acquisitions. Manage collections budgets and funds; steward endowments, approval plans, and gifts.

3. Lead in building, maintaining, and delivering social sciences collections and services that further diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Collaborate with counterpart Penn librarians in other subject clusters on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, and in developing civic engagement collections and programs.

4. Assist social sciences cluster librarians by providing statistical software support for quantitative data services and by supporting software tools for other research methodologies (e.g., qualitative data, mapping data). Act as chief support librarian for Penn social sciences faculty, students, and affiliated researchers conducting systematic reviews. Collaborate with colleagues in developing and sustaining systematic reviews support.

5. Participate in library-wide services such as general research assistance (e.g., library chat, student engagement programming, orientations and tours, and library instruction outside of designated liaison areas. Collaborate with colleagues to support and enhance existing library-wide programs and services and to develop new programs and services as opportunities arise.

6. Participate in departmental planning and Penn Libraries committees, task forces or programs. Collaborate with colleagues across the Penn Libraries, campus, and with partner institutions.

7. Engage in formal and informal professional development activities, including awareness of trends in publishing modes and practices, in collaboration with colleagues.

8. Perform additional duties as assigned.



1. Master's degree from an ALA-accredited library school; or Master's or higher degree in social sciences, and relevant library work experience.

2. Subject expertise in social work, social welfare, human development, or psychology.

3. Breadth of knowledge of scholarly research trends and methodological approaches in the social sciences.

4. Familiarity with the major bibliographic tools (print and electronic) for the social sciences.

5. Experience using quantitative datasets and statistical software (e.g., Stata, SPSS, SAS, R).

6. Interest in diversity, equality, inclusion, and access in building, maintaining, and delivering library collections and services.

7. Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing work environment.

8. Demonstrated excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.

9. Excellent organizational and analytical skills; demonstrated ability to design projects and bring them to conclusion in a timely fashion; demonstrated skill in providing high-quality, user-centered research support services, preferably in an academic library.


1. Subject expertise in additional specific social sciences subjects.

2. Experience using advanced data and tools in social science research : qualitative data and qualitative software (e.g., NVivo, Atlas.ti); systematic reviews production, including software tools (e.g., DistillerSR, Covidence); mapping data and GIS software (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS); textmining corpora, including appropriate software tools; survey design, delivery, and analysis.

3. Experience in collection development and management, including managing a subject materials acquisition fund.

4. Experience with citation management or collaborative writing software and creation of web content (e.g., LibGuides, Drupal, Kaltura, LabArchives).

5. Interest in learning emerging technologies and web applications.

*** REQUIRED*** Please provide a resume and cover letter for consideration. Please upload all documents in the “Resume/CV” section of the application prior to submitting.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Library

Pay Range
$50,684.00 - $91,232.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit

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Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania! Penn is the largest private employer in Philadelphia and is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation.  

Across our 12 highly-regarded schools, more than 25,000 students, and more than 4,000 faculty members, we become one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Penn carries on the principles and spirit of its founder, Benjamin Franklin: entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, outreach, and a pragmatic love of knowledge. Franklin's practical outlook has remained a driving force in the university's development. To learn more, visit About Penn



As engines of knowledge and new ideas, universities have the unique potential to define the future rather than be defined by it; to pioneer change rather than merely manage it. To do so requires a plan both visionary and pragmatic. The Penn Compact 2022 motivates community members to innovate, be radically inclusive, and positively impact their local, national, and global communities. 


Penn’s fundamental priorities — increasing access, integrating knowledge and engaging locally, nationally and globally — are supported by the three core values that make us uniquely Penn: inclusion, innovation, and impact. 


Learn about the signature initiatives of the Penn Compact 2022:  




Understanding and appreciating diversity is one of Penn's most important priorities and is fundamental to success in today's world. 


Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. 


To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Penn visit: 




Penn offers a wide range of benefits and perks - from Penn's retirement Matching Plan to bike repair stations to access to the full LinkedIn Learning library to adoption assistance to workshops at the letterpress and book arts studio and much more! 


Campus and Beyond


We invite you to explore our campus and its stately buildings and state-of-the-art facilities. 


Try our self-guided tour! Come and visit


Learn about sustainability at Penn




Stay up-to-date with Penn's response to COVID-19: Coronavirus Information & Resources


Penn supports news publications that tell the ongoing story of the University community, communications services for external media, telephone and video services, and other media resources: Campus Media 


Connect with us!  


Instagram: @uofpenn 

Twitter: @Penn 



Find Us
(215) 898-7372
3451 Walnut Street
United States
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