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Associate Director for Creation and Curation Services

Associate Director for Creation and Curation Services

Digital Learning and Scholarship/Scholarly Resources and Special Collections

Kelvin Smith Library

Case Western Reserve University

The Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) at Case Western Reserve University seeks imaginative, collaborative and dynamic candidates for the position of Associate Director for Creation and Curation Services (AD). With visionary and strategic leadership the AD will lead two teams: (1) the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections Team, which collects and curates collections of uniquely-held rare books, manuscripts, and archival material – regardless of physical format, and (2) the Digital Learning and Scholarship Team, which designs KSL’s technology-related services and facilitates the expanding digital scholarship programs.

These two teams were brought together out of a recognition of the growing importance of integrating two key elements of library content: the acquisition, creation, transfer, access and preservation of unique research information content in all formats, born-analog and born-digital alike, and the deep research mining of that content through digital scholarship technologies. The new Associate Director will be responsible for setting a vision that will reimagine special collections in the 21st century and amalgamate traditional and new forms of scholarly content through the application of e-research and digital scholarship. Creation and Curation Services will play a critical role in advancing the new University strategic plan, Think Beyond the Possible: 2013-2018, which calls for the University to develop bold new interdisciplinary collaborations to improve learning and research through the innovative application of technology, and to expand the prominence and relevance of research opportunities for students. In particular, the University plan encourages entrepreneurial thinking across campus, such as by “completing the redesign of the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship as an incubation space for creative and collaborative endeavors available to faculty and students who wish to engage in advanced research employing digital scholarship methods and technology.” Achieving this vision requires both the application of research technologies, and the availability of the robust primary materials essential for interdisciplinary research.

Reporting to the Associate Provost and University Librarian, the AD will manage the human and financial resources for the aforementioned teams, serve with two other associate directors as a member of the library’s senior leadership team, develop library-wide strategies, and ensure service quality and act as the primary administrative liaison to University Information Technology Services (ITS). The AD also works with many campus and external partners, will participate in the cultivation of potential donors, and be expected to engage in professional endeavors nationally and internationally.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is one of the most comprehensive research universities in the country. Located in Cleveland, the University was formed in 1967 through the federation of the Case Institute of Technology, founded in 1880, and Western Reserve College, founded in 1826. CWRU strengths are in research, teaching, service, and experiential learning. In FY 2012 research awards from all sources were $388 million; federal agencies accounted for over 80 percent of awards, with the largest single source of support being the National Institutes of Health.

The University enrolls over 5,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate and professional students across a wide range of disciplines. The core clientele of KSL are the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Weatherhead School of Management. KSL also serves the five additional schools: Dental Medicine, Law, Medicine, the Bolton School of Nursing, and the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. CWRU employs approximately 3,000 faculty and over 3,000 staff.

CWRU is located in University Circle, a 550-acre, park-like concentration of approximately 50 cultural, medical, educational, religious, and social service institutions located five miles east of downtown Cleveland. Cleveland offers a high quality of life and relatively low housing prices.

Barbara R. Snyder became president of Case Western Reserve University in 2007. Since her arrival the University has set all-time records for annual fundraising and total donors, doubled the number of undergraduate applicants, and significantly strengthened the academic qualifications of entering students. In 2011 the University launched Forward Thinking, the University’s $1 billion capital campaign, with more than 60 percent of the goal raised during the quiet phase. The plan calls on the University to build on existing strengths through interdisciplinary partnerships.

The 2008-2013 University Strategic Plan includes four key goals supported by KSL:

  • Advancing CWRU’s academic programs to increase the University’s impact;
  • Developing a strong, vibrant, and diverse University community;
  • Expanding and deepening the University’s relationship with the larger community; and
  • Strengthening institutional resources to support the University’s mission.

The stated vision of KSL is to be “the information laboratory for knowledge collection, connection, creation and curation.” In support of the four key goals above, KSL articulated a plan to enhance the impact its collection and staff have on the CWRU campus and beyond. Central to this goal is the reinvention of the library’s technological capabilities and physical spaces to accommodate new types of instruction and collaborative learning. Improving access to KSL’s holdings and collections is a vital component of realizing this vision, and falls in the domain of the AD.

The University has finalized a new strategic plan for 2013-2018, and KSL will update its strategic plan to align with the University’s new directions. The draft of the University strategic plan calls for completing the redesign of the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship and for providing library information content, services and resources commensurate with those of peer institutions. The focus on innovative education and research is clear, as is the expectation that KSL will be a leading collaborative contributor.

CWRU Libraries

Under the leadership of Associate Provost and University Librarian Arnold Hirshon, KSL has been embarking on a bold review of its role as a modern research library and is expanding its reach with innovative services that engage students and faculty and increase global access to KSL’s collection of scholarly work.

