Librarian/Curator of African American Collections

Job Number
Job Type
Regular Full-Time
LITS: Library and IT Services
LITS: Rose Library Curators
Location : Name
Emory Campus-Clifton Corridor
This position may involve the following Health and Safety issues:
Not Applicable
Required Documents
Cover letter, Letter of Interest

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Position Summary


Reporting to the Director of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library, the Curator of African American Collections is responsible for developing, promoting, and activating the Rose Library’s African American Collections. The incumbent will build the Rose Library’s African American collections in all formats, observing best practices for collection development through donation and purchase, and will develop and maintain the African American collections in alignment with Rose Library, Emory Libraries and Emory University priorities.


The highly collaborative curator actively promotes engagement with the collections through programmatic outreach, public programming, and instructional activities and serves as a resource for students, staff, researchers, and scholars interested in doing work in the Rose Library and its collections. The curator proactively partners with faculty at Emory to create opportunities for students to engage the collections in public scholarship and digital humanities initiatives enhancing access to the collections. The curator will develop relationships with donors to help support the library’s financial capacity to acquire and care for the collections. The curator will also employ best practices, in collaboration with the Assistant Director of the Rose Library for Collection Strategies, for the acquisition of materials for the collection, attending to both the bigger picture goal of building the collections, and the day-to-day   administrative details required for successful finalization of acquisitions. The curator is also a highly visible role in the community and seeks out opportunities to promote broad public engagement with the collections, working in collaboration with Campus and Community Relations and Emory offices and programs


The Curator of African American Collections participates as a member of the library and university community by serving on various committees as a committed member of the institution. In the Rose Library in particular, the Curator of African American Collections serves as a member of several key committees; ensuring that curatorial work is in alignment with broader Rose Library priorities and initiatives.


In addition, the Curator of African American Collections actively contributes to the scholarship related to African American history through publications, conference talks, lectures, exhibitions, and public presentations on behalf of the Rose Library and Emory University. The curator will have an interdisciplinary approach, rigorous academic background, and ability to build connections beyond the academy through public scholarship. The ideal candidate will further be able to activate the collections in service of promoting anti-racist practices through elevation of history and grounded in evidence found in the archives.


Essential Responsibilities & Duties


A. Collection Development & Management


  • Develops library collections, in accord with current Collection Development policies, through the selection of new materials in all appropriate formats.
  • Engages Rose library staff and institutional faculty stakeholders to develop, articulate, and promote the collecting priorities for African American collections, in concert with Emory’s curricular goals and priorities.
  • Oversees collections budgets, as allocated by the Director of the Rose Library, and uses Alma, the integrated library system, to monitor budgets.
  • Uses the Rose Library's shared cloud-based drive on Box to share information and manage collection-related paperwork. Also manages collection and donor information in the library's collection management system, Archives Space.
  • Reports on collection development activities, contributing data as part of library assessment and reporting activities.
  • Serves as a member of teams within the Rose Library ensuring that the collections are in alignment with divisional priorities and capacity.

B.  Promotion & Outreach

  • Develops exhibitions and interpretive materials to promote collections and the Rose Library as a scholarly and community resource.
  • Consults with Rose Library staff to develop presentations from collections for Emory University faculty and students.
  • Conducts regular outreach with department faculty and graduate students through meetings, presentations, email, and other correspondence.
  • Provide consultation services with researchers and potential researchers using the Rose Library’s African American collections. 
  • Manage events related to the Rose Library’s African American collections, including event planning, set up, take down, and assessment. 
  • Mentors undergraduates and graduate students.
  • Conducts tours and orientation sessions for new and prospective students, faculty, and other patrons.
  • Keeps abreast of new technologies and trends and how they may apply to the disciplinary field by attending and/or participating in conferences, workshops, and webinars.
  • Cultivate a close working relationship with Emory Library’s Campus and Community Relations Team to support marketing, events, exhibitions and outreach to the broader Emory, Atlanta, and region.



