Director of The Bancroft Library and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections - Library
The University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley), one of the world's premier institutions of higher education, invites both nominations and applications for the position of Director of The Bancroft Library and Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Special Collections. Bancroft's world-renowned special collections are among the largest and most actively used in the nation, providing a tremendous opportunity for the right visionary academic leader. This position is a non-senate academic appointment. A joint appointment with other UC Berkeley departments will also be considered.
Serving the students, faculty, and local and global research community at the finest public research university in the world, the Director and AUL will assume a newly reimagined role, which unites the direction of a major research and collecting institution with strategic, innovative, and collaborative leadership for all special collections and archives within the University Library. First and foremost, the Director will lead Bancroft, serving as its public leader, sharing its story, stewarding philanthropic support, and working closely with Library staff at all levels to foster a culture of collegiality, collaboration, and shared goals. As AUL, they will serve as a strategic academic leader across all Library special collections, working closely with other Library leadership to identify opportunities for innovations, efficiencies, shared services, and renewed partnership.
Reporting to the University Librarian, the Director and AUL will espouse a deep and genuine appreciation for and knowledge of The Bancroft Library's unique collections, drawing upon expertise and personal experience to mobilize faculty, staff, students, donors, and members of the Berkeley community in support of Bancroft's extraordinary mission. The University Library is looking for a leader with proven academic leadership and bold ideas, with the communication skills and political acumen to execute them. With crucial responsibility for interacting with scholars at Berkeley and internationally, this leader should be skillful at engaging in passionate content discourse with researchers, preferably with a research background in one of The Bancroft Library's major collecting areas. With both University Library-wide responsibilities and leadership of one constituent library, the Director and AUL will be an integral member of a tightly integrated, collaborative team that collectively supports the University Library's strategic vision. The Director and AUL will foster a culture of innovation, engagement, and collaboration, and promote continuous professional growth and learning at all staff levels. Description of the Unit The Bancroft Library welcomes patrons from Berkeley and the world, serving as one of the most heavily used academic rare book and special collections libraries in the country. Bancroft staff annually teach sessions and full courses for 3,000 plus students, support about 5,000 patrons in its reading rooms, and tens of thousands of visitors online. Founded in 1905, Bancroft's core holdings include The Bancroft Collection of Western Americana, Latin Americana, the Pictorial Collection, the Rare Books and Literary Manuscripts Collection, the History of Science and Technology Collection, and University Archives. Over the past 50 years, Bancroft's academic research groups, including the Mark Twain Papers & Project, the Oral History Center, and the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri, have earned Bancroft international acclaim. With about 60 career staff/library professionals and as many student employees, Bancroft supports world-class research both directly in its own units, and through engagement and collaboration with scholars at Berkeley and across the globe.
The Bancroft Library continues to vigorously build its physical collections, spending about $1.5 million annually on new acquisitions and receiving gifts-in-kind of comparable value. Bancroft stewards nearly 400 million physical items (volumes, archival materials and pictorial items, maps, microforms, etc.) and, over the past 25 years, has built one of the largest digital special collections in the University of California system. In addition to its stewardship of analog and digitized collection holdings, Bancroft is building a robust program for securing and processing born-digital archives. Bancroft and the other University Library special collections have been leaders in enhancing access to archival treasures in the age of digitized and networked information. Continuing digitization of its enormous special collections is a primary focus of the University Library's Digital Lifecycle Program, which currently adds about 1.5 million newly digitized files to its online collections annually.
As with many cultural heritage and information resource organizations in higher education, Bancroft and other University Library special collections are simultaneously blessed by growing demand for existing and new services, and challenged by declining public investment in their operations. Fortunately, Bancroft is supported with the advice and philanthropy of the Friends of The Bancroft Library, a California nonprofit that is external to the University, as well as strong philanthropic support from many loyal donors. The University Library has recently invested in expanding its fundraising team, with notable success, and the groundwork has been laid for even more growth in the coming years. Description of the Department The University Library comprises 24 campus libraries, general and subject libraries, with shared service units that support business functions, such as finance, development, digitization, and communications. The University Library has a collection of over 13 million circulating volumes, including almost 1.5 million ebooks, and subscriptions to over 130,000 journals and periodicals. The University Library manages close to 10 million files (200 TB) in digital holdings of special collections materials and has contributed over 3 million digitized books from our circulating print collections to HathiTrust. The University Library actively partners with the other nine UC campuses and the systemwide California Digital Library, and has a current operating budget of about $61 million with approximately 300 full-time employees and over 600 student employees each year. The University Library serves the people of California and the world through lending to over 35 countries a year, and making available a rapidly-growing archive of digitized special collections materials.
