ACRL Diversity Alliance Resident Librarian Program

ACRL Diversity Alliance: Committed to equalityThe University of Virginia Library invites applications from early career librarians for our three-year Resident Librarians program.  The program is part of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.  The purpose is to enrich the profession by introducing new perspectives and encouraging dialogue among librarians from diverse backgrounds. Residents will join a cohort of Residents/Fellows from 30 other ACRL Diversity Alliance member institutions. Two positions are available.

Qualifications:  Candidate must have received the M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. degree no earlier than January of 2016.  Candidates shall have a demonstrated commitment to inclusive conduct and multi-cultural skills, contributing to an inclusive workplace in which individuals of a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can fully participate and work productively and creatively together.  Candidates must have excellent communication skills, ability to plan and manage projects, and an ability to work creatively and collaboratively.  General knowledge of print and digital resources through coursework, pre-professional or professional experience is expected. Candidate must be committed to working with students and faculty at a research university.   Public service experience is preferred.

Residency: Residents will have professional opportunities in areas of the Library and affiliated organizations including but not limited to Scholarly Communication, Special Collections, Preservation, and Scholar’s Lab for Digital Humanities, IT, User Experience, Library Services, Content & Acquisitions, and the Data Science Institute.   Each resident is expected to shape the residency to his or her interest, and design and deliver a capstone project as part of this three-year appointment.

Salary and benefits:  Residents will receive competitive salaries commensurate with their education and experience, as well as full-time staff benefits and funding for travel and professional development.

Deadlines: The application period will open August 15, 2017 and close on December 15, 2017 with a July 1, 2018 start date.

The University of Virginia Libraries has an annual budget of about $38 million, with more than 5 million books in open and closed stacks, over half a million ebooks, more than 200,000 electronic journal subscriptions, and 20 million artifacts in the Harrison Small Special Collections Libraries.  We remain a pioneer in digital humanities, and are home to the Scholars’ Lab, which debuted a decade ago and continues a source of innovation and rich discovery.  Neatline, Blacklight, Praxis, Spatial Humanities and other programs, tools, and concepts influential in the digital humanities were born here.   We have a long history of collaboration with other institutions on projects that include Fedora (the repository platform), Academic Preservation Trust, the Virtual Library of Virginia, ARL, and SPARC.

For more information, please reach out to Phylissa Mitchell.

Examples of possible Resident Librarian positions

Resident Librarian for Special Collections 

The Resident works side by side with two staff in Special Collections: Molly Schwartzburg, Curator, and Krystal Appiah, Instruction Librarian. Tasks and projects are split approximately 50/50 between these two functions and will be developed around both in-house needs and the Resident’s own interests and subject strengths. Curatorial work may include collection development (selection of materials in all formats in targeted subject areas including gifts and purchases, relationship-building with dealers and donors, assistance with paperwork, materials workflow, and accessioning), outreach projects (content development for website, libguides, blog, and social media outlets), and exhibition curation (item selection, text composition, layout and design, and publicity). Instruction work may include teaching assignments (course preparation, preliminary meetings with faculty, and classroom instruction), outreach projects (designing and leading workshops for faculty and students, online and in-person publicity and outreach to the university community, and creating video tutorials), and assessment (researching assessment tools and evaluating the department’s instructional methods).

Resident Librarian for Academic Preservation Trust (Consortial Repositories)

Hosted and administered by the University of Virginia Library, the Academic Preservation Trust ( offers a range of experience to UVA-based DAI Residents.  APTrust is on the forefront of digital preservation at scale for scholarly products and cultural heritage materials.  A consortium of 16 research-intensive university libraries, APTrust is foremost a forum for discussion of the challenges of digital preservation in its twice-per-year face-to-face meetings and other on-line discussions.  It operates an advanced digital preservation repository within the Amazon Web Services infrastructure, allowing for a close-up view of what it means for academic institutions to cooperate in using commercial cloud technologies to minimize the costs of such preservation.  And it is actively expanding its services to new constituencies and at lower cost in coming months.

Most valuable to DAI Residents, APTrust is a case study of multi-institutional collaboration.  Engagement with APTrust allows participants to observe and to help shape how such consortia are formed, how they can be sustained as effective entities over time, and how their relevance evolves, leading either to increased importance on its own or to the need to anticipate how its interests and services should migrate to other forums and organizations in the future.  The key characteristic of APTrust that makes it most interesting is its radical transparency, especially with respect to its finances.  Residents will be exposed to details about funding and about the personal and organizational qualities that give APTrust its unique personality, and they will what they need to participate in and lead multi-institutional consortial efforts.

