Working at Reed

Special Collections Librarian


Reed College seeks a special collections librarian who will be a collaborative leader in the development, curation, and interpretation of rare books and special collections at Reed, including artists’ books, early writing and printing, Reediana, maps, photographs, and manuscripts, including the college archives.  They interact frequently with Reed students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the public, providing access to materials and collections, delivering instruction and research assistance, creating exhibits, providing advice on scanning and digitization projects, and coordinating Reed’s participation in regional or national initiatives to maximize access to collections. The special collections librarian participates with other librarians in providing general research assistance and instruction and may serve as library liaison to academic departments or programs.

This is a full-time, exempt position working 37.5 hours per week on a Monday through Friday schedule, with occasional evening and weekend hours. The annual salary is $58,000 to $65,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications, background, and experience.  Reed College offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive medical and dental insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with 10 percent employer contribution, retiree medical plan, college tuition assistance for employees’ children, paid holidays, paid vacation and many other campus amenities, such as library borrowing privileges, membership to the campus fitness center for employee and spouse, and access to onsite daycare provided by Growing Seeds

Essential Duties

  • Provides leadership and expertise to library staff and student assistants in the acquisition, organization, preservation, access, and security of rare books, other special collections, and archives that support the historical and cultural record of the college and enrich the study of the liberal arts and sciences.
  • Works with college faculty and staff, alumni, and potential donors to identify collection needs, coordinate gifts, and acquire additions to collections.
  • Collaborates with library and special collections staff to plan for and provide spaces and facilities to accommodate the growth, usability, security, and preservation of collections.
  • Coordinates with college administrative and academic offices and staff to ensure that historical and cultural records, both paper and digital, are accessioned, organized, preserved, and made accessible in the college archives.
  • Provides instruction and research assistance, creates exhibits and digital collections, and conducts other outreach activities that support the use of collections and primary source materials by students, faculty, staff, and members of the public.
  • Participates in professional activities of the library and the college by leading or serving on committees, providing training and educational opportunities for staff, and developing and maintaining connections with the local, regional, and national professional communities.


  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in library or information science and a minimum of two years of professional experience in special collections or archives or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with or knowledge of library rare books, special collections, and/or archives and their use in education and research.
  • Organizational, planning, and leadership skills.
  • Experience or interest in supporting diverse populations of students, faculty, and community members.

Performance Expectations

  • Demonstrate knowledge of book structures and history, bindings, and paper.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of book and paper preservation, conservation, and repair.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the creation, organization, and use of digital services and collections, especially relating to special collections and archives.
  • Ability and interest to lead team projects and independent projects to include high level decision making.
  • Shows interest or experience in contributing to the library’s research assistance, instruction, and outreach initiatives.
  • Shows a strong interest in undergraduate liberal arts education. 

Application Instructions

To apply for this position, you will need to create a profile and upload a cover letter discussing your qualifications and interests, and your resume. In your letter, answer the following questions:

  • How does this position at Reed College fit with your long-term professional goals?
  • Of which accomplishment in your recent professional experience are you most proud?
  • Reed College is a community that is committed to cultural and intellectual diversity as central to its academic mission (  Please describe how you might use your lived experience, education,  professional experience, and prior community engagement to contribute to diversity and inclusion at Reed.

Review of applications will begin on June 5th. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted, so you are encouraged to apply early. This position will remain open until filled.

Apply for this job

Reed College values cultural diversity and intellectual pluralism as critical components of academic excellence. We welcome applications from members of historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, persons who have served in the military and others who would bring additional dimensions of experience to our community.