Dean of the University Library, St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud State University seeks a Dean of the University Library to play a pivotal role in setting strategic direction for the Library, strengthening current programs, technologies, and services, developing new initiatives, and enhancing support of instruction and scholarship to further student and faculty success. For full position description and to apply for the position see

Posted in Hors catégorie

Fundraising Tips and Strategies for Future Library Leaders

As new and emerging library leaders, how do we engage successfully with high-wealth donors who may have different social values than our own? This thoughtful and timely question was just one of the many pressing questions posed by librarians during the 2016 Taiga Forum, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Emerging library leaders from more than a dozen universities, liberal arts colleges, cultural institutions and other associations gathered for an open and honest conversation about how to cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary to fundraise successfully for 21st-century academic libraries.

Introductions and Librarians’ Motivations for Attending

At the beginning of the session, attendees of the Forum introduced themselves and described some of the ways that they are involved in fundraising:  Librarians noted that they are involved with capital campaigns and projects that include renovating existing buildings or building new libraries. They described projects that depend on the completion of successful fundraising campaigns and asked to hear tips for assisting in such campaigns. Other librarians described operating in environments without a “culture of fundraising,” so they hoped to be able to learn skills for bringing other librarians and staff members on board to assist in cultivating donors. Some librarians expressed their hopes of becoming more persuasive advocates for their libraries within their universities: for instance, how can they ensure that their libraries are specifically named in capital campaigns? Others described the challenge of being asked to complete donor-funded projects for which there isn’t sufficient funding; one example included a situation in which collections were received, but no processing or digitization funds were acquired to make the collections fully accessible. Another librarian responsible for IT operations expressed a hope that technology costs be included more often in conversations with donors. Others mentioned a need to offset losses of public funding, hope for obtaining unrestricted gift funding, and desire to hear inspirational stories of successful fundraising. Some librarians expressed a hope of learning how to tell stories of library impact more compellingly and, in particular, to make better pitches to donors. Others worried about how to balance donor expectations, which are sometimes specific and narrow in scope, with pressing library needs and priorities, such as operations and staffing. A few participants also observed that librarians are often introverted by nature and that this can make it difficult to have conversations with donors; asking for money can feel awkward and uncomfortable.

During the introductions, we also discovered that librarians are working at institutions with many different types of relationships with professional development officers. At one end of the spectrum, libraries are operating with their own development officer and multiple support staff. One librarian even shares an office with a development officer, so has frequent contact with her. Other libraries have a development officer who is only partially dedicated (half-time or less) to the organization. Some libraries have no development support at all.

Expert Speakers: Daniel Petry and Susan Modder

Taiga Forum invited two expert speakers, Daniel Petry (Development Director, Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Susan Modder (Development Director, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries) from the local area to join us, provide an introduction to the topic, and respond to questions. Jenn Riley, Associate Dean for Digital Initiatives at the McGill University Library and a member of the Taiga Forum Steering Committee, introduced Daniel and Susan. We learned that Daniel, a Wisconsin native with degrees in Music and Arts Administration, has a longstanding commitment to advancing the arts. He often works closely with his colleague, Susan, to develop and cultivate donors with interests in arts and libraries. Susan, who holds an MLIS, came to librarianship with a passion for preserving culture, following more than twenty years of experience working in “house museums” (see:  Susan described her love of development work in the following way: she sees herself as a connector who offers people (donors) the chance to become involved in something greater than themselves.  Susan has especially strived to help connect donors to the library’s work in documenting the cultural history of the city of Milwaukee, including the stories of marginalized populations. She noted the LGBT history collection of the UW-Milwaukee Libraries as an example.

In their opening remarks, Daniel and Susan offered advice that we’ve summarized in a question-and-answer format:

What do development officers seek to do?  Daniel and Susan discussed the emotional component of their work, that is, they strive to foster an emotional connection between the donor and the organization they represent. Susan noted that their goal is to identify those who have a philanthropic spirit and to create joyful donors, who enjoy giving and seeing the difference their gifts make.

How can librarians help development officers? They encouraged us to think in terms of aspirations and visions that might inspire donors and consider how potential gifts can contribute to those aspirations and visions for our libraries. Susan recommended that we think about what makes our libraries unique or special. Knowing what makes your library distinctive can help you articulate a compelling vision.

