Special Assistant to the University Librarian

at American University (view profile)
Published April 8, 2022
Location 4400 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here https://www.american.edu/hr/careers/staff-jobs.cfm
Education Requirements Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent experience required.
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $68,501
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $75,342
Hourly or Salary? Hourly



Special Assistant to the University Librarian coordinates, oversees, and performs a wide executive level support for the University Librarian (UL) by anticipating the needs and responsibilities of the UL. The incumbent is in charge of creating the Library’s internal and external communication strategies, organizing event programs, and publishing annual reports in collaboration with the UL. This position actively participates and engages in activities of the Office of University Librarian, monitors and tracks strategic projects and initiatives particularly with regard to communication, marketing, and library event programs. This position develops and coordinates workflows, communications and procedures for all work done in direct support of the UL and the Library Leadership Team (LLT) and manages the communications flow and dissemination of information from the Office of the University Librarian. This position also manages the UL's business schedules; provides oversight for travel logistics for the UL as appropriate; coordinates meetings with the UL and prepares professional correspondence on behalf of the UL; handles editing and writing tasks; and manages UL records and files for efficient document retrieval, including academic processes and documentation associated with candidate searches, appointment, reappointment, continuous appointment, promotion, professional leaves, and governance processes of faculty.

Essential Functions

  1. Administrative Support and Management: Plan and support key administrative and committee meetings, as well as other Library functions involving the University Librarian (UL), Library Leadership Team, and Library Council to include scheduling meeting rooms, preparing agenda, tracking pending action items, and monitoring actions and progress. Serve as a general resource for strategic and other project planning activities coordinated by the LLT. Research, analyze, and compile information and data, including interpretation of relevant policies, to inform decision-making and program development, anticipating the background needs of the UL. Work closely with the Chief Development Officer and engage in grant writing activities including gathering proposal information by identifying sources of information through collaboration with partners and coordinating requirements with contributors. Exercise independent judgment to initiate and perform special assignments concerning the Office of the University Librarian.
  2. Communication, Marketing, and Event Programs: Create effective communication strategies for the Library, engaging with various library stakeholders, such as on-campus constituencies, community members, and donors. On behalf of the UL, responsible for managing professional correspondence form letters, such as thank you letters for donor gifts and donated books; multi-page documents and reports, such as the University Library’s strategic plan, Library Impact Statements, and other reporting documents related to the functioning of the University Library, including new hires and other Library-wide announcements. Write and edit web stories and pieces for Library publications as needed. Represent the Library Administration to faculty, students, staff, and University officials of the American University community as appropriate.
  3. Supervision: Hire, train, evaluate, and supervise full time staff as well as student employees in the areas of communication, marketing, and library event programs. Foster a working environment that is inclusive, respectful, collegial, and conducive to learning and productivity.

Essential Functions Continued

  1. Project Management: Provide project management support for the UL. In collaboration with UL, create a working schedule for multiple projects, identify major phases of projects, and maintain a list of tasks for each project with their start and finish dates for review on a regular basis with the UL to ensure major phases of deadlines are met. Assist in anticipating any potential limiting factors or constraints for completing projects to create contingency plans. Create and maintain an annual planning calendar for the Library Administration and use this calendar to create timelines ensuring that deadlines are met throughout the year.
  2. Schedule Management: Oversee the UL's business schedules and provide oversight for travel logistics for the UL. Coordinate the UL’s commitments associated with events, donor contacts and fund raising, and campus and community outreach through the collaboration with the LLT members and other library personnel.
  3. Other Duties: Perform other duties as required with regard to the Library Administration.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time
  • Project Leader / Advisor A
  • This position will require onsite presence

Salary Range

  • $68,501-$75,342

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent experience required.
  • 2+ years of administrative experience working with senior level administrators.
  • In-depth knowledge of best practices, issues, technologies, and trends in marketing, advertising and promotion, and electronic communications including social media.
  • Experience writing and managing digital communications – social media, website and other e-communications.
  • Experience involving research and writing in a collaborative work environment; strong orientation to team culture and cross-functionality.
  • Outstanding written/verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated project management experience with solid organization skills and the ability to deal with a number of different projects at the same time.
  • Experience in working in a fast-paced, complex environment.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in communication or administration.
  • 5+ years administrative experience supporting a senior level official or executive in higher education.
  • Experience with graphic design and video abilities.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Excellent interpersonal skill.
  • Ability to work with sensitive and confidential matters, and sensitivity to and appreciation for cultural diversity; must be able to handle confidential information and materials with discretion.
  • Ability to compose meeting agenda; write and publish meeting minutes for the Library Leadership Team and other administrative meetings.
  • High initiative, self-starting capabilities; demonstrated ability to identify and seize opportunities for complex and uncertain contexts without direction or oversight.
  • Proactively identify opportunities to add value to the University Library and Library Administration.
  • Demonstrated ability for problem solving.
  • Ability to stay positive and productive in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Ability to reprioritize daily tasks to resolve urgent issues that arise without losing sight of longer-term projects.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.