Curator, History of Medicine Collection, University at Buffalo - Buffalo, NY
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Permalink

The University at Buffalo Libraries seek a dynamic, collaborative, and service-oriented librarian to serve as the Curator of the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection. This noteworthy collection includes historical materials in all areas of the health sciences, including dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Established in 1972, the collection was named in 1985 for Robert L. Brown, MD, former Associate Dean of the School of Medicine. The mission of the collection is to educate and inform members of the University and global communities about the history of medicine and the health sciences, with a particular focus on Buffalo and Western New York. Founded as a medical school, the importance of medicine as part of the University at Buffalo’s heritage is central toward understanding the development of the university itself. In general, the goal of the collection is to open a gateway to the history of medicine and the health sciences by acquiring, collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting books, tools and other resources from the past under the guiding principle found in the collection’s motto: Chart the future by exploring the past.

Based upon qualifications, experience, the University’s standards for continuing appointment, and Libraries’ standards in librarianship, research, service and outreach, we anticipate appointing the successful candidate at the rank of Senior Assistant Librarian or Associate Librarian. The Curator will report to the Interim Head of the Health Sciences Library Services and work with librarians and staff across the University Libraries.

We are looking for a skilled, passionate person to join us in making the University Libraries a center of energy and innovation on campus. You can expect to learn continuously in a rapidly changing academic landscape. We will help you be successful by providing mentorship and professional development opportunities.

As the Curator of the History of Medicine Collection, you will:

  • Demonstrate the value of the collection as an important teaching and learning resource by engaging in sustained outreach to faculty, students, community members, and research scholars;
  • In collaboration with appropriate faculty, staff, scholars and specialists, engage the community at-large through various outreach initiatives and activities, including but not limited to, the curation of physical and digital collections; exhibits, speakers, panel discussions, and workshops/seminars;
  • Develop and implement strategies, technologies and standards that facilitate access to the collection’s holdings, including the development of finding aids, the creation of digital projects, and innovative programming;
  • Integrate the collection’s content and services with the teaching, learning and research missions of the university by blending traditional and innovative academic library practices;
  • Develop, interpret and manage an dynamic collecting program, including oversight of conservation and preservation activities for the varied medical artifacts, consistent with the University Libraries mission;
  • Design, present and assess instruction in a variety of formats to meet the needs of diverse user groups;
  • Respond to inquiries about the History of Medicine Collection providing research consultation services in-person, through individual appointments and via electronic communication (chat, email, text);
  • Lead efforts to acquire, preserve and provide access to the historically unique materials in the fields of medical, dental and nursing history;
  • Explore new areas for collection development and expand on existing collection strengths, working in close coordination with other curators and subject liaisons;
  • Sponsor programs and events to cultivate potential donors and monitor potential sources of funding to support and expand the collection.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, or equivalent, from an ALA-accredited institution;
  • Demonstrated or documented success supporting and advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion and/or accessibility values in professional or personal capacities;
  • Demonstrated understanding of physical historical collections—their intellectual content and materiality—and the ability to envision their interpretation through traditional scholarly modes and emerging technologies;
  • Ability to develop and maintain knowledge of current and evolving standards, guidelines, rules, best practices, tools, and trends regarding acquisition, appraisal, processing and describing materials for the collection in all formats;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills, a collegial leadership style, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community;
  • Demonstrated organizational, analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills;
  • Evidence of the ability to do research, publication and service consonant with the University at Buffalo’s standards for tenure and promotion.
  • At least three years of experience working with a historical collection in a library, archives or historical/cultural setting;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the basic theory and practice of collection development as these concepts apply to building and shaping collections, to identifying sources for particular materials, to donor relations and to managing funds;
  • Knowledge of ethical and legal concerns (including copyright) affecting acquisition, management and access to archival holdings and digital collections;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a team-based setting where consultation, flexibility, collaboration and cooperation are essential;
  • Demonstrated willingness to take on new challenges and opportunities with initiative and creativity;

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Project management experience/expertise;
  • Experience actively collecting born-digital materials;
  • Familiarity with archiving standards and best practices for digital collections;
  • Knowledge and experience using websites, social media and other marketing outreach tools;
  • Academic subject knowledge of the history of medicine;
  • Ability to build and sustain key relationships with donors, researchers, faculty, students, community and/or professional colleagues;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the mission of a research university and the mission and functions of a large research library.

Physical Abilities:

  • Must be able to bend, lift, and carry materials, climb ladders and step stools to remove and replace boxes on shelves, and work with dusty materials.

The University at Buffalo is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups in order to build a culturally diverse and pluralistic University community.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary – competitive.

Library faculty are members of United University Professions (UUP) and receive generous benefits including health care and prescription drug coverage, dental and vision benefits, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, vacation leave, sick leave, paid holidays, and several choices of retirement plans including TIAA.

To Apply:

To be considered for this position, applicants must apply via the UBJobs Web site. At the time of hire, applicants must be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for a period of at least two years. Your cover letter should address your qualifications as they pertain to the minimum number of years of experience and type of relevant work experience listed in the minimum qualifications of the position. We are currently reviewing applications and anticipate filling this position by February 2021. Candidates invited for final interviews will be expected to give a short presentation to faculty and staff of the University Libraries. References will be contacted with advance notice.

The University at Buffalo

A flagship institution in the State University of New York system and a member of the Association of American Universities, UB is the largest and most comprehensive campus in the 64-campus SUNY system. UB offers more than 400 academic programs – the largest menu of academic choices in New York State. UB provides students access to a rich variety of multicultural experiences and environments, both on campus and through our 80-plus study abroad programs. Our environmental programs, research centers, and institutes address local and global challenges and work to create a better tomorrow through sustainability. UB is among the top 10 colleges in the country for renewable energy use and in 2019, ranked No. 3 in climate action among 250 institutions worldwide. Our research, creative activity, and people positively impact the world.

Land acknowledgement: The University at Buffalo operates on the territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Confederacy. This territory is covered by The Dish with One Spoon Treaty of Peace and Friendship, a pledge to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. It is also covered by the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua, between the United States Government and the Six Nations Confederacy, which further affirmed Haudenosaunee land rights and sovereignty in the State of New York. Today, this region is still the home to the Haudenosaunee people, and we are grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and share ideas in this territory.

The University Libraries

As the largest academic research library in the SUNY system, the University Libraries offer an outstanding array of information resources, technologies, services and people to support academic achievement. The Libraries play a vital role in the academic success of our students, the teaching and research of our faculty, and the intellectual pursuits of our alumni and community members. Our broad selection of digital and print resources, innovative services, and expert staff support scholarly and creative achievements in new and exciting ways.