Director of Special Collections and University Archives, UC Riverside

Position overview

Position title: Director of Special Collections and University Archives
Salary range: $70,635 – $152,955
Anticipated start: Fall 2024

Application Window

Open date: April 15, 2024

Next review date: Friday, Jun 21, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, Jun 21, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date.

Position description

The University of California, Riverside (UCR) Library seeks applications for an innovative, dynamic and collaborative change agent to serve as the Director of Special Collections and University Archives. The ideal candidate will be committed to building comprehensive research collections that support creative scholarship, be passionate about special collections, and an expert in new and emerging information and library technologies. The Director of Special Collections and University Archives serves as a member of the UCR Library leadership team and plays an integral role in strategic planning within an innovative, deeply collaborative environment. The Director of Special Collections and University Archives is responsible for the collaborative strategic direction, administration, and day-to-day operations of Special Collections and University Archives.

Located an hour’s drive to the east of Los Angeles, an hour west of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, an hour east of ocean beaches, ninety minutes north of San Diego, and an hour south of mountain ski resorts, UCR is located in an area of dramatic landscapes and rich cultural traditions. The University is a dynamic, aggressively developing land grant research institution dedicated to preparing its diverse student body to be successful competitors in the world marketplace of ideas.

Over the past few years, UCR has accumulated numerous accolades for its achievements. In 2022, it received the following rankings:

  • No. 1 public university in the U.S. for social mobility four years in a row – U.S. News & World Report
  • No. 1 for Hispanic enrollment among selective universities – Urban Institute
  • No. 2 in the country for financial aid – Business Insider
  • No. 2 in Entomology research in the world – Center for World University Rankings
  • No. 3 in Hispanic STEM graduates in the nation – National Science Foundation
  • No. 4 for Pell Grant student performance – Washington Monthly
  • No. 9 among public universities for sustainability – Princeton Review
  • No. 11 most diverse medical school – U.S. News
  • Top 12 public university – Forbes “America’s Best Value Colleges”
  • No. 14 public university – CNBC “Colleges That Pay Off the Most”
  • No. 20 public university – Princeton Review Best Schools for Making a Public Impact
  • No. 31 in the world in plant and animal sciences – U.S. News & World Report

In addition, it has attracted faculty with some of the highest academic honors, including:

  • 2 Nobel Prize Winners
  • 2 Guggenheim Awards
  • 4 UC University Professorships
  • 11 Fulbright Scholars
  • 28 National Academies Members

The UCR Library is a critical partner in preparing UCR’s students to be globally competitive while simultaneously preparing them to be transformative leaders in the Inland Empire and beyond. The mission of the UCR Library is no less than to bring the world’s information resources to the UCR community and to ensure that UCR students, faculty, and staff have the skills to fully exploit those resources to change the world for the better.

The UCR Library is a team of intensely collaborative, forward-thinking colleagues dedicated to providing exemplary services to our students, faculty, and community members in a rapidly evolving information environment. The successful candidate will be technologically-sophisticated; committed to problem-solving in local, regional, national, and international arenas; able to develop innovative solutions to complex problems; and a dynamic and effective leader.

The UCR Library is comprised of two facilities housing more than 4,900,000 volumes, 1,740,000 electronic books, 120,000 print and electronic journals, and 2,300,000 microforms. The Library provides services to more than 27,000 students and nearly 2,000 faculty and other academics in an institutional environment planning for and experiencing extensive growth. The successful candidate will join an enthusiastic staff of 100, including 36 FTE librarians and 65 FTE staff personnel as well as students, in building a research library of excellence within a dynamic and diverse university ranked among the top 50 in the nation.

The UCR Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Among the unique collections of the UCR Library is the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Water Resources Collections & Archives, the Rupert Costo Library of the American Indian, the Paul Chou Collection of Chinese history and culture, the George Brown Papers, the Tomás Rivera Papers, and the Inland Empire Memories Initiative. Information about the UCR Library is available at

The UCR Library is an integral part of the University of California library system. With collections totaling 40.8 million volumes, including 4.3 million digitized contents contributed to HathiTrust, UC’s more than 100 libraries are surpassed in size on the American continent only by the Library of Congress collection. In addition, UC’s California Digital Library (CDL) provides the core of the University’s digital collections. CDL also assists UC to share resources and holdings more effectively, and provides leadership in applying technology to the development of library collections and services. Organizationally situated within the UC Office of the President, the CDL operates in close collaboration with all UC campuses and their libraries.

