Digital Initiatives Librarian

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Digital Initiatives Librarian. This newly created position works in a collaborative environment in the Digital Libraries and Publishing Department (DLP) to advance the VCU Libraries Digital Collections and contribute toward other open publishing initiatives. The successful candidate will join a culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber.

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. VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the university’s teaching, research, service, and patient care mission with comprehensive digital and print collections and nationally recognized innovation in its facilities, advanced media and technology resources for its community. In February 2018, the Association of College and Research Libraries recognized VCU Libraries with the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Diversity and Inclusion

VCU’s commitment to diversity is one of the institution’s unique strengths. Our student body is one of the most diverse in Virginia in terms of race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and one of the four themes of our Quest 2025 Strategic Plan is “Diversity driving excellence.” The United States Department of Education has designated VCU as a minority serving institution effective July 1, 2022. VCU is committed to building an increasingly diverse faculty and leadership team, and is actively engaged in partnerships with diverse communities in the Richmond metro area. VCU Libraries is purposeful in our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion and expects that the Research and Education Librarian will be a leader in fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the VCU community. The successful candidate will receive support for research, service, and professional development and will have ample opportunity to pursue diversity and inclusion related opportunities in those areas.


Reporting to the Head of Digital Libraries and Publishing, the Digital Initiatives Librarian is responsible for leadership and vision to digitize and share items of enduring value from the library collections and partner organizations. The Digital Initiatives Librarian also works with colleagues in the department to publish scholarly and creative expressions from the university and wider community, and increase student success through promotion of open and affordable course content.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Work with cross-functional library teams to lead digitization projects from inception to completion.
  • Provide guidance for digital collections workflows including long-term preservation of digital materials and metadata.
  • Collaborate with Digital Virginias to help shape VCU's participation as a content provider and digitization partner for regional cultural heritage organizations as part of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) commitment.
  • Further develop VCU's participation as a contributor to the HathiTrust Digital Library.
  • Enhance the impact of VCU Libraries Digital Collections through external partnerships, advocacy, outreach, and aggregation services.
  • Partner with colleagues in the Digital Libraries and Publishing department on open and affordable course content, institutional repository, and library publishing initiatives.
  • Pursue grant opportunities for digitization of materials from VCU Libraries, DPLA partner institutions, and community partners.

The Digital Initiatives Librarian is supported 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 service.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited graduate degree or accredited graduate degree in another appropriate discipline. If in progress, the graduate degree must be completed by date of hire.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with ethical, legal, and equity dimensions of digital library initiatives including privacy, copyright, and antiracism.
  • Knowledge of technologies and standards to manage the digitization, reformatting, ingestion, discovery, and preservation of still and moving image, text, audio, and born-digital formats.
  • Understanding of digital content management systems and their role in higher education (e.g. Digital Commons, Islandora, Samvera, CONTENTdm, Omeka, DSpace, etc.).
  • Experience and/or vision in providing students meaningful and transformative work experiences.
  • Experience working collaboratively and authentically across organizational and community boundaries with a wide variety of users.
  • Interest or experience in securing external funding support (e.g. grant, foundation, or philanthropic).

Candidates need not meet preferred qualifications to be fully considered. We value many individual and unique skills that would strengthen the VCU Libraries and our teams. Entry-level candidates who demonstrate excellent promise and a passion for developing forward thinking digital initiatives are especially encouraged to apply.

Salary: Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $60,000 annually. This is a full-time, non-tenured faculty position. 12-month faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans. Relocation assistance is available. Librarians are provided a generous professional development allowance. For more information about benefits, see the Faculty Benefits page.

Interviews: Initial interviews, if held, will be conducted virtually. We anticipate inviting finalists to campus.

Learn about the position in an online information session

We are hosting information sessions for interested applicants in advance of the January 3, 2023 review date.

Please consider joining one of these sessions to learn more about the position, meet the Associate Dean for Scholarly Communications and Publishing (Jimmy Ghaphery), and get answers to your questions about the position.

Join one of our info sessions via Zoom:

  • Friday, December 2, 2022 | 2:00-2:30 PM EST
  • Monday, December 5, 2022 | 3:30-4:00 PM EST
  • Friday, December 9, 2022 | 11:00-11:30 AM EST

The attendee list for each Zoom session will be hidden and those asking questions may do so anonymously. Live captioning will be provided. To attend a session, please complete the confidential form to receive a Zoom link.

Questions? Please contact Jimmy Ghaphery at

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

As one of only 71 public universities with academic medical centers to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity,” Virginia Commonwealth University ranks among Virginia’s largest research universities, enrolling over 29,000 students. Located in the heart of Richmond, VCU offers 44 doctoral, 68 masters, 3 professional, and 71 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-four of VCU's graduate and professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 26 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 2,400 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 $363 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.

The Medical College of Virginia Campus, located in historic Court End near state and local government and financial centers, is home to the VCU Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy; VCU College of Health Professions; the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research; and VCU Health. VCU Health includes VCU Medical Center, a Magnet Recognized hospital with 812 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a Level 1 trauma center, and over 800 physicians in 200 specialty areas, many of national and international renown, as well as the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Cancer Center, Virginia's first NCI-designated cancer center. In addition to multidisciplinary centers for cancer, cardiology, neurosurgery, and transplantation, VCU Health offers virtually every form of contemporary medical service.

Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, including the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and the Health Sciences Library on the MCV Campus, employ over 60 professionals and 64 staff with annual expenditures exceeding $22 million. VCU also operates academic programs in Doha, Qatar, supported by a library there, and in various locations throughout the U.S. and the world. The VCU Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and the Virtual Library of Virginia `(VIVA), a statewide networking consortium for shared access to electronic and print resources, as well as a Resource Library in the Network of the National Library of Medicine, among others. The VCU Libraries uses the following packages for its system architecture: Alma, Primo, Islandora, Digital Commons, ArchivesSpace, ILLiad, and Omeka.

For more information about the VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at Review of applications will begin January 3, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, go to this link to complete the application and submit a cover letter, CV/resume, and the names, email addresses, addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an urban research institution with a richly diverse university community and commitment to multicultural opportunities. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Apply at VCUJobs