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Employment Opportunities:

Furman University Director of Libraries

Job Summary

Furman University invites applications for the Director of Libraries. The Director will provide strategic leadership for the administration of the James B. Duke Library, Sanders Science Library, and Maxwell Music Library. The Director will come to Furman at a time of significant momentum, joining one of the nation’s premier liberal arts and sciences universities. Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director holds an administrative position with non-tenure track faculty status.

About Furman University

Furman University is a selective private liberal arts and sciences college committed to helping students develop intellectually, personally, and interpersonally, and providing the practical skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly-changing world. Furman professors are exceptional teacher-scholars who mentor undergraduate students within a campus community that values and encourages diverse ideas and perspectives. Furman has an institutional commitment to embrace diversity as an implicit value and as an explicit practice in all of its endeavors. It is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium headquartered at the University of Virginia. Following an inquiry into Furman’s own slavery past, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a series of recommendations that will help educate the community about Furman’s history and commemorate Furman’s first African American students through educational programs, statuary, historical plaques, and scholarships.

The recently-launched strategic vision, The Furman Advantage, promises students an individualized four-year pathway facilitated by a team of mentors and infused with a rich and varied set of high-impact experiences outside the classroom that include undergraduate research, study away, internships, community-focused learning, and opportunities to engage across differences.

Furman is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff, and actively encourages applications from members of all groups underrepresented in higher education. The University aspires to create a community of people representing a multiplicity of identities including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, spiritual belief, socioeconomic background, geographic origin, ideology, world view, and varied abilities. Several faculty interest groups have formed within these underrepresented populations including African-Americans and LGBTQIA+. These groups encourage interested parties to interact with them during the search process. Furman extends comprehensive benefits to domestic partners of employees.

The Furman student experience is supported by a rich network of centers and institutes that includes The Center for Inclusive Communities, The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, The Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, The Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education, The Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, The Shucker Center for Leadership Development, The Riley Institute, and The Malone Center for Career Engagement. A new Humanities Center is currently under development.

Furman is located in Greenville, South Carolina, which is one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast and is ranked among "America's Ten Best" by Forbes Magazine. A 20-mile bike and running trail connects the university to Greenville and to Travelers Rest, recently named “one of America’s coolest small towns.” Greenville is within easy driving distance to Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Atlantic Beaches. The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport runs daily flights to major cities and airline hubs. It is an ideal place to live and work, with attractive opportunities for employees at all stages of their careers.

About Furman University Libraries

The Furman University Libraries include The James B. Duke Library, the Sanders Science Library, and the Maxwell Music Library. The Libraries have 26 employees (13 library faculty and 13 staff); an annual budget of 3.2 million dollars; and a robust collection of electronic and print materials. As a member of the statewide consortium, PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries), library users have access to additional e-resources, and expedited borrowing. Furman, in conjunction with 55 other PASCAL member libraries, is in the process of migrating to a shared Alma/Primo library services platform.

The Furman Libraries are the hub of academic life on campus. The Libraries’ services and spaces provide opportunities for research, collaboration, and innovation across the campus and in the community. The Libraries strive to provide seamless access to resources and cultivate a culture of accommodation, support, and collaboration. Library staff and faculty are well-respected on campus and have strong relationships with students, faculty, administrators, and staff.

The Libraries recently conducted a self-study and, in alignment with The Furman Advantage, hosted a team of external reviewers in early 2019. This work not only reinforced the value that the Libraries bring to campus, but also recommended the following strategic priorities:

  1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Libraries engage in many diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) projects, but these efforts require more strategic focus. The Libraries must develop a diversity strategic plan to position themselves as a campus leader for advancing Furman’s DEI aspirations.

  1. Digital Scholarship

There is growing interest among the faculty and administration for centralized support of digital scholarship projects. The Libraries have the potential to draw upon their expertise and collaborative spirit to serve as an essential component in a campus digital scholarship program.

  1. Reframe Duke Library as an Academic Commons

The Libraries are currently guiding campus conversations about re-envisioning the Duke Library as an academic commons to leverage collaborations and common goals in support of student success.

  1. Physical Space

Evolving needs of the University and the Libraries are impacting the physical spaces within the Duke, Music, and Science Libraries. The Libraries are poised to spearhead the creation of a strategic space plan to address current and future needs.

The Ideal Candidate

The Director of Libraries will be a dynamic leader who is passionate in their support of a personalized educational experience that provides lifelong value for every Furman student.

