Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Philadelphia


Job location: Van Pelt Library

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2019-12-02
Req: JR00013921
University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title

Assistant Director of Operations, Kislak Center

Job Profile Title

Librarian C

Job Description Summary

The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts advances learning and inspires discovery in Penn's community and around the world. The goals of the Kislak Center align with those of the Penn Libraries as a whole: to make our collections accessible; to use technology in innovative and meaningful ways; to enhance teaching and research; and to preserve our cultural resources for future generations. It is a multi-purpose venue in the Van Pelt Dietrich Library System. It houses the University’s special collections closed stacks (2016); the reading rooms and classrooms and the processing unit in which these collections are cataloged; It is a preferred venue for exhibitions, conferences, music performances, and stewardship events from across the University. It is also a research facility that houses the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies. Kislak Center responsibilities extend to other libraries in the Penn Libraries’ system and the city of Philadelphia that house Special Collections, notably the Library at the Katz Center, the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Museum Library, the Dental Library, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. The Kislak Center has a full-time staff of almost 40, a part-time staff of approximately 20, and a large number of student workers.

Job Description

The Assistant Director of Operations has the responsibility for overall operations of the Center and direct oversight of services. The Assistant Director of Operations handles the day-to-day operations and aids the deputy in making leadership decisions by providing information about staffing and operational issues, challenges, and opportunities in the Center. This position also requires extensive contacts with the various divisions of Penn Libraries.

Specific duties include:

Responsible for day to day management of special collections services and associated staff; oversees the Kislak Center’s reading room, exhibitions, events, in-house publications, and outreach services as well as the operational procedures, collection transfers, and technologies necessary for providing those services in accordance with the Penn Libraries’ overall strategic goals. Oversees onsite collection storage locations.

Responsible for the operational security of the Kislak Center and access to secure spaces. Works closely with the Director of Facilities overseeing work by outside contractors, ensuring that deliverables are met, deadlines adhered to, and protocols observed especially in areas of high risk to the University.

Supports the Senior Curator and Director of Operations in staff planning and allocation of staff resources, collection access, collection management, programmatic and service innovations, and space allocation.

Under the direction of the Senior Curator and Director of Operations, manages spaces, both the daily operations of the physical spaces in the Kislak Center and major logistical projects requiring program management and involving systems supporting patron needs.

Responsible for integrating special collections in the Katz Center, Fine Arts, Museum, Dental libraries and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia with the full operational services (cataloging, exhibits, patron use, collection transfers, Aeon usage software) provided by the Kislak Center.

Works closely with the Chief Financial Officer, in assists the Senior Curator and Director of Operations to manage departmental budget (approximately $5 million), including general operating expenses, spending plans, part-time staff budgeting, reimbursements, and grants

Assists the Senior Curator and Director of Operations of Kislak Center in developing policies, writing reports, and statistical analysis of operations.


An MLS, or its equivalent in theory and practice, is required; an additional graduate degree is preferred plus five to seven years of progressively responsible and productive experience working in research libraries or equivalent combination of education and experience; work in special collections is preferred. An understanding of high-quality research universities, their organization and function, and current issues in higher education. A record of excellent working relationships with faculty, students, library staff, and administrators. A vision for the future of university research library services with a focus on special collections. A record of collegial leadership in initiating user-based library services and programs. An ability to be effective in center-wide planning, oversight, and administration. Previous supervisory experience. Excellent communication skills.

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

University Library

Pay Range

$50,684.00 - $91,232.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

  • access
  • education
  • software
  • storage
  • teaching