Director, Fisher Fine Arts Library — University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Director, Fisher Fine Arts Library

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America’s Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

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Posted Job Title
Director, Fisher Fine Arts Library

Job Profile Title
Librarian D

Job Description Summary

Through its collections and services, the Fisher Fine Arts Library is integral to the learning, teaching, and research of the contemporary and historical aspects of art, architecture, city and regional planning, historic preservation, landscape architecture, studio art, and urban spatial analytics at the University of Pennsylvania. With a generous collections budget, the Fine Arts Library’s collections include 125,000 print titles, 1,300 serials, and an image collection of more than two million owned and licensed digital images. Databases, e-journals, and e-books offer dynamic coverage of a broad spectrum of art and architecture. The G. Holmes Perkins Architectural Collection houses approximately three thousand rare books, with associated maps and prints, presenting the history and theory of architecture over the past four hundred years. The Materials Library offers an active 3D scanning service and nearly 9000 samples ranging from traditional construction materials with a focus on sustainability to textiles, papers, and artists materials. In addition to the Director, an Assistant Director, a Materials Librarian, and the Common Press Director, the staff includes five full-time staff members and approximately 30 student assistants. The director reports to the Associate University Librarian for Academic Engagement and Director of the Arts and Culture Libraries, works in close collaboration with the heads of the Museum and Music libraries, and with the heads and staff of the Penn Libraries 14 departmental libraries. The director works in cooperation with the Collection Development Council’s Coordinator for Humanities Collections on matters pertaining to collection budget and expenditure, and participates in Libraries-wide initiatives.

The Director of the Fisher Fine Arts Library, leads Fisher Fine Arts staff in developing the strategic direction of the library, its Materials Library and Image Collection, and the Common Press, a letterpress and book-arts studio, which is a collaborative effort with Penn’s Kelly Writers House and the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. The director oversees the library’s building operations in consultation with the Libraries facilities manager and the Stuart Weitzman School of Design’s Director of Operations. The director has ultimate responsibility for staff management and for developing, managing, and maintaining the library’s rich print, material, and digital collections. In collaboration with the assistant director, the director designs and implements innovative user-centered services, and promotes engagement with a diverse and interdisciplinary faculty, student body, and university community.

Job Description

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

• Develop operating policies and manage the day-to-day staffing, current and future building needs and operations of the Fisher Fine Arts Library
• Hire, mentor, and support the development of all Fisher Fine Arts Library professional staff. Support the Assistant Director and Materials Librarian in managing bargaining unit staff
• Directly supervise the Assistant Director, Materials and Images Librarian, and Common Press Director
• Leads all aspects of collection development for the Fisher Fine Arts Library, including the rare book collection, Materials Library, and circulating collections
• Manage the Fine Arts collections budget, set priorities for resource allocation across the Fisher Fine Arts Library’s collecting areas
• Work with Library Advancement on identifying, cultivating, and stewarding donors in support of the mission of the Fisher Fine Arts Library
• Develop vision and strategic direction for the Fisher Fine Arts Library in support of the Penn Libraries strategic plan
• Collaborate with faculty and staff of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, the Department of the History of Art, and other departments to develop library services and distinctive collections
• Envision and advocate for future spaces and initiatives for the Fisher Fine Arts Library and its affiliate programs
• Collaborate with colleagues across the Libraries and support Libraries-wide initiatives
• Other duties as assigned

Qualifications Required:

• MLS/MLIS or other relevant advanced degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience in a library, museum, or research setting.
• Experience in collection development
• Leadership skills and a record of progressively responsible management experience.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of faculty, students, staff, and members of the general public.
• Exhibit a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.


• Awareness of current issues and trends in library and information science relevant to art libraries, special collections, and archives, including emerging technologies and scholarly communications.
• Experience providing reference services and instructional sessions for arts-related resources.

• Advanced training in an arts field, which may include architecture or urban design and planning.

• Demonstrated ability to think and lead strategically in support of the planning, evaluation and assessment of Library operations (including managing staff and giving attention to the physical site)

• Broad knowledge of information resources in appropriate fields.

• Experience managing acquisitions, operating, and personnel budgets.

• Experience researching, mounting and promoting exhibits.

• Experience managing digital image collections.

• Experience coordinating facilities management.

• Reading knowledge of languages beyond English.

• Experience cultivating and providing stewardship to donors.

• Experience collaborating with other public and private cultural institutions.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Budgeted Pay Range:

$90,000-$100,000 commensurate with education and experience.

Job Location – City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Library

Pay Range

$61,046.00 – $95,972.00
Salary offers are made based on the candidate’s qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

• Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family’s health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.

• Tuition: Take advantage of Penn’s exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.

• Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn’s Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.

• Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.

• Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you’re newly hired, you won’t have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.

• Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.

• Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.

• University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University’s libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There’s always something going on at Penn, whether it’s a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you’re right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.

• Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you’ll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.

• Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.

• Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.

• Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit this web-site.

To apply, visit this web-site.

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