Key Responsibilities Include:

Under the general direction of the University Librarian, the Director of Special Collections and University Archives provides leadership to a team of librarians and professionals and is responsible for the collections, services, operations, development and stewardship of Special Collections and University Archives.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Provides visionary leadership to and management of a forward-thinking Special Collections and University Archives program through engagement in strategic planning, team leadership, assessment, reporting, and continuous process improvement
  • Provides overall direction for a diverse team of professionals within a collaborative environment
  • Effectively empowers team members to make independent decisions at appropriate operational levels and holds team members accountable
  • Leads the department by example, establishes appropriate workloads and procedures, delegates responsibility, regularly assesses individual and team performance, and provides guidance, coaching, and support as needed to achieve department goals
  • Collaboratively establishes policies and priorities for collection development for digital and physical special collections, with a focus on unique collections, creating a body of resources that support original scholarship, innovative learning, transformative teaching, and the University’s academic priorities
  • Works closely with Collection Strategies, Research Services, Teaching and Learning, and other library units, to ensure that all University Library collections grow in alignment with University academic priorities
  • Identifies, analyzes, and initiates new collecting areas based on University programs and initiatives
  • Works with the Library’s Research and Technology Division and other Library and University departments and community members to develop infrastructure that establishes a national presence for UCR as a center for digitization and digital humanities
  • Serves as a chief strategist for the identification of distinctive collections materials to be digitized and made available to a wider audience
  • Serves as administrator for Special Collections and University Archives, and oversees daily operations, including research, reference, access services, instruction programs, collection development and management, preservation, budgets, program development and execution, and outreach
  • Oversees the Library’s exhibition program
  • Participates in the Library’s and University’s outreach to university, community, and wider audiences, including donor development, fundraising and grant-writing, in collaboration and consultation with library administrators and University development officers
  • Represents Special Collections and University Archives and the UCR Library at events, regional, national, and international meetings and conferences, and campus, consortia, organizational and professional activities
  • Fosters and sustains collaborative relationships with faculty and researchers related to supporting new services and initiatives
  • Fosters, leads and sustains operational and strategic relationships with peer institutions, consortia, and relevant vendors
  • Participates in library-wide activities, administrative committees, special projects and library programs; representing the UCR Library on University of California standing committees and ad-hoc groups, as assigned

Appointment at rank of Associate Librarian to Librarian – Potential Career depending upon qualifications and experience. Advancement through the librarian ranks at the University of California is through a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, occurring every two to three years, each of which includes substantial peer review.

See Table 26-A: Non-Represented Librarian Series, Fiscal Year ( for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $70,635 – $130,359. Excellent retirement system, health, and vacation benefits.



Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree or equivalent or advanced degree in one or more fields relevant to the position
  • Demonstrated experience providing effective leadership with progressively increasing scope of management responsibility in a research library or similar setting
  • Record of accomplishment in collection development and management, including digitized and born-digital materials
  • Ability to articulate vision for the value of special collections and archives to learning, research, teaching, and community engagement
  • Ability to provide organizational leadership
  • Demonstrated ability to manage professional library staff, including librarians and other professionals
  • Experience working with collectors and donors to cultivate gifts of collections and financial resources, and ability to establish and maintain successful donor relationships
  • Experience with management and preservation of archival and special collections in textual and non-textual formats, such as photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, and digital files
  • Knowledge of and commitment to digital scholarship initiatives
  • Experience building strong relationships between the library, university academic departments, university community, alumnae/i, and external communities
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamically-evolving organization
  • Demonstrated successful experience with change management methodologies
  • Demonstrated understanding of changes in academic library research and reference trends and ability to analyze, implement and adapt to evolving services and technologies
  • Demonstrated assessment and data analysis skills
  • Evidence of creative thinking about library services and technologies
  • Excellent organizational skills, and effectiveness in balancing multiple assignments and projects
  • Demonstrated high level of initiative and creativity
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Record of sustained scholarly and/or professional achievement in the field
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to work successfully in an intensely collaborative environment with a broad range of people from culturally diverse backgrounds including colleagues, administrators, students, faculty, donors, and alumni

Preferred qualifications

  • Additional advanced professional or academic degree; Ph.D. is desired
  • Ability to read and speak at least one foreign language; fluency in Spanish is desirable
  • Archival certification
  • Familiarity with copyright and intellectual property issues relating to archives and special collections
  • Familiarity or connections in the rare book world
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, including grant funding, individual and corporate gifts
  • Demonstrated experience in development of educational programs, such as symposia, exhibitions, and scholarly conferences, that showcase special collections, and promoting curricular and research use of special collections in the academic community
  • Commitment to providing routes to educational and career success for underrepresented and first-generation college students and professionals

Application Requirements

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Research (Optional)
  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)
  • Statement of Past and/or Planned Future Contributions to Advancing Diversity and Inclusive Excellence – In a “Statement of Past and/or Planned Future Contributions to Advancing Diversity and Inclusive Excellence”, we ask applicants to describe their past and/or potential future contributions to promoting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment, which is a key requirement of the role of every faculty member and administrator at UCR. There are numerous ways to contribute, and a commitment to this part of our mission can be reflected through research, teaching, supervision, mentoring, community engagement, service, and any of the other varied activities that are a part of an academic career.
  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements

  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Please provide contact information for a minimum of three references.

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About UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body. UCR is a member institution of the American Association of Universities (AAU) as well as the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU). Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Riverside, CA