One Position: Washington, D.C.

Position: Collection Strategy Librarian

Location: American University Library

Originally posted on ALA Joblist.

American University Library invites applications from innovative, energetic, and service-oriented librarians to fill a continuing appointment faculty position supporting the University Library, beginning as soon as possible and subject to budgetary approval. Rank will be dependent upon experience and stature in the field at the assistant or associate level.

Responsibilities: The Collections Strategy Librarian provides leadership, vision, and strategic direction for American University Library in the development, preservation, and management of the library’s general collections, ensuring that the collection is able to support the mission of American University and respond to changes in the curriculum, faculty research, changes in scholarly publishing, and the American University’s strategic directions. As such, this position in conjunction with Technical Services is responsible for strategically allocating and managing the library’s collection budgets, both university allocated and endowment.

The Collections Strategy Librarian is a member of Research, Teaching and Learning (RTL) and reports to the Director of RTL. Under the leadership of the Director of RTL, this position works closely with subject librarians and staff/faculty in Technical Services, helping to guide collections work. This position coordinates the collections work of the subject liaisons and works with staff in Library Access, Discovery and Assessment for ongoing collections assessment. Additionally, the Collections Strategy Librarian participates in broader initiatives as part of the library and represents American University on the WRLC Coordinated Collections Committee and works to advance our cooperative collections work within the consortium.

This position is a member of library faculty and participates in university faculty governance activities. The Collections Strategy Librarian actively supports DEI initiatives within the University Library. Continuing Appointment line library faculty members are expected to be active contributors to the field of librarianship and to participate in campus-wide and library-wide activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Collaborates with Technical Services, Administrative Services, and American University Library’s Development Officer to strategically allocate and manage library’s collections budgets, both university allocated and endowment.
  • Reviews collections budget data and conducts assessment in order to lead informed collections decisions—e.g. collection acquisitions, cancellations, and deaccessions.
  • Provide engaged and coordinated leadership in efforts to develop American University’s collections and collection access through support of initiatives that create a more effective, equitable and open scholarly information ecosystem—e.g. selecting OA collections for inclusion in our library system, working with the Scholarly Communication Librarian on other open initiatives.
  • Analyze and report on internal and external data and trends regarding collection growth, usage, costs, and benchmarks to inform decisions regarding the collections budget and to develop collection management and development strategies.
  • Conduct analysis and provide documentation for accreditation assessment and all course and program reviews and course proposals as they relate to library collections.
  • Provide leadership and coordination for the collection development activities of the subject librarians
    • Permanent chair of the library’s collection management body.
    • Manage the collection calendar/schedule to be sure that all deadlines are met.
    • Keep subject librarians informed about technological and collections development and trends.
    • Coordinate the collections-oriented work of the subject librarians—e.g. renewals, reviews, prospective purchases, weeding, planning big purchases, gifts, etc.
    • Oversee approval plans profiles in coordination with subject librarians.
    • Participate in the training and mentorship of subject librarians related to collection development in conjunction with direct supervisors.
    • Assist individual subject librarians with collections data and analysis, including reports from Alma Analytics.
  • Responsible for the general/interdisciplinary and library science funds and for all collections and products that are purchased with these funds.
  • Responsible for selecting materials for specialized collections that do not fall into a specific subject selector’s area, excluding special collections.
  • Responsible for communication regarding collections including announcing new resources and communications with faculty on significant changes.
  • Represent American University Library on the WRLC Coordinated Collections Committee and participate in consortia collection development.
  • Represent American University Library in other cooperative collection development efforts, as they develop.
  • Participates in the library’s advancement, fundraising and stewardship efforts as they relate to collection development.
  • As a member of RTL, participate in the unit’s information literacy instruction and research assistance programs.
    Service to the Profession
  • Participate in advancing the profession of Librarianship or another academic field through original research, relevant service to professional and scholarly societies, publications, and impactful presentations in professional or scholarly venues.
    Service to the University
  • Participate in the shared governance of American University and American University Library through active participation on university and library committees and engagement in work that meaningfully furthers the university and library outside of the primary duties of the position.
    Other Duties
  • Actively contribute to library-wide and departmental initiatives and activities.
  • The Collection Strategist Librarian may be asked to perform other duties as operational needs arise.