C.  Donor Relations and Stewardship

  • Forge, develop, and maintain relationships with donors and potential donors of collections.
  • Steward donors and sellers through the acquisitions process, including sharing information about the process, acquiring appropriate paperwork including deeds of gift or sale, and managing the ongoing relationship with donors over time.
  • Steward donors and sellers through the giving process by helping donors see the value of contributing to the mission of the Rose Library, such as by providing financial resources with collections so that they may be physically processed and made accessible or by helping to secure adequate funds for programs and exhibitions that broaden public access to the Rose Library holdings.
  • Work closely with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement to build development practice in support of the library.
  • Works with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement to create presentations and programming to advance collecting objectives both strategic and opportunistic.

D. Reference and Instruction



  •  Leads special collections instruction sessions related to the Rose Library’s African American collections.
  • Collaborates with the Instruction Archivist on class sessions, curricular development, and faculty presentations related to the Rose Library’s African American collections.
  • Serves on the Rose Library reading room and reference desks.
  • Leads Rose Library tours, student interviews, and show-and-tell sessions for individuals or small groups as requested.
  • Cultivates and nurtures a close and collaborative relationship with Research Services staff and approach reference and instruction as a collaborative and integrated service provided by the Rose Library. 

E. Campus Contributions & Professional/Scholarly Responsibilities


  • Participates in library committees related to primary job assignment as appropriate.
  • Represents the library on university committees and task forces related to primary job assignment.
  • Serves on professional and scholarly association committees, task forces, work groups, and other entities at the local, state, regional, national, and international level as appropriate to position and area of expertise.
  • Participates in appropriate professional and scholarly associations and organizations including maintaining membership and/or accreditation; attending meetings, conferences, workshops; and serving in appointed or elected positions.
  • Presents on work-related topics and research at professional and scholarly conferences, symposia, and workshops. Publishes on work-related topics and research in professional and scholarly publications.
  • Maintains up-to-date professional knowledge and skills in areas related to primary job assignment as well as maintaining general knowledge of current trends in higher education, academic libraries, and information and educational technology.
  • Adheres to guidelines outlined in the Handbook Governing the Librarian series for Faculty-Equivalent Librarians to ensure appointment, appointment renewal and promotion-in-rank



Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library and Information Science OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with appropriate teaching experience and/or library experience).
  • Ability to build and sustain generative relationships with donors, cultural institutions, state, regional, and federal agencies and foundations to support and extend the impact of the African American collections.
  • Ability to build and sustain effective interpersonal relationships with library staff, faculty and students, off campus faculty and administrators, campus administrators, etc.
  • Evidence of analytical, organizational, communication, project, and time management skills and demonstrated ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and complete tasks and projects on time and within budget and in accordance with task/project parameters.
  • Demonstrated proficiency and capabilities with personal computers and software, the Web, and library-relevant information technology applications. Working knowledge of standard computer office applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint or other productivity software.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse educational environment and workplace and an ability to work effectively with a diverse faculty and student population.
  • Capacity to thrive in an ambiguous, future-oriented environment of a major research institution and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current trends and issues in academic libraries, higher education, and relevant subject disciplines.
  • Evidence of active participation, involvement, and leadership in local, state, regional, national, or international professional or scholarly associations.
  • Sophisticated interpersonal skills and ability to convey and attract support for the library’s mission.
  • Excellent attention to detail, administrative experience and ability to manage and track budgets and expenses.
  • Strong teamwork skills and a commitment to promoting a collaborative environment of trust, inclusion, and transparency.
  • Minimum of six years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced doctoral degree in African American history and culture.
  • Experience providing and managing library services with evidence of progressively increasing scope of responsibility in an academic, cultural heritage organization, and evidence of successful record of leadership and ability to foster an organization-wide perspective that ensures effective stewardship of available resources.
  • Experience with public history, including programming, events and exhibitions.
  • Evidence of competence in strategic planning and in introducing and managing change in complex environments along with budget planning and administration, human resources management, and facilities and space planning and management in complex organizations.


Candidates applying by 8/31/2020 will receive priority consideration. Review of applications will begin on August 31, 2020 and continue until position is successfully filled. Emory is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans.



Applications may be submitted as Word or PDF attachments and must include:


1) Cover letter of application describing qualifications and experience;
2) Current resume/vita detailing education and relevant experience; and
3) On a separate document list the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of 3 professional references including a current or previous supervisor.

