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Librarian for Religion and Theology, Outreach Librarian

 Position Summary:

This position embraces, supports, and contributes to the vision and goals of the Vanderbilt University Strategic Plan in the pursuit of excellence in learning and discovery by providing, as subject liaison, professional research instruction, outreach, information consultation services, and collection development and maintenance for the Divinity School professional programs, the graduate department of religion Ph.D. programs, and the undergraduate religion department. 

The Librarian for Religion and Theology carries out information literacy instruction, research consultation services, and collection development and maintenance for the Divinity School and the undergraduate Religious Studies department, as well as serving as liaison to two research areas in the Graduate Department of Religion, Homiletics and Liturgics and Religion, Psychology, and Culture, for which this individual provides research, instruction, and collection support.  The person in this position also functions as the point of contact for Divinity Library and system-wide outreach activities. This position involves supervision of one or more student collection assistants and will likely involve some cataloging and metadata creation for certain materials requiring original cataloging or customized metadata descriptions.

Library professional staff are expected to support and participate in system-wide library committees or other strategic initiatives as an integral component of their responsibilities.  This position embraces, supports, and contributes to the vision and goals of the Vanderbilt University Strategic Plan in the pursuit of excellence in learning and discovery.

This position reports to the Director of the Divinity Library.

For first consideration, please apply by November 7, 2018. 

Applications must be submitted online through Vanderbilt University Human Resources at:

Job #1801671.

About the Work Unit:

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are fundamental to the university’s goal of advancing scholarship and learning. We collect, preserve and make accessible a wide variety of resources, we partner with faculty and students to shape research, and we encourage the development of informed scholars and engaged citizens.

Vanderbilt University provides a stimulating work environment, with opportunities to participate in the delivery of innovative library services supported by leading edge technologies. Vanderbilt Libraries are ambitious as we build a great research library for the 21st century, with over 4 million volumes, access to millions of e-resources, and over 900,000 serial titles, including titles available through aggregators. An active program of digital resource delivery and development is grounded in successful collaboration among library and university staff from Digital Scholarship Services, other library departments and university information technology staff.

The Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University is comprised of nine libraries, including Special Collections & Archives. We seek to create a welcoming environment and provide services for research and scholarship.   The libraries are dynamic places for faculty & staff, students and alumni to reflect and discover.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

  • Participates in instruction, reference, and research consultations as a part of the Divinity Library librarian team, including assigned subject liaison duties
  • Functions as primary contact with university library outreach initiatives, communicating Divinity activities and coordinating Divinity Library staff participation in university library initiatives
  • Participates in library system-wide committees and collaborates with colleagues in other libraries on programs and policies
  • Participates in professional organizations and engages in service and scholarly activities at the local, regional, and national level

Supervisory Relationships:

This position will supervise 1-2 student assistants as a part of a collaborative team for collections management. 

Education and Certifications:

  • A Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution is necessary.
  • A second subject-area graduate or professional degree in a religion/theology field from an accredited institution of higher education is strongly preferred.

Experience and Skills:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are necessary.

  • Proficiency with current information technology, and digital tools and methods in humanities scholarship is necessary.

  • Ability to work collaboratively is necessary.

  • Knowledge of and experience in religious/theological bibliography is necessary.

  • Ability to teach research methods and knowledge of disciplinary databases and resources is necessary.

  • Teaching experience is strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge of MARC cataloging, and metadata schemas is strongly preferred.

  • Background or interest in Homiletics/Pastoral Care/Practical Theology is desired.

  • Language expertise in European and/or Middle Eastern languages is especially desired.

About Vanderbilt Benefits

In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview.

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 and located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The university’s students and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:

  • Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
  • Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well.  Doesn’t expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves.  Finds ways to acknowledge other’s strong suits.
  • Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.
  • Works through Issues – Recognizes that the work is about successful outcomes. If things aren’t going well, outcomes suffer. Is willing to have crucial conversations if things aren’t going well.  Doesn’t just complain to management . . . does everything possible to remedy the situation directly first.
  • Hard-Working – Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn’t the same as productive). Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.