What is the role of the development officer?  Daniel described the role of the development officer as one who creates engagement activities to help donors experience the organization’s work.  Susan added that building a sense of reciprocity in the relationship, such as providing access to library professionals for assistance, can create a connection to the library for potential donors who, in turn, make a difference for the organization with a gift.  In practice, this means identifying potential donors, building trusting relationships with them, determining and confirming their philanthropic passions, matching those passions to organizational priorities and initiatives, managing their involvement in the organization’s activities and programs, acquiring the desired donation, and then acknowledging the gift in a meaningful way that encourages future gift giving.

What qualities do development officers look for in potential donors?  Susan used the mnemonic “magic” to describe qualities of donors she seeks to find:

M (“means” or capacity: does the person have the means or capacity to donate?),
A (“age”: has the person had sufficient time to accumulate the wealth necessary to donate?),
G (“giver”: is the person interested in giving?),
I (“involved”: is the person involved with the organization?), and
C (“contacts”: does the person have contacts that could be useful to the organization?)

What types of questions do donors ask themselves when engaging with organizations and that development officers try to keep in mind?

  • Do my values align with the organization’s values?
  • Is the cause important?
  • Do I respect the leadership of the organization?
  • Do I trust the development officer?
  • Are my contributions acknowledged and appreciated?
  • Am I receiving an adequate return on my investment?

Is there specific language that development officers use when engaging with donors? Daniel and Susan noted that it’s important when engaging with donors to use adjectives that reflect qualities that they, themselves, like to be viewed as possessing; for instance, adjectives like “kind, compassionate, friendly, generous and giving,” can be helpful. They also suggest using the second-person pronoun “you” in fundraising appeals, in order to create a sense of immediacy and connection.  In person, for example, a development officer might say: “Thank you for coming to visit the library today. The gift of your time and attention is very generous.” Daniel and Susan argue that success happens when the donor uses the term “we” in relation to the organization, thus, recognizing that she’s found a place for herself within the library and sees herself as playing a role in helping the library to achieve its mission.

How do development officers develop relationships with potential donors? To develop relationships with potential donors, it’s necessary to spend time with them and learn their stories. If you ask them about themselves, they will tell you what their passions are. Daniel stressed that people are motivated to contribute for their own reasons and these may not always be obvious. He also suggested leaving information about the organization (brochures, etc.) with them that may seed ideas. Being sincere and genuine in your engagement with the donor is critical, Daniel and Susan argued. Once donors feel comfortable sharing information about themselves, you can then invite them to become more involved in the organization.

What types of probing questions can be asked when it’s not clear what a donor’s reasons for giving might be? Relationship-building questions to pose to donors may include the following:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Who’s been important to you in your life, and why?
  • What have been the important turning-points or major events in your life?

And the ‘passion’ question: What is it that you hope to accomplish with your money that will be meaningful for you?   These type of questions allow the donor to describe her personal story in such a way that you, the librarian, can learn about how that story might connect to philanthropic opportunities in your organization. The key is to focus on how the donor might be able to connect emotionally with the mission, program or cause of your organization and its strategic priorities. In order to do that, you have to understand what motivates and inspires the donor.

What are key skills a development officer possesses? A key skill possessed by a successful development officer is the ability to listen carefully and attentively; indeed, eliciting the details of the donor’s life story often requires asking follow-up questions. “Donor magic” happens when the development officer can discover – through listening – a match between the donor’s personal story and a philanthropic opportunity in the organization. The relationship needs to be reciprocal and mutually beneficial. The “magic” can only happen if a relationship of trust and respect has been firmly established. Creating a compelling case for the donor to make a gift is a key skill. Daniel and Susan added that this process is necessarily time-consuming, requiring patience and commitment.

How important is showing gratitude to donors? In order to build a fruitful relationship with a donor, Daniel and Susan explained that it’s critical to express gratitude to the donor for sharing their time, thoughts and financial support. It’s critically important to steward a donor by creating meaningful ways to acknowledge their contributions.

Open Questions from Participants

During the open discussion period, participants raised pressing questions relevant to their own contexts and shared stories and anecdotes about their experiences with donors. We’ve listed some of these questions below and provided brief responses that summarize the advice and suggestions provided by Daniel and Susan.