We envision the successful candidate will be:

  • A confident leader who will elevate the Libraries to the center of academic life at Furman.
  • A creative thought leader able to inspire change, eager to try new things, and open to failing, adjusting, revising, and trying again.
  • A champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion who demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for diversity in library personnel, services, programs, resources, and in those whom we serve.
  • An adept facilitator with demonstrated experience in building consensus, mentoring, and advocacy.
  • An excellent communicator who easily builds rapport, is comfortable communicating in multiple mediums, and can clearly articulate the mission, values, and goals of a liberal arts and sciences university.
  • An accomplished manager who is diplomatic, fair, willing to compromise, and transparent in decision-making.
  • A scholar professionally active at the national level, with vision and interests that extend beyond our campus.

Preferred qualities include:

  • Substantial experience in library leadership and proven capacity to develop and sustain relationships with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and donors.
  • A successful track record of building diverse and inclusive programming, services, initiatives, and/or personnel.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in developing and implementing new initiatives with willing support from a community of stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of digital scholarship, scholarly communication, and research support.

Job Responsibilities

  • Articulates and executes a clear vision for the Libraries; demonstrates a strong commitment to the role of the Libraries as campus leaders and central to The Furman Advantage.
  • Strategically directs all areas of library administration including the effective management of fiscal, human, and physical resources as well as policy and program development, strategic and long-term planning, and development of collaborative and consortial relationships.
  • Envisions and implements strategic goals and priorities for diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the Libraries in alignment with the University’s goals.
  • Advocates for the Libraries and library staff/faculty, and ensures decisions impacting the Libraries are made in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
  • Supports the Libraries’ tradition of an open, collegial, and inclusive work environment that values professional growth for all library personnel.
  • Establishes frequent and transparent communication within the Libraries, with administrators and colleagues across campus, and with the larger community.
  • Values existing relationships and cultivates new relationships on campus and in the broader community.
  • Strengthens the positive relationship between the Libraries and Information Technology Services, and explores opportunities for richer collaboration.
  • Provides leadership for the effective and collaborative use of space in the Libraries, including the development of an academic commons.
  • Partners with campus stakeholders in the development and management of digital scholarship and scholarly communication initiatives.
  • Participates in fund-raising and grant-writing opportunities to advance the goals of the Libraries and The Furman Advantage.

Education Requirements

Master's degree accredited by the American Library Association or an international equivalent.

Education Preferences

A PhD is preferred, but not required.

Work Experience Requirements

Minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible work experience in a library.

Minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience.


The Assistant Director for Outreach Services, the Assistant Director for Collection Services, the Assistant Director for Discovery Services, the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, and the Departmental Assistant.

Required Documents:

Applicants should submit

  1. cover letter
  2. curriculum vitae
  3. statement of leadership philosophy and experience
  4. statement of scholarly or professional interests
  5. a diversity statement that describes how their professional experience, scholarship, mentoring, and/or service might contribute to a liberal arts and sciences college community that includes a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as one of its core values

Applicants will also be asked to submit the names and contact information of three references. Transcript requests and background checks will be conducted in the final stage of the hiring process.

Review of applications will begin July 25, 2019. Questions may be e-mailed to Christy Allen at

How to Apply

Please follow these instructions to ensure your application is received successfully:

  1. Go to Furman's Employment Website and select "Apply". Follow the steps to create an account.

  2. Have all the required documents ready before you begin the application process. You cannot save your progress once you have started. If the process times out, you will lose your entire application. Required documents are:
    • Cover letter
    • Curriculum vitae/resume
    • Statement of leadership philosophy and experience
    • Statement of scholarly or professional interests
    • Diversity statement

  3. On the Quick Apply page, upload your CV/resume and the system will extract content to auto-populate many of the fields in the application form.

  4. On the My Experience page, do the following:
    • Confirm that the "Work Experience" and "Education" were correctly extracted from your CV/resume especially the "Role Description" fields. Correct any problems.
    • In the "Field of Study" drop-down, type in your field (e.g. "Library Science") rather than scrolling through the drop-down list which is incomplete. If you have a degree with no field of study, type "None".
    • The "Resume/CV" section is where you will upload ALL the additional required documents. Your CV/resume should already be uploaded to this section from earlier. Add the other documents from the list above. Please wait for all documents to finish uploading before clicking "Next".


  • On the Application page, provide contact information for your references. They will be contacted via e-mail requesting letters of support.

  • On the Review page, ensure your information is correct and you have uploaded all required documents. You can make changes by hitting "Back" and "Next". If multiple pages require changes, make changes to the earlier pages first and the later pages last.


Once submitted, you will not be able to edit your application other than to change your contact information.