Supervisory Librarian, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

at Smithsonian Institution (view profile)
Published February 15, 2023
Location Panama City, Panama
Category Other  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $84,546
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $109,908
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade GS-13
Twitter Handle @SILibraries


Are you passionate about the future of library research support for scientific discovery at the world’s largest museum library system? Do you have experience as a supervisory librarian in a natural history, tropical sciences, or an academic research library?  Are you bilingual (Spanish/English)? 

The Earl Silas Tupper Library in Tropical Biology, located on Ancón Hill, Panama City, Republic of Panamá, supports the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). The Library is one of twenty-one Library Research Centers of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, supporting the research, publications, exhibits and public programming of STRI, as well as those of other museums and research institutions in Panamá and across Central America. 

The successful candidate would support the foundational work of the library while understanding new methods of scientific discovery and implementing services in support of this dynamic research environment. The bilingual staff at STRI also select and provide training on thousands of online journals and database resources.   The Supervisory Librarian (GS 13) would join colleagues across the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives and the Smithsonian in cooperative processes and projects to support the mission of the Smithsonian to increase and diffuse knowledge. The successful candidate will also participate in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), headquartered at SLA.  

Application deadline is March 1, 2023. Please be sure to include transcripts (official transcripts must be provided if selected for the position) and to create a detailed resume in the USAJOBS Resume Builder. This position is Telework Eligible, but is not a Remote Job.


The Supervisory Librarian provides onsite strategic planning, collection development, reference management, staff management for the Earl S. Tupper Tropical Sciences Library (STRI Library).

In this position, you will:

  • Direct the continuing development of a coordinated program of innovative library and archival service to the STRI research and administrative communities.
  • Develop local hire position descriptions; establishes performance requirements and evaluates performance; performs training and ensures quality control, initiates or recommends personnel actions; recruits and makes recommendations for hiring staff; takes disciplinary action as required; and identifies training needs and plans as required under Panamanian Labor laws.
  • Coordinates collection projects with SLA Collections and becomes familiar with other collections that complement the library's holdings and takes their strengths and weaknesses into consideration when refining and developing the STRI collection.
  • Provide overall direction, strategic vision, and leadership for the STRI library and archives in the areas of research services, collection development and access, resource sharing, interlibrary loan, local cataloging practices, and administrative support.
  • Serves as an expert resource in reference and information research in tropical research, work with researchers in advanced fields of knowledge using a wide range of databases and other information resources.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  1. Mastery of skill in one or more major library and archives functions in order to solve highly complex problems within the function, or problems that involve relationships among functions.
  2. Ability to supervise a diverse staff of local hires in both Spanish and English, and adhere to Panamanian Labor Laws, consulting with STRI Human Resources as required.
  3. Ability to make significant recommendations to change, interpret, or develop important or innovative information policies, programs, approaches, or analysis methods.
  4. Expert knowledge of the structure and content of the Spanish language, in order to speak, write, read, listen and otherwise conduct all matters of business in a professional bilingual work environment (Spanish/English).
  5. Mastery of skill in one or more major library and archives functions (e.g., collection development, reference, serials management, cataloging, library automation, archival digitization, preservation, or metadata documentation, etc.) in order to solve highly complex problems within the function, or problems that involve relationships among functions.

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