Head, Digital Libraries and Publishing

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Head, Digital Libraries and Publishing. The position is responsible for leading a newly formed department that will advance the VCU Libraries Digital Collections, Institutional Repository, Publishing, and Open and Affordable Course Content initiatives. The successful candidate will work with a team of five dedicated and accomplished professionals and multiple student employees to further develop sustainable progress in these areas in partnership across the libraries, university, and community. They 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 Head of Digital Libraries and Publishing 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.

Position Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Associate Dean for Scholarly Communications and Publishing, the Head will be responsible for all operations of the new Digital Libraries and Publishing department, which will be formally established upon the head’s hire. The new department will be formed by merging existing functional units in the Scholarly Communications and Publishing division. The department will be responsible for digital collections and digitization; library publishing; institutional repository services; and open and affordable course content. The Head will provide vision and strategic direction in close collaboration with members of the department and a wide group of internal and external stakeholders.

The Head of Digital Libraries and Publishing will:

  • Advance VCU Libraries’ ongoing collaborative initiatives to digitize and share items of enduring value from the library collections and partner organizations, publish scholarly and creative expressions from the university and wider community, and increase student success through promotion of open and affordable course content.
  • Support and lead a team of professionals who have an established record of success and impact including a digitization studio with state-of-the-art technology, digital collections of more than 30,000 items, an institutional repository with more than 1 million downloads a year, a library publishing program that includes 5 scholar-led peer reviewed open access journals, the Social Welfare History Project, and annual student savings of $1 million through open and affordable course content. 
  • Nurture existing library, university, and community relationships, forge new authentic partnerships, and seek external funding opportunities. 
  • Model and inspire a commitment for the responsible dissemination of unique online materials in support of education, research, and inquiry.

This position is an essential member of the division’s leadership team and is expected to play an integral role in the success of division-wide operations and collaborative ventures. As a member of VCU Libraries Management Council, the Head of Digital Libraries and Publishing will work with colleagues to further the strategic initiatives of the libraries.

The Head Digital Libraries and Publishing is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field. Faculty with 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.
  • Progressively responsible experience in the growth and sustenance of initiatives such as digital collections, institutional repositories, publishing, digital scholarship, open education and affordable course content or other related fields.
  • 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:

  • Experience in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through digital library and open access initiatives.
  • Experience in supervising and empowering librarians and staff.
  • Experience and/or vision in providing students meaningful and transformative work experiences.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging trends, issues, standards, systems, and best practices in digital collections, institutional repositories, publishing, and open education and affordable course content with expertise in at least one of these areas.
  • Experience working collaboratively within and across organizational and community boundaries in a diverse and evolving organization with a wide variety of users.
  • Experience in growing philanthropic support as well as building and enhancing partnerships and community engagement opportunities.
  • Experience in grant application and administration. 

Candidates need not meet the preferred qualifications to be fully considered. We value many individual and unique skills that would strengthen the VCU Libraries and our teams.


Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $85,000 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. 


Initial interviews 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 July 31, 2022 review date.
Please consider joining one of these sessions to learn more about the position, meet the supervisor (Jimmy Ghaphery), and get answers to your questions about the position.

Join one of our info sessions via Zoom:

  • July 1, 2022| 2pm ET
  • July 8, 2022| 2pm ET
  • July 22, 2022| 2pm ET

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 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 42 doctoral, 68 masters, 3 professional, and 68 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 29 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 2,500 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 $360 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.

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 65 professionals and 80 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.

The Monroe Park Campus of VCU is located in Richmond's Fan District, a large, residential neighborhood of townhouses, shops, and cafes. The campus is home to most of the University’s undergraduate and many of its graduate programs, including the School of the Arts, the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, and Engineering and the Schools of Business, Education, and Social Work. The School of Social Work also offers the Masters of Social Work at the Northern Virginia Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, VCU’s Qatar campus in the Middle East offers degree programs through the School of the Arts.

The MCV 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 speciality 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.

For more information about VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at Review of applications will begin July 31, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply submit a cover letter, resume/CV, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references. Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

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 status, political affiliation or disability

Apply at VCUJobs