Q: As new and emerging library leaders, how do we engage successfully with high-wealth donors who may have different social values than our own? The librarian elaborated by describing a donor relationship that he’d found challenging. A high-wealth donor had invited him to visit Mar-a-Lago, the South Florida estate of Donald Trump. During the visit, the donor shared his unsolicited and negative opinion of Hillary Clinton. The librarian, whose personal opinion differed from that of the donor’s, assumed that to disagree with the donor on such a political topic could endanger the relationship and the benefits the donor offered to his organization. Daniel and Susan acknowledged the librarian’s challenge, while offering the following insights and advice that presented a possible path forward and clarified the nature and scope of the donor development process.  First, they explained, it’s important to remain neutral in response to controversial topics that arise during donor engagement and to redirect the conversation to focus on your goal. The primary objective of the donor development process, they argued, is to encourage the donor to articulate her passions. Only when a librarian understands what a donor truly cares about, and what the donor hopes to accomplish with her money, is it possible to determine if there is an appropriate alignment between those passions and aspirations and the strategic priorities of the organization you represent. Daniel and Susan were, in essence, asking us, as librarians, to seek common ground with high-wealth donors, to look for points of shared passion, and to avoid focusing on areas of potential conflict or discord.

Q: What if donor’s request or vision for a potential donation is too narrow or specific? Susan recommended that you share the strategic direction of the library with the donor, so that she better understands the larger vision and possibilities for the potential gift. Broadening the conversation will allow you to identify and articulate opportunities for a better fit. Daniel noted that the donor will appreciate that their investment will have a more meaningful and sustainable impact, if it’s properly aligned with the strategic goals of the organization. In your conversation with the donor, you can also talk about the need for the library to remain flexible and nimble, as it changes over time. Daniel also noted that with older donors, particularly donors over the age of eighty, it’s helpful to have another person, perhaps, a relative of the donor, in the room for conversations about potential gifts. This type of approach will ensure that the information you are receiving is accurate and able to be confirmed.

Q: When is it appropriate for a librarian to consult with the development officer about a potential gift? Daniel and Susan advised us that it’s never too early to let development officers know about prospective donors. The development officers can play an important listening role in the early stages of relationship-building with donors and be a source of advice and support. Development officers also have access to donor databases that they check to see if the donor has existing relationships with the organization and the status of those relationships.

Q: What can a librarian do who wants to become more involved in donor engagement? We learned that it’s possible to negotiate with your university’s central development office to obtain prospect lists or to ask for lists of donors that have dropped off from giving to their school or college and might be open to renewing their relationship with the library. You can also join the Academic Library Advancement and Development Network (ALADN). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about donor engagement and relations.

Q: What might convince a donor to give to the library instead of individual schools, colleges or departments? Susan likes to make the case that all students benefit from the use of libraries, so that a donor’s gift to the library will have a larger reach. She refers to the library as the “center” of the university, the “center” of learning, and this is often quite convincing to donors, she finds. She added that it’s helpful to learn about the percentage of your student population that remains in the surrounding area after graduation; if the percentage is substantial, you can make the case that a gift to the library is also a gift to the local community as graduates from the university will contribute positively to the region. Again, you are helping the donor make a larger impact than they might have initially anticipated.

Q: How can I involve fellow librarians and library staff in the development effort? Encourage librarians and library staff to let you know about patrons who come and use the library that might be interested in deeper relationships. Create opportunities for the development officer to engage with department heads. You can also form a library development team that meets on a monthly basis and helps track opportunities.

Q: What is the development officer’s desired relationship to the organization or library? Daniel and Susan both agreed that they like to be seen as liaisons between donors and their organizations. As liaisons, they can serve as connectors, identifying opportunities for mutual growth and benefit. Again, they mentioned the significance of listening to both parties in order to forge connections.

Q: How do we fundraise in an environment in which public education is being defunded? The librarian who posed the question noted that donors often assume erroneously that library operations and infrastructure are already sufficiently funded. Daniel and Susan nodded in agreement with this question. As employees of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, they understand the challenges of working at public institutions that are losing public funding. They recommend appealing to common or shared values. Reaching for the largest vision possible will allow for greater connections to be made. They also suggested that it’s sometimes helpful to work with other units at your institution to consider “joint asks” or “joint proposals” to donors.

Q: How do you deal with people who are disgruntled with the University or Library? Daniel and Susan noted that it’s not always possible to form successful relationships with individuals who are unhappy with the organization. But it’s possible to renew the relationship by talking about the donor’s vision for what could be possible; for instance, what might the donor’s legacy be?