The Kelvin Smith Library is the main University Library, and its management encompasses the separately housed University Archives, the Kulas Music Library, and the Astronomy Library. KSL and the other three professional school libraries within the University have combined total holdings of 2.85 million volumes. CWRU is a member of OhioLINK, a consortium of 89 institutions located in Ohio, which includes an online public catalog and rapid library material delivery system. Through both OhioLINK and other sources, KSL provides access to almost 500 databases and over 93,000 electronic journals to the whole campus.

Creation and Curation Services is one of three divisions of the Kelvin Smith Library. The other two are Academic Engagement (including Acquisition and Metadata Services, Research Services, and Access and Delivery Services) and Public Engagement and Library Administration (including Human Resources, and Budget, Planning and Assessment).

Creation and Curation Services

Within the division of Creation and Curation Services are the Digital Learning & Scholarship Services and Scholarly Resources & Special Collections. A key component of the former is the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship, an endowed partnership between KSL, the CWRU College of Arts and Sciences, and other campus partners. The Freedman Center serves as an all-campus, technology-rich space that offers technology and consultation services to support innovative research projects and presentations, often involving interdisciplinary and global collaborations. The strategic vision for the Freedman Center, as articulated in a White Paper issued in Spring 2013, is to act as the hub and facilitator of campus services in support of digital scholarship. A Call for Participation and Action for advancing innovation and collaboration in digital scholarship at CWRU has recently been put forth by KSL. The Call describes the researcher and service provider communities that will work together to develop a CWRU alliance for digital scholarship and outlines the conversations between and across those groups.

Digital Case is CWRU’s online source for curated digital content, including photographs and audio recordings from University Archives, digital copies of rare books and manuscripts in Special Collections, current research data, and the intellectual output of faculty. KSL manages Digital Case on behalf of the University and its content encompasses collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

With Digital Case, KSL assumes an active role in the scholarly communication process, providing expertise in the form of a set of services (metadata creation, secure environment, preservation) for access and distribution of unique collective intellectual product. A major redesign of Digital Case is underway, built upon a back end employing Fedora Hydra and Omeka, and a customized access interface that is being co-developed between members of the Digital Learning and Scholarship Team, working in collaboration with an external software provider and other institutions in University Circle. As a collaborative effort of the Digital Learning and Scholarship Team and the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections Team, this Digital Case 2.0 redesign will become a keystone effort to transform the ability of the library to provide content and for the user community to discover and exploit this unique content in more powerful ways.

Special Collections houses rare and unique books, manuscripts, letters, and other special collections. Holdings include significant collections of the history of science and technology, American and continental literature and history of the 18th and 19th centuries, the history of the book and book arts from the 15th to the 21st century, and notable works in fine arts, science and technology, travel and exploration. The library also holds several unique manuscript collections documenting Cleveland’s international influence in technology, urban planning and urban life, including the archives and papers of inventor Charles Brush, the Warner & Swasey Company, the Cleveland Playhouse (the oldest regional theater company in the United States), and the Ernst & Young Founders Archive. Other special collections of note are the private library of the prominent German philologist Wilhelm Scherer, original works by Cleveland composers Marcel Dick and Donald Erb, autograph collections of American and British personalities, a collection of over 5,000 artistic book plates, and prints and posters created by Cleveland artists during the WPA era. Also located in the Kelvin Smith Library are the Preservation Services, which work with both analog and digital materials.

The University Archives maintain the corporate memory of Case Western Reserve University by preserving and using University records and publications of continuing value. Materials in the Archives document the University’s development and serve as a convenient source of reliable current and historical information about University programs, people, policies, and property and about the surrounding community. The collections and reading room of the Archives are located in the University West building.

In addition to fostering collaborative endeavors on the CWRU campus, KSL is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), OhioLINK, and CNI (the Coalition for Networked Information). KSL also partners with many of the world-class cultural organizations in Cleveland’s University Circle, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, as well as other Cleveland organizations such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives.

Further information about the digital library services can be found on the KSL website at Further information about special collections and archives can be found at Further information about the Freedman Digital Center is available at

The Position and Opportunities

The Associate Director for Creation and Curation is responsible for providing, strategic, intellectual and programmatic leadership for two teams: (1) Digital Learning and Scholarship and (2) Scholarly Resources and Special Collections. With direct management responsibility and budget authority for these teams, the AD fosters a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration within and between library staff and users. Through visionary leadership, the AD works in collaboration with the library management team to shape the future of scholarly research at CWRU. The AD manages a staff of 13 FTE and a budget of $1.4 million.

General Responsibilities

The AD is the key strategic officer responsible for envisioning and administering library technology and special collection services commensurate with that of other world-class academic research universities.

