Job Opening: Head of the Asian Library, University of Michigan

job opening - 5Institution: University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Application open: 3/04/2015 – 4/19/2015
Type: Full Time
Education: MLS/MA: “ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library and Information Science or equivalent combination of a relevant advanced degree (in East Asian studies or related field of study) and experience.”

How to Apply
A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position, include your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary
The University of Michigan Library is seeking a dynamic individual to lead the Asia Library, a diverse, comprehensive, and globally recognized library with growing collections and a highly talented staff. The Head will have the experience or potential to excel in the following areas of strategic importance:

  • Defining, pursuing, and communicating a clear vision for the future of the Asia Library in a way that moves the Library and campus-wide groups towards a shared purpose.
  • Ensuring that excellent user-centered services meet the constantly evolving needs of the university’s large and diverse user community.
  • Serving as the spokesperson and key leader for the Asia Library; engaging with the campus and broader community; promoting the vast resources and services designed to support the research, teaching, and learning mission of the university.
  • Providing executive and strategic oversight of substantial collections, endowments, gifts, and various budgets.

The Head manages a staff of ten, including four librarians, and manages services and programs of the Asia Library in partnership with library-wide services and programs. This position reports to the Associate University Librarian for Research.

This position may include an appointment in an academic department that includes undergraduate and graduate teaching responsibilities depending upon academic credentials and teaching experience.

The University of Michigan’s Asia Library has a long and distinguished tradition of building and providing access to comprehensive collections relevant to East Asian Studies. The Asia Library holds approximately one million physical volumes of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean monographs, serials, microforms, and other media. The library also provides access to thousands of electronic databases, books, and serials in East Asian languages. The collection of East Asia materials in western languages is also quite strong. The Head directs the work of the librarians who are responsible for collection development budgets totaling more than $1,000,000 annually.

These collections are particularly strong in the humanities and social sciences and support doctoral level studies. The Asia Library has a strong history of successful partnerships with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the International Institute, the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for Japanese Studies, and the Nam Center for Korean Studies. The long-standing partnerships are essential for sustaining the entire range of research needs of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff; fostering and innovating scholarly communication; effectively using instructional technologies; embracing new research resources while supporting traditional research methods; and encouraging interdisciplinary research and collaboration across campus and beyond. This collection not only serves the faculty and students of the university but also scholars throughout North America. The Asia Library belongs to a number of cooperative programs such as the Council on East Asian Libraries, the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources, and the Korean Collections Consortium of North America. The Asia Library is considered to be among the top five libraries of its kind in the United States.


  • Positions the Asia Library as a recognized leader in the delivery of scholarly content through an appropriate array of services, programs, and creative applications of technology.
  • Fosters productive and collaborative relationships with directors, chairs, faculty, and administrators in the relevant Centers and programs and within the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts, as well as across campus.
  • Fosters productive and collaborative relationships with library staff in departments and units within the the University of Michigan Library.
  • Serves as the Collection Coordinator for Asia Library by managing acquisitions budgets, gifts, and endowments.
  • Represents the Asia Library and the University of Michigan Library through professional service and affiliations, including: engagement in scholarly activities; professional affiliations and involvement at national and international levels; developing and maintaining collegial relationships with East Asian librarians and researchers from peer institutions.
  • Initiates and cultivates close relations with donors of funds and materials relating to Asia Library collections; collaborates with teaching faculty, the Director of Library Development and the Associate University Librarian for Collections, as appropriate, on fundraising activities.

Required Qualifications*

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library and Information Science or equivalent combination of a relevant advanced degree (in East Asian studies or related field of study) and experience.
  • Proficiency (speaking, writing, and reading) in one of the following languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) in support of East Asian scholarly programs.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, and students of culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Record of scholarly or professional achievement, e.g. publications, presentations, service, or teaching experience.
  • Familiarity with scholarly communication and academic publishing practices throughout East Asia.
  • Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced degree in East Asian Studies or related field, or equivalent knowledge in a related field of study combined with library experience.
  • Demonstrated potential for successful teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Three years of management experience in an academic library or the broader scholarly community.
  • Experience in successfully leading collaborative efforts to enhance user services and to develop innovative initiatives and programs.
  • Demonstrated ability in the writing, management, and reporting of grants.
  • Proficiency with two or more of the following languages: Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
  • Strong user-centered commitment to outreach and service excellence.

See original posting on UM website; via

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