This summary was written by Kelly Miller with assistance from Susan Modder and Daniel Petry.




Posted in Hors catégorie

University of Saskatchewan Library Dean

The University Library at the University of Saskatchewan is looking for a dean who has innovative ideas to transform the way we think about libraries and their services.

With seven locations across campus, the University Library is a key element of our students’ and researchers’ success. As the way we preserve, share and access information continues to rapidly evolve, our successful candidate will lead a strong team of 150 full—time (equivalent) faculty and staff members to meet and exceed the needs of a research—intensive university that welcomes more than 22,000 students from around the world every year.

Reporting to the provost and vice—president academic, the dean is an important member of the university’s senior leadership team. As such, they are responsible for providing vision and leadership to help the U of S fulfill its strategic directions and priorities. The successful candidate will use their experience in senior academic leadership and the education gained as they achieved their related degree to realize positive change in the University Library, and at the U of S. They will have a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and Aboriginal engagement. We want to provide members of our campus community with the tools they need to succeed.

We want to embrace change, and transition from past ways of doing things to new ways of doing things, in order to better serve our students and researchers. We want someone who has a vision of the future, and the determination to realize its potential. The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced.

The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please call Danielle Conn or Maureen Geldart of The Geldart Group at 604—926—0005, or forward your application package (current CV, letter of application and reference list) in confidence to .

USASK Library – Final Ad

Posted in Dean/Director, Jobs, Leadership, Management

Dean of University Libraries, Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University is seeking its next Dean of University Libraries. Please see this page for more information:

Posted in Dean/Director, Jobs, Leadership, Management

Director of Libraries, Smith College

Smith College, the largest independent women’s college in the U.S., seeks a Director of Libraries to lead a period of transformational change as the College embarks on building the signature college library of the 21st century with the renowned designer, Maya Lin. The Director reports to the Provost and Dean of Faculty, ensuring full integration of the library with the College’s liberal arts mission. The intellectual heart of the campus, the Smith Library hosts a rich learning and research ecosystem, welcoming varied modes of knowledge-making by an increasingly diverse community of users.

The new Director will embrace this period of exciting transformation as an opportunity to convene a variety of stakeholders in the important work of redefining an academic library. Practitioner and scholar, strategist and visionary, implementer and spokesperson, Smith’s next chief librarian will be known as a national and international voice for the evolution of the modern research library as a versatile, multi-use venue of collaboration and discovery.

See full position description.

Posted in Dean/Director, Jobs

Assistant / Associate Director for Information Technology, Ohio State

The Ohio State University Libraries is accelerating knowledge creation and augmenting ground breaking research at one of the world’s most prominent research universities. We seek a knowledgeable, dynamic, results-oriented leader to direct, develop, enhance, and implement an evolving portfolio of information technology services that support the University’s efforts to transform scholarship and solve problems of worldwide significance.

The Assistant / Associate Director of Information Technology (AD for IT) will craft a shared vision for and advance the strategic development and implementation of applications, systems, and technology services that enhance digital initiatives and library operations. Reporting to the Vice Provost & Director of University Libraries, the AD for IT sets and advances technology priorities for the Libraries that align with the educational and research missions and strategic directions of the University. In a highly collaborative environment, the AD for IT works with a wide variety of campus partners to ensure robust library support for new and established technology services that meet the teaching, research, and service needs of the university community. The AD for IT is a member of the Libraries’ Executive Committee.

Full job description here.

Posted in AUL/AD, Jobs, Leadership, Management, Technology

Associate Dean, University of New Hampshire Library

The University of New Hampshire Library seeks an Associate Dean to play a vital leadership role in a dynamic and vibrant library organization.   The Associate Dean will coordinate library services, collections, and technology initiatives and serve as a catalyst, problem-solver, and relationship-builder. The Associate Dean will work closely with the Dean, the Assistant Dean for Administrative Services, and the library faculty’s Department Chair to provide overall management for the UNH Library. If your leadership style works well in a library with minimal hierarchy and high commitment to collaborative engagement, consider this unique opportunity at the flagship public academic library in the Granite State. The University seeks excellence through diversity among its administrators, faculty, staff and students. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or marital status. Application by members of all underrepresented groups is encouraged. Review of applications begins April 4, 2016 and will continue until position is filled. For a full job description and application process, please visit

Posted in AUL/AD, Jobs, Leadership, Management

Associate Director for Research Services, Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas

Associate Director for Research Services

The Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas invites applications for a forward-thinking, service-oriented, collaborative leader for the position of Associate Director for Research Services.

