Director, South Caroliniana Library

at University of South Carolina Libraries (view profile)
Published May 8, 2023
Location Columbia, South Carolina
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Education Requirements MLIS or equivalent
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 110000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency 120000
Hourly or Salary? Salary


The University of South Carolina Libraries have retained Jack Farrell and Associates (JFA) to assist us in recruiting outstanding candidates for this important position.  Potential candidates should contact John Hartnett of JFA ( to discuss the position and the process. 


The University of South Carolina (USC) invites applications for the next Director of the South Caroliniana Library.  Housed in the oldest free-standing college library building in the United States (1840), which will reopen after an extensive renovation later in 2023, the SCL is nationally and internationally recognized for its extraordinary collections documenting the state of South Carolina and the American South from the colonial era to the present.  The library’s collections chronicle the development of the Southeastern region, and the holdings are essential to the understanding of South Carolina and Southern culture over the past 300 years in all of its dimensions. The library also houses the archives of the University.

We seek a dynamic, imaginative, service-centered, and collaborative director to provide leadership and vision for this unique library and its dedicated team of skilled professionals.  The Director will have the singular opportunity of guiding the lovingly restored building into the next phase of its life, leveraging its renewed spaces, new technologies, and forward-looking service and outreach models to secure its importance for both the university and the broader community.

The University

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System and serves more than 52,000 students across eight campuses. The main campus is in the state capital city of Columbia, a vibrant, growing community in the Midlands (central) region of the state.  Greater Columbia comprises approximately 800,000 residents, multiple Fortune 500 companies, and a thriving arts scene. Relocation assistance is available to the winning candidate.

The University of South Carolina (USC) is a globally recognized, high-impact research university committed to superior student experience and dedicated to innovation in learning, research, and community engagement. Founded in 1801, USC is one of the oldest public universities in the nation.  The university offers more than 300-degree programs and is a Carnegie Foundation R1 research institution, with nearly $200M in research funding annually.  With 60 nationally ranked academic programs, including a top-ranked program in international business and distinguished programs in engineering, law, medicine, public health, and the arts, the university is helping to build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and around the world.  More than 36,000 students enrolled at USC Columbia in fall 2022, hailing from more than 90 nations.  Its historic campus is centered around the Horseshoe, a graceful, U-shaped space filled with large oak trees and lush greenery.

The Libraries

The University Libraries comprises 53 librarians of faculty status, 66 professional staff, and additional cohorts of student and temporary workers. The Dean’s leadership team is made up of five assistant and associate deans and includes other administrative support, communications, and development staff.

Libraries include:

  • Thomas Cooper Library is the main library at UofSC, housing more than 8 million items of research materials across seven levels in a midcentury modern facility designed by Edward Durell Stone.  TCL has a variety of spaces for students to study, instructional classrooms, a technology lounge where members of the campus community can borrow devices and equipment, and campus partners such as the Student Success Center and the Center for Teaching Excellence.
  • The Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library is shared by the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, South Carolina Political Collections, and Digital Collections, each of which is focused on collecting distinctive materials for students and faculty at USC and for the broader community of scholars.
  • The Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) preserves film and video produced outside of the American feature film industry. The MIRC’s digital repository is among the nation’s largest film and video archives, comprised of more than 8,000 hours of moving image material, including the Fox Movietone News Collection—11 million feet of silent and sound films documenting global events from the 1920s to the 1940s—and the United States Marine Corps Film Repository, with over 10,000 reels of footage documenting 20th century war and peacetime activities.
  • Located inside the School of Music, the USC’s Music Library is one of the largest in the Southeast. It features books, scores, print and electronic journals, audio and video recordings, and special collections. Private rooms are available for group video viewing, score-reading with an electric piano, dubbing recordings, and microform reading and printing. Additionally, audiovisual carrels are equipped for listening and viewing recordings.
  • The South Caroliniana Library was the first freestanding academic library building in the U.S. and is one of the premier research archives and special collections repositories in South Carolina and the Southeast. The library’s collections encompass the entire history of the state of South Carolina and chronicle the development of the Southeastern region; the holdings are essential to the understanding of South Carolina and Southern culture over the past 300 years. Additionally, the library houses the archives of the University.
  • The Library Annex and Conservation Facility is located off-campus in Northeast Columbia, near the South Carolina State Archives. Providing a solution to the overcrowding of the campus library spaces, the annex stores lesser-used materials of academic value in a secure, climate-controlled environment.

