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Visual Arts Research Librarian

Located in culturally diverse, historic, and dynamic Richmond, Virginia, convenient to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the recreation destinations of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Commonwealth University is one of Virginia's largest universities and among the nation's leading research institutions. The VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the University’s teaching, research, service, and patient care mission with 2.5 million volumes, 61,000 serials, 600,000 e-books, and nationally prominent collections in the health and biological sciences, social work, the arts, the history of medicine, and comic and book arts. 

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Visual Arts Research Librarian.  VCU seeks a creative and energetic librarian who will provide instructional and other outreach activities to support the research, curricular, and information literacy needs of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in all arts disciplines.  The Visual Arts Research Librarian will be expected to conceive, deliver, and evaluate programming that addresses visual literacy, arts research funding, studio and research practices, and other scholarly communication issues as they impact the visual arts.  In addition, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with peers to produce outreach initiatives that address information literacy, scholarly communication, and research support for multi-and cross-disciplinary perspectives.  The successful candidate will be engaged in the teaching-learning process through innovative and evolving programs that support top-level scholarship and connections to global and community interests.  S/he will join a high caliber team of librarians committed to expanding the range of services and learning opportunities among VCU users.


Reporting the Head of Academic Outreach, the Visual Arts Research Librarian will serve as liaison to academic departments in the School of the Arts.  The successful candidate will be expected to provide a range and depth of research guidance to classes and individuals, in workshops and other forums, virtually and in person.  S/he will develop the arts reference collection in all formats and, in conjunction with the Arts Collections Librarian, will lead outreach activities in these academic departments:  Art Education, Art History, Communication Arts, Craft/Material Studies, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Kinetic Imaging, Painting and Printmaking, Sculpture and Extended Media. The Visual Arts Research Librarian is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field.  Faculty with the VCU Libraries are evaluated, and promoted, on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and professional development and service.


Required: ALA-accredited graduate degree or accredited graduate degree in another appropriate discipline.  Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty at VCU.

Preferred:  Graduate degree in Art History, Art Education, or a related area in Visual Arts or Design.  Two or more years public services experience in an academic library.  Commitment to working in a culturally diverse environment. Strong interest in scholarly communication and in education for visual literacy.  Classroom instruction experience.  Experience with Web authoring tools and standards.  Evidence of initiative, creativity, and eagerness to collaborate in a teaching-learning environment and to share information and ideas across disciplinary lines and functions. Ability to work independently and as a flexible team member.  Ability to meet deadlines and to manage competing priorities in a multi-faceted and dynamic work environment. Excellent oral and written communication skills.  Availability and willingness to work a flexible work schedule, including occasional evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

Virginia Commonwealth University is Virginia’s largest research university, enrolling nearly 32,000 students. Located in Richmond, Virginia (, VCU offers 41 doctoral, 74 masters, 3 professional, and 64 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-two of VCU's graduate, professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 19 programs ranking in the top 25 and two programs — sculpture and nurse anesthesia — ranked number one. Over 3,200 faculty comprise the University's teaching force. Research strengths at the University include health and life sciences, education, engineering, social work, behavioral sciences, public affairs, advertising and design, and the fine arts. Sponsored research funding totals over $260 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.  VCU’s strategic plan embraces an acceleration in the growth of VCU’s library system and includes a new Master Site Plan that envisions additions to both library facilities operated by the VCU Libraries. Architectural work has begun on a major addition to and renovation of the James Branch Cabell Library that is expected to open in 2015.

Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University (including the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus) employ 51 professionals and 90 support staff with an annual budget exceeding $17.5 million. VCU also operates programs in Doha, Qatar, including a library supporting the program there, Northern Virginia, and in various additional locations throughout the U.S. and the world. The VCU Libraries is a Resource Library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and a member of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, SPARC, CNI, BioMed Central, and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), a statewide networking consortium for shared access to electronic and print resources.  The VCU Libraries has adopted Primo as its discovery layer and is one of the first libraries worldwide to have implemented Alma as its next generation cloud-based system for library management. CONTENTdm and DSpace supplement the foundation of its system architecture to enhance access to its collections and services.

The School of the Arts at VCU is currently ranked by US News & World Report as the #1 public university arts and design program in the United States. Graduates of the School of the Arts and its faculty are notable recipients of numerous national and international prizes, including Guggenhiem Fellowships, Emmys and Clios. The School is building a $35 million Institute for Contemporary Arts (VCU-ICA), scheduled to open in 2015. The VCU-ICA is intended as a meeting place for cross-disciplinary inquiry and discovery, providing plenty of opportunities for exploring dimensions of art learning.

Salary: Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $45,000 annually. This is a full-time, non-tenured faculty position. Normal faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans. For more information about benefits, see

For more information about the VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at and at  

Review of applications will begin March 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled. Submit cover letter, resume, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to:

Pamela H. Fraga
Assistant to the University Librarian
VCU Libraries, Virginia Commonwealth University
901 Park Avenue
PO Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
804-828-0151 (fax)

Virginia Commonwealth University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-0636

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