The Associate Director will provide leadership and guidance for all public service units (Research Services, Instructional Services, Access and Delivery Services, and the Callier Center Library) as well as promote the use of information resources including our Primo/ALMA discovery tool. Qualified candidates will demonstrate the ability to work independently and within teams in a culturally diverse environment, to provide vision through an awareness of new teaching, learning and research needs, and possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Please visit the University of Texas at Dallas job site to apply.

Posted in AUL/AD, Jobs, Leadership, Management

University Librarian, Brock University

Brock University seeks nominations and applications for the position of University Librarian. This opening is a unique opportunity for a progressive and forward-looking University Librarian to lead the continued evolution of a modern academic library. Join a talented team of librarians and library staff to cultivate strong relationships, foster a culture of innovation and advance library goals during this exciting period of change. View the following video to find out more about Brock University and the Niagara Region:

Application deadline is March 4, 2016. For more information about the position or to apply, please see the online posting:

Posted in Dean/Director, Jobs, Leadership, Management

University of South Carolina Aiken Director of the Library, Gregg-Graniteville Library

University of South Carolina Aiken
Director of the Library, Gregg-Graniteville Library
Associate Professor/Professor
12-month, tenure track

Serving as part of the campus leadership and reporting directly to the
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Director is responsible
for strategic leadership, administrative management and supervision of the USC
Aiken Gregg-Graniteville Library. Specific responsibilities include: working
collaboratively with Library personnel to fulfill the campus’ educational and
research mission through the provision of library resources/services;
directing the Library’s long-term and strategic planning; fostering
cooperative relationships with external stakeholders/agencies to enhance
resources/services available to the community; keeping abreast of the latest
developments in academic libraries and higher education; building/sustaining
strategic initiatives; developing and administering the Library’s budget and
resources; overseeing the development and performance of library faculty/
staff; and sustaining a scholarly and professional record appropriate to
appointment at the Associate Professor level or above.

The University of South Carolina Aiken has consistently ranked among the top
three public baccalaureate colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s
annual “America’s Best Colleges” guide; is a recipient of The Chronicle of
Higher Education’s “Best Place to Work” designation, with top honors for
collaborative governance and confidence in senior leadership; and has been
designated a Military-Friendly School by Victory Media. Visit: .

Required: Master’s degree (MLS/MLIS) from an ALA-Accredited LIS Program;
qualifications to meet criteria for tenure and rank of Associate Professor;
minimum seven years’ experience in positions of increasing responsibility,
including significant supervisory, leadership, and budgetary and financial
management experience; demonstrated record of academic scholarship, student-
centered approach to librarianship, excellence in organizational,
communication, and interpersonal skills; and commitment to service and

Preferred: Ph.D. or additional advanced degree; experience with technical and
public services in an academic library setting; experience with tenure
processes, especially mentoring tenured and non-tenured faculty; strong record
of success in developing/implementing flexible approaches or innovations amid
changes in scholarly communication; experience in seeking grant or other
external funding; familiarity with library assessment practices and with
requirements for participation in the Federal Depository Library Program; and
knowledge of current issues/trends in information literacy instruction.

Review of files begins March 15, 2016 and continues until position filled.
Only complete files will be reviewed. Apply online at: . In addition,
send all academic transcripts and three letters of recommendation to: Dr. Tim
Lintner, Director of Library Search Committee Chair, Gregg-Graniteville
Library, USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801. Minorities and
women are encouraged to apply. An AA/EOE.

Posted in Dean/Director, Jobs, Leadership, Management

About “Gentle Disturbances”

The title of our new blog, “Gentle Disturbances”, is a tribute and a reference to the husband and wife artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art consists of vast, temporary outdoor installations, such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the 24-mile Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park. Christo has asserted that their art creates “gentle disturbances," designed to challenge traditional perceptions of the spaces and landscapes they inhabit. By encouraging viewers to see familiar landscapes in new ways, their art disrupts assumptions about permanence, ownership, and categorization.

While we claim none of the artistic or political impact of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, we hope that this blog and its many contributors will challenge us all to look at the landscape of academic libraries and higher education in new ways. We aspire to “gentle disturbances” of the kind that will lead to productive conversations and creative approaches to our common challenges.