Resident Librarian for Data Services

The residency in Research Data Services (RDS) is for the librarian who appreciates a traditional approach, but with a little data flavor added – one that includes research librarianship, data science, scholarship, and information literacy.

At Research Data Services, researchers across disciplines benefit from expert consultation and training in acquiring, collecting, wrangling, analyzing, visualizing, sharing, and preserving research data. Our data professionals, in collaboration with our research librarians, work to advance data science, using data to answer scientific questions, making analysis reproducible, and promoting open data to enable long-term discovery and knowledge.

The Social, Natural, & Engineering Science team supports the research needs across scientific disciplines, from finding materials and managing information, to understanding the changing scholarly landscape and promoting information literacy. Information experts, together with our data team, work with students and faculty to enhance their scholarship and navigate resources across the University.

Residency in Scholarly Communication 

The Resident in Scholarly Communication will center his/her efforts on the Library’s open access and open publishing initiatives.   By open access we mean “literature that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” The Resident will closely work with faculty-authors, liaison (subject) librarians, and others active in this sphere. The Resident will create and disseminate open access talking points that resonate with University faculty and staff, draft recommendations on how the library can more effectively communicate its Scholarly Communications services and policies, and identify the necessary resources to better support and advocate for new models of open scholarship. The Resident will have deep knowledge of issues and approaches necessary to lead library scholarly communication efforts

The Resident will collaborate successfully collaborate with faculty and liaison librarians; draft and write  presentations tailored to the interests and concerns of diverse groups; become expert in emerging trends in scholarly communication and open access; have familiarity with institutional repositories, open publishing, authors’ rights advocacy, and emerging models for open models for open scholarship

Residency in Information Services and Spaces (IS & S)

Information Services & Spaces is, in some sense, the Library’s “public face.”  It is in-person and virtual reference, circulation, and the public services desks in the Libraries.  The resident will work directly with students, faculty, and researchers to answer all sorts of questions, such as:

“Where’s the bathroom?” “Do you have any information on the publishing standards of the US government?” “Which camera is best for my class movie project?”  “How can I find the amount of oil used by all the airplanes in the world in 2016?”

IS&S librarians launch researchers on journeys which may take them to a subject liaison, or Special Collections, or digital services, or ILL. They touble shoot issues with circulation, computing, accessing digital content, and much more.   They work closely with all areas of the Library and must understand all areas in order to make excellent referrals.  They also work very closed with more than 100 student employees to ensure they also offer excellent service to our Library users.

As the public facing staff at eight very busy information desks, these professionals interact daily with the wide variety of students and researchers that UVA attracts—from the first generation first year student to the Provost.  They respect and welcome all researchers.  They assess information needs and provide information, instruction, and referral that responds to that individual’s unique circumstances.  Their goal is to users with attentiveness, responsiveness, and resourcefulness while maintaining a respectful and non-judgmental attitude.

Residency in Digital Humanities (Scholars’ Lab)

Digital Humanities approaches research, teaching, and learning in literature, history, the arts, and everything related to our past and present cultural heritage, with digital methods and publication forms.  For example, creating and using computer software, websites, or mobile phone apps to teach learners or to help researchers (e.g. using virtual 3D spaces to recreate and make explorable lost urban spaces, such as the Soweto Township under apartheid regimes). Check out

The Scholars’ Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Libraries creates a unique opportunity for a librarian curious about DH. We collaborate with faculty, librarians, and students on a range of projects and tools, including spatial humanities, data visualization, interface design, community building, games and virtual reality spaces, text analysis, digital archiving, 3D printing, and experimental humanities (including non-digital “maker” methods such as sewing).

The project for the Resident in the Scholars’ Lab would have the Resident working with the Head of Public Programs to design and run a DH workshop series aimed at UVA librarians. This “Praxis for Librarians” course builds on our successful Praxis Program’s mentorship of humanities grad students. Praxis mentors a cohort from those with little or no DH knowledge to publicly releasing their own team project by the end of the year. Similarly, we hope to support our library colleagues with an intensive opportunity to learn about DH in a collaborative, project-focused experience.

Running a Praxis for Librarians series is the starting goal.  We would tailor our Resident’s experience to DH methods and communities that most keenly interest them, after exposing them to a variety of options during their first months with us.  Core skills based on existing Praxis curriculum:  Understand defining reasonable scope, long-term thinking, and information management for DH project; Create their own professional website; Blog and tweet; Practice leading faculty and student DH consultations; Collaboration and credit; Project management.

