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Dean of Library Services, Wheaton College

  • 1.  Dean of Library Services, Wheaton College

    Posted 01-04-2018 08:29

    Wheaton College (, a private, residential, liberal-arts college located in southeastern Massachusetts, seeks an ambitious new Dean of Library Services to define the future of library and information services in supports of the College's mission: "to create possibilities for our students by offering a full range of studies in the arts, sciences, humanities, mathematics and social sciences. Our approach to the liberal arts emphasizes active learning in the classroom, on the campus and in the real world." 

    Reporting to the Provost and appointed with faculty status, the new Dean of Library Services will be an innovative and collaborative leader who provides strategic direction for all functions of the Wallace Library in partnership with other academic units and in support of the mission of the College. The Dean of Library Services will articulate and implement a compelling strategic plan for the future of Wallace Library, based on a perceptive and inspirational vision of the future of academic libraries. The Dean's vision will continue to transform the Library into a dynamic academic hub that serves the needs of all members of the Wheaton community.

    The Dean of Library Services serves as the primary advocate for the Library, both internally and externally. Anticipating future opportunities and challenges, the Dean collaborates closely with faculty and administrators to continually align and integrate the Library into the academic life of the College. To that end, the Dean builds communities of practice and interest across campus and actively seeks both resources and external support for the Library's programmatic initiatives, including but not limited to its programs to promote information literacy across the curriculum and the use of digital methods and technologies in the classroom.

    The Dean of Library Services provides accountability for the Library by preparing and administering an approximately $2.75 million operating budget; ensuring that its collections and resources align with and meet the needs of Wheaton's curriculum; hiring and managing a diverse and dedicated staff; and developing a culture of assessment of library services and outcomes. The Dean is also charged with fostering an organizational climate based on respect, service, teamwork, communication, professional growth, and responsibility in which diversity, creativity, and innovation thrive.

    For the decade before 2016, Wheaton's library and information technology functions were integrated under an assistant vice president of library and information services, who reported to the Provost. In 2016, the two organizations were separated and the library remained part of the Provost's office. As the library organization has settled into this new administrative structure, its budget, infrastructure, staffing model, and organizational culture has begun to emerge. Now, a 22-person staff, many of them hired in the last few years and excited to be part of a forward-looking, ambitious, service-oriented library, cover research and instruction, access services, digital and special collections, and media services.

    The Wallace Library is the likely home of the Center for Teaching and Learning that is currently in design development. Reporting to the Provost alongside the Dean of Library Services, the head of the Center for Teaching and Learning, who is to be appointed in the coming academic year, will be a key colleague for the Dean in initiatives and programs focused on students and faculty.

    College leadership, informed by a 2016 ACRL review, have identified several priorities for the new Dean, who will naturally have the opportunity to assess these priorities and develop a plan to address them as well as others that may be identified during his/her tenure:

    • Articulate a vision for the Wallace Library that will re-establish its relevance for all College stakeholders – faculty, students, staff, alumni, and neighbors – and make it a vibrant space, actual and virtual, for collaboration, exploration, and innovation.
    • Develop a strategy for the library's digital collection.
    • Develop a plan for the evolution of the library's space and physical environment.
    • Ensure library systems are aligned with constituents' expectations and the ambitions of the College.
    • Contribute to the design, launch, and success of the Center for Teaching and Learning.

    Advancing these critical endeavors will engage the Dean in conversations and collaborations with College leadership, with faculty, and with students and staff in the shared work of transforming this core Wheaton resource and positioning it to sustain the College's educational programs and its campus environment going forward.

    Core Responsibilities

    • Oversees all Library employees, services, and policies, maintaining and advancing library services to all College constituents. Effectively leads and manages all library staff. Pays special attention to achieving greater diversity among library staff in recruiting and hiring. Fosters an open and inclusive work environment that values communication, collaboration, and respect.
    • Serves as lead ambassador and advocate for the Library within the Wheaton community. Takes an active and visible role on campus, including by serving on various committees.
    • Spearheads all strategic planning and fundraising activities related to the Library and its service to the broader College mission.
    • Helps to conceptualize and develop a recently proposed Center for Teaching and Learning.
    • Oversees the allocation and dispensation of the Library budget and aligns it with all strategic planning objectives.
    • Stays current with the research and scholarship on academic libraries. Fosters a creative environment that supports innovative teaching by faculty and staff, consistent with the pedagogical and administrative goals of the College.
    • Represents the Library at professional conferences and committees both locally and nationally, including as the representative of Wheaton College on the Executive Board of the HELIN library consortium.

    For more information about the Wallace Library, see


    Wheaton is seeking a Dean who will be a bold and transformative leader, conceiving innovative ways to generate resources for the library that will move it bring it forward to the level of service, impact, and relevance that the College expects in terms of its collection, its space, and its role in teaching, learning, research, and community. The Dean will be someone who is open, collaborative, trusted, and committed to the Wheaton College community. S/he will be appointed as a member of the College faculty and must therefore demonstrate clear community to academic values.

    The ideal candidate will bring many of the following qualifications:


    • A Master's degree from an ALA-accredited Library/Information Science program; an additional master's degree or higher in a discipline taught at Wheaton College is desirable but not required.
    • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in library administration, preferably in an academic institution; experience as a direct report to a library director/dean, or as a director/dean is expected.
    • Passion about the role of the library in undergraduate education and the ability to articulate a vision for the library at Wheaton that engages and motivates stakeholders.
    • Creativity, curiosity, and a passion for serving undergraduate students and faculty dedicated to both teaching and research.
    • A track record of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment.
    • Active engagement with current library scholarship and research and a strong record of service to the library profession. 

    • Significant experience with library budgets, library operations, and the recruiting, hiring, management, and leadership of professional and paraprofessional staff; experience developing a long-range plan for financial sustainability, including with fundraising via grant-writing or philanthropy, is a plus.
    • Experience implementing or updating library systems and working with media, digital archives, and technology support.
    • A grounding in instructional technology and the ability to help faculty integrate new and establish library capabilities into their curricula and pedagogy.
    • Experience with space planning and project management; a track record of strategic impact upon library space utilization and atmosphere.
    • Experience with the development and tactical implementation of assessment programs of library services, including knowledge of user needs and satisfaction studies. 

    • Experience with accreditation processes.
    • Experience (or at least interest in and the aptitude for) forging sustainable collaborations between libraries that leverage resources and increase impact.

    Wheaton College

    Located between Boston and Providence, Wheaton College is a four-year, private liberal arts college with 1,550 students. The Wheaton Curriculum offers more than 600 courses in 40 majors and 50 minors. The student-faculty ratio of 10 to 1 and average class size of 15-20 students help foster the close collaborative relationships that develop between undergraduates and faculty. 

    Wheaton's Madeleine Clark Wallace Library, housed in a historic building at the heart of the Wheaton College campus, is the hub where students connect with information and ideas. Its holdings include more than 300,000 print and more than 150,000 electronic volumes, a comprehensive selection of periodicals, audiovisual materials, and research databases, as well as Wheaton's unique Marion B. Gebbie Archives and Special Collections. Its team of librarians, technologists, and support staff is dedicated to supporting all members of the Wheaton community in their learning, research, and teaching.


    Wheaton College has retained Opus Partners ( to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, and Jennifer Rumain, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations should be submitted by email to

    Wheaton College is committed to achieving excellence and cultural diversity, and welcomes applications from women, members of minority groups, and others who will increase the diversity of the College community.

    Kathlin Smith
    Director of Communications
    Council on Library and Information Resources
    Washington DC
    (202) 939-4754