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Special Collections Librarian for Instruction, Outreach, and Engagement, Penn State, State College, PA


The Special Collections Librarian for Instruction, Outreach, and Engagement coordinates the instruction activities of the Special Collections Library (SCL). This includes promoting, developing, and conducting library instruction sessions related to SCL’s material, as well as managing the workflow for all teaching and learning activities in SCL. As the team lead in this functional area, this role sets the priorities and key objectives for engagement, instruction, and outreach with rare and primary sources.

The Special Collections Librarian for Instruction, Outreach, and Engagement anchors the Special Collection Library’s Instruction and Outreach program by establishing the vision and priorities for SCL instruction and outreach efforts and objectives. This tenure-line Librarian coordinates the instruction program, conducts the majority of course instruction sessions, and leads the instruction work of faculty peers through pedagogical training and standardization. The Librarian oversees campus and public outreach programs sponsored by SCL, and leads efforts to foster and infuse greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in this work. The Librarian also collaborates with other SCL and PSUL colleagues, including at Commonwealth Campus locations, to conduct university and community outreach programs and events related to SCL’s collections and manages the workflow for outreach activities. The Librarian contributes to collaborative collection development efforts, informed by the SCL’s Collection Development Plan.


  • Implement departmental vision and programmatic priorities for Special Collections Library (SCL) instruction and outreach initiatives
  • Creates meaningful opportunities for engagement with rare and unique materials; provides educational and critical frameworks for examining culture, history, and society through SCL holdings
  • Proactively partners, networks, and engages with community organizations in socially responsible ways to document experiences and contextualize archives and narratives within shared memory and history
  • Coordinates and conducts SCL instruction activities:
    • Promotes, develops, and conducts library instruction sessions related to SCL’s rare and archival collection material
    • Manages best practices for all teaching and learning activities in SCL, including the development and assessment of learning outcomes and objectives for rare and primary source instruction
    • Creates and maintains a shared library of lesson plans, activities, learning objects, and other teaching materials to appropriately meet growing demand for rare and primary source instruction
    • Partners with PSU academic departments and units to promote SCL collections and instructional program for interdisciplinary scholarship
    • Serves as SCL’s liaison to Library Learning Services
    • Evaluates effectiveness of SCL instruction efforts and strives to establish a programmatic culture of continual improvement and adaptation
    • Participates in the PSUL Instruction Community of Practice
    • Represents SCL on committees that pertain to teaching, learning, and outreach in the University Libraries
  • Coordinates and facilitates SCL outreach activities to promote rare and primary source collections:
    • Oversees and administers SCL research and travel grant program 
    • Leads Special Collections’ participation in Libraries-wide outreach efforts, such as Open House 
    • Coordinates social media efforts among departmental colleagues
    • Tracks and assesses the outcomes of SCL outreach activities
    • Collaborates with other University and Libraries units to conduct outreach and engagement events
  • Participates in the Curatorial Team with specific curatorial assignment(s) that align with the SCL Collection Development Plan
  • Provides reference service to faculty, students, and other researchers by holding regular shifts in the Reading Room that serves the closed stacks setting
  • Engages in research, scholarly publication, and professional organizations and pursues professional service activities



  • MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited program, or a Masters in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated experience with community archives projects, including collaborative, post-custodial collecting efforts
  • Demonstrated experience in community engagement and outreach efforts
  • Experience with special collections, ideally in an academic library setting
  • Familiarity with current trends and practice for instruction with primary source materials
  • Experience in conducting primary source literacy instruction
  • Effective interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills
  • Knowledge and experience in navigating archival and rare book discovery tools
  • Ability to work effectively, both independently and collaboratively, in a collegial environment
  • Potential to achieve the requirement for tenure and promotion in the areas of librarianship, research, and service


  • Experience in creating social media content and communication strategies

To Apply:–Outreach–and-Engagement_REQ_0000050057-1