Residency in Scholarly Communication 

The resident in Scholarly Communication will work in open publishing, open access, changes in subscription models, author rights, and preservation of the scholarly record.  By open access we mean “literature that is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” The Resident will closely work with faculty-authors, liaison (subject) librarians, and others active in this sphere. The resident will create and disseminate open access talking points that resonate with faculty and staff, draft recommendations on how the library can more effectively communicate its Scholarly Communications services and policies, and identify the necessary resources to better support and advocate for new models of open scholarship. The Resident will have deep knowledge of issues and approaches necessary to lead library scholarly communication efforts.

Resident Librarian (International Government Information)

The University of Virginia Library is a depository for the United Nations and European Union.  In addition, it holds large international governmental organizations (IGO) collections from UNESCO, the World Bank, OECD, the International Monetary Fund, and many others.  It offers databases from OECD, the United Nations, the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank.

Use and knowledge of these collections and the research value in them is not as ubiquitous.  Many researchers find the information on their own via the Internet, but others simply do not discover the excellent economic, development, financial, diplomatic, sociological, demographic, governmental, and historical primary source information available in IGO materials.

The resident who took on this assignment—anywhere from a year to three years—would be committing to learning about a myriad of government information resources, including those of the U.S. government.  He or she would analyze our IGO collections—recommending withdrawals and additions as appropriate.  He or she would look at workflow from acquisition to cataloging to shelf prep to shelf—recommending changes as appropriate and possible.  She or he would work with the Collections Team to analyze our current acquisitions and make recommendations regarding what and how much and in what formats we acquire the materials.

A Diversity Resident would also have responsibilities as a reference librarian, specializing in IGO and U.S. government information.  The resident would be expected to learn about the history of publication in various organizations and agencies, reference and statistical resources, databases, and generally learn about the agencies and IGOs to better assist our users in discovery of relevant research and data.

This residency is housed in the Information Services & Spaces department. Information and Spaces is the public facing entity of eight reference librarians and paraprofessionals working with students, faculty, patrons, across all areas of the Library, and pan-University.

Teaching & Learning Residency

The Teaching & Learning team offers the Resident myriad choices to design his/her program for six months or an 18-months long capstone term. These opportunities are available whether the Resident is a novice or veteran educator.

A six-month term would be organized around the Resident’s interests and the Resident would be an active member of the T&L team.  It would offer individualized support to gain the expertise and skills to match those interests. Duties might entail co-teaching with T&L librarians, reflecting and discussing instructional pedagogy and design, including frameworks and assessment; Makerspaces; Audio/Video studios; Instructional Design and Documentation and Assessment. Possible tracks: Instruction, Assessment, Digital Object Creation; Outreach programming; Makerspaces; Audio/Visual/Video technology.

We see the Resident’s 18 months long capstone project as one of extreme flexibility, contoured to the Resident’s interest. The project might be focused on instruction that supports the Library’s teaching mission in the Arts & Sciences curriculum. Alternatively, the Resident might pursue a project such as developing, designing, implementing, and assessing a specific aspect of an instruction program.  Another option might be immersion in and/or related to critical librarianship, cultural competency, accessibility, or any topic of interest to academic librarianship that the Resident would want to pursue.

Skills the Resident would acquire from these projects include, but are not limited to: Practical teaching experience, Instructional design and assessment; Project development; Project management; Professional development; Professional writing; Formal Presentation.

Preservation Residency

The University of Virginia Library strives to maximize the life expectancy and utility of collections, regardless of format, for current and future scholars. The ultimate aim is to ensure access to materials that enable research, teaching, and learning.

Preservation is divided into four areas:

  • Book and Paper Conservation
  • AV Conservation
  • Digital Preservation
  • Collections Care and General Administration

Depending on interest and skill level, the resident might take a deeper dive into a specialization that matched their interests and skills levels.  For example, the Resident interested in description and access could work with the AV conservation unit captioning rare and unique materials in order to increase access and discoverability for all types of users.  A Resident interested in born digital content might explore ingest processing and creating archival description and access workflows, or delve into the technical and ethical aspects of web archiving.  If a Resident is interested in the decision-making process for the conservation of physical materials they create surveys that allow a collections manager, librarian or curator to partner with conservation professionals.  A Resident interested in collections care will develop strategies for stabilizing materials for transport and storage to off-site storage or plan the environmental monitoring program for the renovated Alderman Library.  Working knowledge of preservation concepts encouraged but not required.

Skills needed: attention to detail; Good working with one’s hands; Strategic thinking; Organizational skills; Project management skills; Writing and presentation skills; Creative problem solving

Tangible results of a Resident’s rotation in Preservation will be a completed project, (a workflow, a survey, or a project) about which they can write and present.  Developing and refining excellent skills in collaboration across units, complex decision-making, and evaluating outcomes are equally important areas of growth for the resident.