The Opportunity

The Director of the South Caroliniana Library (SCL) provides leadership and vision for the public services, public programming, acquisitions, and preservation operations of the library.  The Director works collaboratively with SCL faculty and staff, other special collections units, and colleagues across the University Libraries to guide the development and implementation of collections policies, to establish processing priorities, and to initiate or coordinate digitization projects.  With the Dean of Libraries, Associate Dean for Special Collections, the Director of Development, and Library faculty and staff, Director identifies, cultivates, and stewards individual donors, foundations, and other private supporters.  The Director will lead efforts to pursue grant funding for programming, processing, and digitization.  Incorporating an equity lens into all aspects of the library’s work is a critical responsibility, as is a willingness to grapple with the history represented by the collections honestly and in their entirety.  Reporting to the Associate Dean for Special Collections, the Director supervises several library faculty and staff; they may also hire, or authorize the hiring of, students, temporary staff, volunteers, and interns.

Duties will include:

  • Supervising the daily operations of the South Caroliniana Library.
  • Establishing goals, priorities, and expectations for SCL faculty and staff.
  • Developing and fostering collaborative relationships with other Special Collections and University Libraries units, academic departments and centers, and appropriate community partners for programming, outreach, instruction, and research support.
  • Aligning the SCL’s collections, services, staffing, and facilities with University Libraries’ priorities and the educational, research, and public service mission of the University.
  • Strategically managing budgets and endowed funds for the South Caroliniana Library.
  • Advocating for the needs of the South Caroliniana Library.
  • Actively leading South Caroliniana Library faculty and staff in outreach and engagement across the University community and with the public.
  • In partnership with appropriate University colleagues, actively engaging with current and prospective donors for material support and gifts in kind, including the membership of the University South Caroliniana Society and sources of grant funding.
  • Guiding collection policies for the maintenance and strategic growth of distinctive collections in close consultation with other special collections units and stakeholders.
  • Actively engaging with current and potential donors for material support, especially current use or endowed funds (including grant funding), in partnership with appropriate University colleagues.
  • Representing the South Caroliniana Library and University Libraries in the academic community; with donors; with other collections units; and the public; within the state and region; and within the library and archival professions.


Required qualifications:

  • Graduate degree or equivalent combination of educational achievement and work experience in a relevant area of study (e.g., Library and Information Science, Museum Studies, Public History, or regional studies).
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Evidence of strong supervisory skills developed through increasing responsibilities over five years or more in archives, special collections, a cultural heritage institution or museum, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with and present to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues and constituents within a framework of equity.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in a library, archival institution, or historical society comparable in focus, depth, and breadth to the South Caroliniana Library.
  • A working knowledge of the literature, history, bibliography, and archival resources of the American South and of Southern history.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of preservation best practices for both physical and digital collections.
  • Experience in the application of technologies in libraries and archives, including online and interactive exhibits and visualization tools.
  • Demonstrated evidence of innovation in outreach and programming.
  • Significant research, publication and/or professional participation in one or more of the fields encompassed by the library’s collections.
  • Successful experience in donor cultivation and stewardship.
  • History of success in obtaining grant funding from private and public sources.


The University of South Carolina is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.


The Search Process

The USC Libraries have retained Jack Farrell and Associates (JFA) to assist us in recruiting outstanding candidates for this important position.  Potential candidates should contact John Hartnett of JFA ( to discuss the position and the process.