  • Strategic Leadership

The Associate Director plays a significant role in the definition and realization of KSL’s ambitious goals. The University’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan Think Beyond the Possible stresses the gains that come from collaborative, inter-disciplinary efforts. The AD will be one of the key drivers of these new connections, both locally and globally.

As a member of the KSL administration, the AD will play a critical role in the development of the new library strategic plan (2014-2018), and will manage implementation, and assessment of the progress towards achieving these goals. Effective accomplishment will require strong working relationships with other associate directors, all library team leaders, and other members of the academic community.

  • Administrative Responsibilities

The AD will assess trends and innovations, develop innovative and cost-effective solutions, and administer staff to foster a culture of collaboration to advance faculty and student work throughout the research lifecycle, and to enable the library to meet the University’s strategic goals in research, innovation and academic excellence. The AD will work extensively with the team leaders of the Digital Learning and Scholarship and Scholarly Resources and Special Collections groups.

  • Engagement

As a collaborative leader, the AD must function outside of KSL and contribute to discussion of a wide range of campus policy and management matters. The AD will work not only with CWRU faculty, students and staff, but also with CWRU’s other independent professional school libraries (health sciences, law, and applied social sciences and social work), and external consortia such as OhioLINK. The AD will also play an integral role in introducing faculty and students to the content, technology, facilities and services upon which many of CWRU’s new curricular and research initiatives rely.

The AD will serve as a key liaison between KSL and other related University offices, including University Information Technology Services (ITS), around joint initiatives such as the visualization wall and active collaborative learning facilities), the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, the Office of Research and Technology Management, the Graduate School, and the Case School of Engineering’s think[box].

The AD will also play an active role in broadening outreach to the student and faculty research and learning communities to enable digital scholarship and scholarly content services at CWRU to grow through experimentation while remaining financially responsible. Through a deep involvement with both the research and service portions of this community the AD will also be well positioned to anticipate additional areas of expertise and service needed for continuous advancement of these programs.

  • Digital Learning and Scholarship

The AD leads the KSL’s technology-related programs and services, including the emerging initiatives regarding digital scholarship. Regarding the work of this team, the AD is also responsible for:

  • developing the library’s digital scholarship strategies and services (including the Freedman Center and its Geospatial and Statistics Data Center);
  • delivering dependable technology systems and infrastructure (including the integrated library system, Digital Case, and locally-developed software);
  • ensuring the reliability of the library website and other social media, and of computers, networking hardware and software; and
  • maintaining compliance with university and library policies regarding the security and availability of sensitive and confidential material.
  • Scholarly Resources and Special Collections

The AD oversees the services related to special collections content, management and accessibility, in both traditional and emerging content and format types, with a goal of promoting the visibility and integration of CWRU scholarly resource materials into the curriculum across disciplines. Regarding the work of this team, the AD is also responsible for:

  • overseeing the development and implementation of collection management policies regarding the library’s collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives; and
  • ensuring the effective digitization, preservation and curation of the library’s print, digital and other media collections (including research data management and repository services).
  • Professional Activity

Commensurate with an appointment at the Librarian III or IV level, the AD will also promote the development and adoption of scholarly content and emerging technologies through personal professional activities such as presentations at seminars, participation in national professional meetings, and/or publication.  The AD is also expected to encourage staff of the division to engage in professional activities, and to serve as a mentor in that process.


The new Associate Director will be a visionary, entrepreneurial, collaborative, dynamic and creative individual who exudes passion about her/his work, and who can inspire and mobilize high-performing, engaged, diverse, and accountable teams. The AD will understand and be able to articulate the conceptual issues affecting the work of Creation and Curation Services, and will work effectively with team leaders and members to coach and guide the implementation of programs and services.

Candidates should be able to provide evidence of successful management experience of a significant administrative unit within a non-profit, cultural or academic environment. Experience increasing the discovery and application of information resources (regardless of medium or physical format) may be considered as of greater importance than experience with particular technologies or library special collections.

Candidates should possess considerable knowledge of current issues regarding the application of technology to improve information discovery. The following experiences and characteristics are also preferred:

  • Successful building of service-oriented, collaborative relationships at all levels (colleagues, supervised staff, and supervisors);
  • Efficient personnel, fiscal and project management skills;
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to ensure effective partnering with executive management and representation of Creation and Curation Services;
  • Demonstrated success in human resources and fiscal management, especially mentoring and resource maximization; and
  • A record of substantial and sustained professional contributions at the institutional, regional, national or international levels.

A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline is required. Completion of a second advanced degree within an area of specialization is preferred. Candidates must have qualifications consistent with appointment at the level of Librarian III or IV

Please send applications and nominations to:

Andrew Evans or Kristine O’Brien

Brill Neumann Associates

Please visit Kelvin Smith Library for additional information.

In employment, as in education, CWRU is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. CWRU provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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