The Amherst College Library is the world’s leading liberal arts college library, but it has no named position at its head. Changes in the production and distribution of information, the shifting assumptions and research habits of those we serve, and a revolutionized media landscape mean that libraries must hire innovative leaders willing to rethink fundamental aspects of the library’s work. Our mission has not changed: we must expand the realm of knowledge by acquiring unique material, sharing that material with the widest possible audience, and supporting scholarly research of all types, while simultaneously teaching our students to conduct such research. But the ways we fulfill this mission are changing swiftly.
The College needs a visionary leader who understands the seismic changes afoot; a scholar engaged in research; a faculty colleague leading conversations about the production and distribution of faculty’s work; a teacher immersed in discussions about research pedagogy; and an altruist, committed to making Amherst’s unique collections available in digital form to all who need them.
All of this entails managing a staff of over 40, working with colleagues and institutions across the country, and participating in world-wide efforts to build a universal library.