at Library Company of Philadelphia (view profile)
Location 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA
Date Posted October 6, 2020
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time
Apply Here
Education Requirements Bachelor’s degree in American studies, American history or American literature or a related field. Advanced degree preferred. MLIS advantageous
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $100,000.00
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $100,000.00
Hourly or Salary? Salary


The Library Company of Philadelphia seeks an outgoing, visionary Librarian, a respected scholar and skilled administrator with a deep commitment to facilitating and sharing research, to serve as a partner with the Executive Director leading a new era of growth and change in a pioneering American research library.




  • Become immersed in and further develop a world-class collection in a library with a storied history that remains a vital part of American life.
  • Play a key role in partnership with the Executive Director and a talented, dedicated team shaping the future of this renowned institution.


  • Help the Library pursue a strategy to magnify its impact in public and academic spheres within its core capacities as a research library.
  • Facilitate experimentation to create new means of public engagement with history and expand concepts of scholarship.
  • Collaborate with professional peers at educational and cultural institutions in a city steeped in history, and beyond.
  • Accelerate recent progress toward diversity and inclusion within the organization and among the people it serves.
  • Influence academia in generating and disseminating knowledge.
  • Facilitate research and publication by a wide variety of scholars.
  • Enjoy life in a historic city with outstanding cultural and recreational resources, situated near other great cities.



  • Succeeding a highly regarded, long-tenured person and becoming steeped in the collection as quickly as possible.
  • Helping find solutions to an urgent need for more stack space.
  • Helping the Executive Director update and modernize an organization steeped in tradition while retaining its strengths. Effecting change will require diplomacy, patience, and steady effort.
  • Drawing new patrons and fostering new means of scholarship and dissemination of knowledge.
  • Continuing to broaden the scope of the collection to draw more diverse audiences and finding new areas of specialization that anticipate directions in American historical scholarship.
  • Completing documentation of the collection and bringing accessibility up to current standards.


The Librarian will be a person prepared and eager to take these challenges.



  • A respected scholar dedicated to facilitating and enriching other scholars’ research. Demonstrates intellectual generosity. Service-oriented.
  • Well versed in rare books and printing history in America.
  • Someone with the desire and skills to lead, to pull a team together. Has the diplomacy and steadiness to overcome inertia and establish guidelines, to “get people riding the same bus.”
  • Inclusive but decisive; seeks and considers staff opinions then makes clear decisions and follows through consistently.
  • An experienced manager able to deal empathetically and effectively with self-motivated professionals.
  • An open communicator with both leadership and staff.
  • A networker and collaborator within and outside the organization.
  • An engaging public speaker, also comfortable in front of a camera.
  • An outward-facing person with strong people skills.
  • Aware of and sensitive to issues of gender, gender identity, and race.
  • Has extensive connections in the world of historic printed materials – research libraries, collectors and dealers, and in American historical scholarship.





  • Stay abreast of the needs of the collection and the collection staff, and represent them effectively to the Executive Director, board, and supporters.
  • Seek the most efficient organization of staff and operational modes to ensure effective means of continuing the Library Company’s tradition of stellar service to patrons.
  • Actively manage the budgets and operating procedures for five departments to maintain fiscal control.
  • Foster communication and collaboration among departments to guide them in a common direction fulfilling strategic-plan goals.
  • Work with staff and collections committees to align collections’ policies across departments.
  • Manage continuing improvement of collection accessibility using 21st-century research methods.
  • Develop a plan for a digital humanities program.
  • Help oversee public programs, exhibitions, and teacher training to ensure quality, effectiveness, and alignment with strategic goals.
  • Assist the Executive Director and the Chief Development Officer with cultivation of donors.
  • Lead efforts to gain the best possible understanding of patrons’ and fellows’ natures and needs.
  • Help spread awareness of the Library in a complex modern environment.




  • Bachelor’s degree in American studies, American history or American literature or a related field. Advanced degree preferred. MLIS advantageous.
  • Deep knowledge of rare books archives, and the history of printing.
  • Thorough grounding in and commitment to current library practices and philosophy attained through advanced study and/or experience.
  • Record of success managing museum or library staff, budgets, and operations.
  • A constant learner who relishes being part of a learning community, fostering learning in other staff, researchers, and the public.