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Associate Librarian for Collections, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME


The Bowdoin College Library seeks a creative, collaborative, and experienced leader for the position of Associate Librarian for Collections. The Associate Librarian provides overall administration, vision, and strategic direction for the library’s collection development and management program and plays a critical role in the mission and work of the library to support and advance teaching, learning, and scholarship. The ideal candidate for this position will be passionate about library collections, embrace the vital role they play in the academic life of the college, and be energized by the myriad stewardship challenges they present.

As the intellectual heart of the Bowdoin campus, and serving as a major research library in the state of Maine, the College Library is highly valued for its rich and extensive collections, outstanding staff, and vibrant spaces, including Hawthorne-Longfellow Library—the main library building—and three specialized branch libraries for music, art, and science. The recently opened Library Annex, located a short distance from campus, provides high-density shelving for 200,000 volumes in a climate-controlled environment designed to support long-term storage of materials. Bowdoin College Library develops its collections cooperatively and strategically with the libraries of Colby and Bates colleges, with which it shares a combined catalog (CBBcat). Along with e-resources, physical materials remain an integral component of the library’s collections and, as a founding member of the Maine Shared Collections Cooperative (MSCC), Bowdoin collaborates with over 40 academic and public libraries that, together, have committed to retain more than 1.5 million print books within the state. World-class special collections and a robust suite of ILL and document delivery services further the library’s mission to support teaching, learning, and the College’s active research environment. A team of Research Librarians provides specialized reference services, course-related instruction, and individualized consultations through an effective and expanding research and instruction program and works collaboratively with faculty to support the development of new strategies for teaching, learning, and scholarship. In line with its goals to address the ways in which structural racism has permeated long-standing library practices, the Bowdoin Library is committed to developing diverse and inclusive collections that represent the voices and experiences of BIPOC and other marginalized communities.

Reporting to the Director of the Library, the Associate Librarian is responsible for:

  • The oversight, stewardship, and promotion of the library’s collections, which are developed to support the college curriculum and faculty and student research.
  • The Associate Librarian supervises the Course Materials and Collections Specialist and coordinates the collection-related responsibilities of six Research Librarians.
  • The incumbent will work closely with CBB colleagues to manage the consortial collections program and with Bowdoin Library colleagues in the Technical Services and Access Services departments on materials acquisitions, licensing, e-resource management, cataloging, and collection management.
  • Participate together with the librarian liaison team in providing research support for faculty and students.
  • Foster the growth and use of Bowdoin’s own digital collections.
  • Lead collection space-planning efforts in all libraries.
  • Oversee the library’s acquisitions program for course-related materials and the campus textbook adoption process for faculty.
  • Facilitate and expand the library’s scholarly communication and open access programs.
  • Respond to the emergence of new disciplinary areas of study and support new and evolving methods of scholarship.
  • Strengthen partnerships with faculty.
  • The Associate Librarian will oversee the library’s materials budget and provide expertise in collection assessment and analysis, and in project management.
  • As a member of the library’s senior leadership team, the Associate Librarian will participate actively in strategic planning and priority-setting and serve as a member of the Governing Board of the Colby, Bates, Bowdoin Libraries consortium (CBB).

Required Qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library program or an advanced degree in a related discipline.
  • Strong leadership and management skills and a commitment to proactive high-quality library service.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the key issues and current trends in higher education and the liberal arts college environment and in scholarly information, digital publishing, and open access.
  • Extensive knowledge of collection management strategies, practices, and analysis tools, and of standards and initiatives, such as COUNTER and SHERPA/RoMEO.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, analytical, and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully both independently and collaboratively and to build strong relationships across and beyond organizational boundaries.
  • A minimum of five years of experience in an academic library, including evidence of progressively responsible participation in the selection, analysis, and management of information resources.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of library collections in support of the undergraduate curriculum and faculty research in a liberal arts setting.
  • Experience with budget management, data analysis, and vendor negotiations.
  • Demonstrated project management experience.
  • Demonstrated success in team building, leading through influence, and the ability to develop collaborative working relationships with faculty.
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices and current trends in the acquisition and management of library collections.
  • Experience in program development.
  • Evidence of scholarly engagement and active participation within the profession.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience providing research and instructional support in an academic library setting.
  • Experience planning, developing and/or implementing digital collections of institutional-specific holdings.

Other Information:

This is an exempt position requiring time commitment necessary to satisfactorily complete job requirements. Hours are generally Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Schedules may vary to meet operational needs.

Founded in 1794, Bowdoin has maintained its commitment to the liberal arts for well over 200 years. Bowdoin’s reputation as a preeminent liberal arts college rests on the excellence of its faculty, students, and staff; intimate size; strong sense of community; and connections to the people, history, and natural beauty of Maine.

Bowdoin’s campus is situated in a beautiful natural setting. Located in Brunswick, Maine, a town of approximately 20,000, the College is a short drive from the Maine coast, twenty-five miles from Portland and 120 miles from Boston. Bowdoin embraces diversity in all forms, and the College is home to talented students, faculty and staff—with a variety of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds; religious beliefs; and gender identities, among other factors.

How to Apply:

The orginal job posting with full description can be found here. Apply using the job portal found there.

We encourage applications from candidates committed to the support of an inclusive campus community and those who will enrich and contribute to the College’s multifaceted diversity. We value a community in which individuals of all backgrounds are warmly welcomed and encouraged to succeed.