Collections Strategist Librarian

Location: Chicago, IL

Position Type: OAA - University Librarian

Open Date: July 14, 2023

Position Description

The University of Chicago Library empowers users with deep and rich collections, extensive expertise, innovative programs, and diverse spaces. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive community, enhancing access to scholarly resources, advancing digital scholarship, engaging locally and globally, and excelling in a changing environment.

The Library is developing and implementing a new strategy to transform collection development and management, one that addresses changing needs and moves us to a place where providing access to information is as important as ownership. This will include collaborative and collective collecting, and will incorporate new forms of scholarship. The Library is deeply committed to advancing diversity equity and inclusion through practice; the Collections Strategy Librarian will explore and advance new methods and strategies for discovering and increasing the diversity of our collections. The Collections Strategist Librarian is an innovative service-oriented librarian who will collaborate across the Library to create and constantly refine the Library’s collection strategy towards creating an open, accessible, equitable and transformative contribution to the global knowledge environment.

The Collections Strategist Librarian will work closely with the Associate University Librarian for Collections and Access and collection leaders at UChicago and beyond, including consortial partners such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s BIG Collection, and Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation efforts. They will also engage in community focused initiatives and activities, through collaborations with partners from campus offices and programs.

The ideal candidate possesses skills and abilities to assess and evaluate our existing collection and identify avenues for future growth and expansion and have some experience leading strategic initiatives or services with a wide range of stakeholders. The candidate will need to analyze our own existing collections, practices, capacities, constraints, and potentials to transform our collections strategy and be creative in solving problems in a collaborative environment.


Reporting to the Library’s Associate University Librarian for Collections and Access, the Librarian will join a dynamic team that includes Access Services, Technical Services, and Preservation. In particular, the Collections Strategist will:

Analyze our existing collection to understand strengths and weaknesses and to understand current total size and anticipated growth rates. Analyze investments in various parts of the collection to locate areas where our monetary investment does not align with campus priorities.

Collaborate with subject selectors to understand, document and analyze collection practices and advocate for needed changes in our collecting practices and policies and work with individual subject specialists to develop unified collection policies where needed.

Draft various top-level collecting policies as they affect growth the collections, and plan for anticipated collection growth in all areas and collaborate with colleagues to address collection maintenance and storage strategies.

Work closely with the Collections committees of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and Ivy Plus Library Consortium, cooperative programming and collaborative collection development.

Serve on Library and University Committees and represent the library in various local and national groups working to address collection strategies.

Track trends in cooperative and collective collecting, in particular among our key partner groups, BTAA and IPLC, and recommend approaches that we could pursue, and projects that we could benefit from joining.

Develop a holistic and intentional strategy to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the collection, including articulated collection metrics to assess the impact.



  • ALA-accredited master’s degree or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and advanced degree
  • 5 years of experience in an academic or research library or equivalent
  • Demonstrated experience building collections and collection development policies in an academic library, providing collection assessment, and managing large collection budgets
  • Experience in collaborative planning processes to inform strategy, demonstrated by examples such as the creation of roadmaps or plans produced through multi-stakeholder review or process


  • Demonstrated experience with collection analysis
  • Project planning experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of trends in use of academic library collections
  • Demonstrated experience in managing complex collections projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Demonstrated understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, particularly as they relate to library collection issues
  • Demonstrated experience in working with collection analysis tools combined with the ability to interpret analysis results to recommend changes in approach

Application Instructions

To Apply: Submit cover letter, curriculum vitae, and reference contact information online through the University of Chicago's Academic Recruiting website: Review of applications will begin after August 13, 2023. Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled or the search is closed.

Salary and Benefits: Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement plan, insurance, and paid time off.

Questions: Contact Library Human Resources,

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All University departments and institutes are charged with building a faculty from a diversity of backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints; with cultivating an inclusive community that values freedom of expression; and with welcoming and supporting all their members.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email with their request.

Required Documents


Cover Letter

Contact Reference