Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian

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Job Description

Position Overview

The Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian is a member of the Content Development Department which is dedicated to the stewardship of the University of Kansas Libraries’ collections in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  Members of the Content Development team work collaboratively to strategize about directions in managing the development and review of the Libraries’ collections to support University initiatives.  The incumbent will oversee collections supporting the research and curricular needs of faculty, staff, and students in music, musicology, music therapy/education, dance, theater, and film, as well as other assigned disciplines in the humanities and/or social sciences.  The successful candidate will be proactive in evaluating and promoting innovative approaches to developing collections across all disciplines.  Reporting to the Head of Content Development in the Content and Access Services Division, the librarian will provide in-depth research consultations and advanced information literacy workshops in music, dance, theater, and film.

The Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian stewards the collections of the Thomas Gorton Music and Dance Library, which contains more than 100,000 scores, books, sound recordings, videos, microforms, and serials, making it one of the leading music collections in the Great Plains region.   For degreed programs supported by the Library, consult . The Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian also stewards the University of Kansas Sound Archive, a closed collection of more than 100,000 music recordings in all formats of recording history. 

This is a full time, 12-month, Unclassified Academic Staff position. See Faculty Handbook on the following KU website for the criteria:
Rank considerations are based on professional performance, research, and service experience sufficient to qualify for appointment at the rank of Assistant Specialist, Associate Specialist, or Senior Specialist. Exceptional candidates at higher ranks may, in some cases, be considered. See Discipline Expectations for additional details:

The University of Kansas Libraries is especially interested in hiring faculty members who can contribute to our key campus-wide strategic initiative: Harnessing Information, Multiplying Knowledge. For more information, see

Job Description

80 – 90% Professional Responsibilities

  • Builds, evaluates, and assesses assigned collections though review and selection of materials related to the performing arts and other assigned disciplines, including materials in foreign languages, musical scores, sound recordings, streaming video, and other formats.  Maintains an awareness of new faculty curricular needs and changes in programs and faculty research in assigned subject disciplines.    Monitors approval plans for relevancy of receipts and adjust profiles as necessary.  Carefully expends fund allocations throughout the fiscal year.  Keeps abreast of policies and technical procedures related to acquiring materials.  Updates collection policies for assigned subjects.   Works with donors to accept and review in-kind gifts that support current programs.
  • Collaborates with faculty and instructors in the School of Music, Departments of Dance, Theater, and Film to teach research skills by developing course integrated instruction, assignments, and assessment tools that evaluate learning outcomes.
  • Provides specialized reference and consultation services to faculty, students, researchers, visiting scholars, and the general public whose research relates to assigned disciplines.
  • Develops and maintains basic and specialized custom research guides for course-integrated research and finding aids to increase discovery of unique materials in the collections.
  • Collaborates with the Operations Manager of the Thomas Gorton Music Library in managing the collections and audio facilities and assisting with service policies.
  • Communicates issues implicit in scholarly communication and open access in discussions with colleagues within and beyond the KU community.  Attends training and events designed and developed to promote understanding of the best practices in scholarly communication.
  • Collaborates in developing and promoting digital humanities on the KU campus in an effort to openly share humanities collections with the KU community and beyond.
  • Advances the Libraries’ priorities and strategic directions through active participation in pursuits such as cross-functional initiatives, cross-operational teams, and/or task forces.

5 – 10% Research

  • Contributes to the profession’s collective knowledge by engaging in scholarly research activities.

5 – 10% Service

  • Engages in service to the Libraries, the University, and to professional organizations by participating in committee work, projects, and contributory achievements.
  • Represents KU Libraries in regional, national, and/or international professional organizations of relevance to the performing arts.  Participates in regional, national, and/or international consortial collaborations.

Required Qualifications

  1. Master’s or advanced degree by date of appointment.
  2. Effective oral and written communication skills as demonstrated in the candidate’s application materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program.
  2. Bachelor’s or advanced degree in music or significant experience working with music collections.
  3. Experience working in an academic or research library.
  4. Experience building and maintaining scholarly collections in all formats in performing arts.
  5. Experience working with international music vendors and publishers.
  6. Demonstrated ability to work collegially and collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment.
  7. Experience in developing and assisting faculty and instructors in providing instructional sessions to meet the objectives of the course goals.
  8. Reading proficiency in French, German, or Italian.

How to Apply

Full job announcement and application information at:

A complete application includes an online application, cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a list of three references.  Please use your cover letter to address how you meet the required and preferred qualifications.

Apply by April 30, 2015 to be considered.

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