The University Library includes other libraries with significant special collections, including the Anthropology Library, the Marian Koshland Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the Environmental Design Library, and the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. The Music Library, for example, contains one of the most extensive U.S. collections of dramatic music, along with many other treasures. The East Asian Library holds over 100,000 rare items, including over 2,700 Chinese rubbings of reliefs and engravings, and the Fonoroff Collection for Chinese Film Studies, with over 70,000 periodicals, posters, photographs, and ephemera documenting the development of the film and entertainment industry of greater China. The special collections holdings of these libraries are diverse and unique, adding to the rich collections available to Berkeley faculty and students for research, teaching, and learning. The University Library has digitized significant portions of its special collections, making its treasures accessible to the world.
The University Library is a member institution of a number of national and international groups, including: Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), Digital Library Federation (DLF), HathiTrust Digital Library, Pacific Rim Research Library Alliance (PRRLA), International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and Center for Research Libraries (CRL).
The University Library is a member institution at a number of national and international groups. These groups include: Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), Digital Library Federation (DLF), HathiTrust Digital Library, Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance (PRDLA), International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and Center for Research Libraries (CRL). Role of the AUL for Special Collections and Bancroft Director The AUL and Director provide strategic leadership to all of the University Library's special collections units. The five AULs, the director of the East Asian Library, the director of communications, and the executive director of development report to the university librarian; collectively these nine professionals constitute the Library Cabinet. This team works closely to set strategic directions and policies for the entire Library. They collaborate in an intensely matrix-organized institution, providing each other with partnership and support services. The University Library special collections, for example, will benefit from coherent, coordinated practices in collection development, provenance, metadata creation, and ethical access led by this AUL and Director. Similarly, among other examples, Bancroft benefits from the fundraising research, cultivation, and stewardship services provided by the Library's development office.
More detail about the scope of the position is provided below: Associate University Librarian for Special Collections The AUL for special collections is a new role, designed to provide overall leadership for the rare and archival materials we consider special collections at the University Library. This AUL will work with the leaders of other units holding special collections, including the AUL for Scholarly Resources and the Director of the East Asian Library, to provide coordinated, forward-looking strategies and practices for the development, management, and use of Berkeley's extraordinary collections. Together they will innovate and implement process efficiencies, reducing duplication and increasing consistency to improve the resource-finding and use experiences of scholars. During an era of limited budget growth, despite significant fundraising success, close collaboration and mutual support across the University Library have enabled the organization to continuously improve services for scholars. Director of The Bancroft Library The Bancroft Library is the largest of the University Library's special collections. Thus, this position's primary responsibility is to serve as the Bancroft Director. Bancroft's leadership team includes the Director; a deputy director, who leads the curatorial staff and oversees public access services and operations; and an assistant director, who leads the technical services operation. The Bancroft Director also leads the directors of the three academic research groups and is the principal Bancroft liaison to the Berkeley faculty. Bancroft's leadership team, together with other senior members of the Bancroft staff and in collaboration with other University Library leaders, has primary responsibility for collection development, research and academic engagement, technical services, public access services, and outreach and fundraising. The Director leads fundraising for Bancroft in collaboration with the university librarian and the executive director of development. The Director engages actively with scholars and members of the international antiquarian book and manuscript trade, as well as the wider scholarly community. The Director has overall responsibility for all Bancroft activity, while other members of Bancroft's leadership team oversee much of the day-to-day operations.
The Director is responsible for leading Bancroft consistent with the Library's core principles and values. For example, the Director should promote a user-centered approach to the acquisition, processing, and accessibility of special collections in analog and digital formats. The Director will advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging - both within The Bancroft Library and, through its user services, beyond.
The Director is responsible for managing The Bancroft Library's annual budget of about $8 million (including substantial gift, endowment, and grant funds), as well as facilities and personnel. As do the directors of all constituent libraries that compose the University Library, the Director of The Bancroft Library collaborates closely with the leaders who have Library-wide responsibilities for communications, digital services, facilities, finance, fundraising, human resources, information technology, legal affairs, and security. The Director also collaborates with the leaders of special collections at the other University of California campuses, and is an active participant in the national community of leaders of the most prominent academic special collections libraries. Search Firm The University of California, Berkeley has retained Isaacson, Miller (IM), a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. The IM search team has identified a number of opportunities and challenges the incoming Director of The Bancroft Library and Associate Univeristy Librarian for Special Collections will face in this role. For inquiries, nominations, and referrals, please submit via the Isaacson, Miller website listed below.
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus - envisioned as a "City of Learning" - was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.