4) Emory Libraries recognize diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values integral to achieving our mission to enrich the quality of life and advance intellectual discovery by connecting people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. In a separate statement, please reflect upon your experience in advancing social justice and equity, and your vision for integrating this into your library work. Please limit your response to no more than 3 paragraphs.



General Information

Professional librarians at Emory Libraries are 12-month faculty-equivalent positions evaluated annually with assigned ranks renewable for 3 or 5 years based on experience and background.  Appropriate professional leave and funding is provided.  Depending on educational credentials and position, librarians may be considered for a shared/dual appointment between the library and academic department as a faculty member.


Librarian appointees at Emory generally have educational credentials and professional backgrounds with academic library experience and/or disciplinary knowledge and demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning, professional engagement and involvement, research and scholarship, creativity, innovation, and flexibility.   Such backgrounds will normally include a graduate degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science program AND/OR a discipline-specific master’s OR doctoral degree.  In addition to professional competence and service within the library in the primary job assignment, advancement and/or appointment renewal requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library and scholarly activities.  Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.  


Emory provides an extremely competitive fringe benefit plan that includes personal leave, holiday pay, medical and dental plans, life insurance, courtesy scholarships, and tuition reimbursement just to name a few.  For a full list of benefit programs, please go to http://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/benefits/.



Description of Institution and Library

Emory University is internationally recognized for its outstanding liberal arts college, superb professional schools, and one of the South’s leading health care systems.  Emory’s beautiful, leafy main campus is located in Atlanta’s historic Druid Hills suburb and is home to 7,916 undergraduates and 7,326 graduate and professional students.  As the second largest private employer in Atlanta, Emory University and Emory Healthcare have a combined workforce of approximately, 33,026 and an annual operating budget of $5.6 billion.  Emory University received $734 million in research funding in fiscal year 2018.


Ranked among the top 20 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in North America, Emory University Libraries in Atlanta and Oxford, Georgia are an intellectual commons for Emory University.  Comprised of 10 libraries, Emory’s collections include more than 4.8 million volumes, 300,000 plus electronic journals, 1.2 million electronic books, and internationally renowned special collections.  The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Library is home to more than 80,000 rare books and over 17,000 linear feet of manuscript material.  Rose Library’s collections span more than 800 years of history, with particular depth in modern literature, African-American history and culture, and the history of Georgia and the South. 


Emory Libraries staff, including student workers, number approximately 390 with an overall library budget of approximately $48 million. Emory University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Digital Library Federation (DLF), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) as well as regional associations including the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) and Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO).


The Emory University Libraries include the Robert W. Woodruff Library, which is also home to the Goizueta Business Library, the Heilbrun Music and Media Library, and the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.  Other campus libraries, include the Science Commons, the Library Service Center operated in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Woodruff Health Sciences Library, the Pitts Theology Library, the Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library, and the Oxford College Library located on the Oxford Campus approximately 30 miles from Atlanta.


Diversity Statement

Emory Libraries recognize diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values integral to achieving our mission to enrich the quality of life and advance intellectual discovery by connecting people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We champion an inclusive work environment through competency training, reassurance of personal growth, restorative communication practices, and diverse recruitment and retention. We offer exhibits, collections, programming, and research assistance that speaks to the rich needs and identities of patrons from the Emory community and beyond. We encompass opportunities that strengthen these values. We invite you to bring your true self to the library and feel welcomed when you arrive. 



– February 2019


Emory Supports a Diverse and Inclusive Culture

Emory University is dedicated to providing equal opportunities and equal access to all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran's status. Emory University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment on the basis of any factor stated above or prohibited under applicable law. Students, faculty, and staff are assured of participation in University programs and in the use of facilities without such discrimination. Emory University complies with Executive Order 11246, as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Era Veteran's Readjustment Assistance Act, and applicable executive orders, federal and state regulations regarding nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. Emory University is committed to achieving a diverse workforce through application of its affirmative action, equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policy in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. Inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to the Emory University Department of Equity and Inclusion, 201 Dowman Drive, Administration Building, Atlanta, GA 30322. Telephone: 404-727-9867 (V) | 404-712-2049 (TDD).
Emory University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact the Department of Accessibility Services at 404-727-9877 (V) | 404-712-2049 (TDD). Please note that one week advance notice is preferred.


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