Director, Global Collections


The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) seeks a Director of Global Collections. This is a remarkable opportunity for the right leader to play a field-level leadership role. Global collections and services have long been at the core of CRL’s mission, and in 2023 CRL is reinvesting in the structures, staffing, and programs to ensure that these commitments align with community aspirations to foster a more equitable and diverse global knowledge commons.

This redesigned leadership position offers an ambitious, creative, and entrepreneurial leader the chance to have a high-impact role in shaping the strategic directions of the organization and the community it serves. Through high levels of engagement with internal and external decision-makers and field-level leaders, the Director of Global Collections will create a vision for CRL’s global collections and build an internal team to execute that vision. This position reports directly to the CRL President and serves as a key member of the CRL leadership team.

The ideal candidate will possess outstanding leadership abilities, be passionate about building field-shaping global collections and services, and have demonstrated managerial/tactical strengths developed through deep experience in collection development for research libraries.


Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Based in Chicago, IL, the Center for Research Libraries is an enduring model for cooperative collection development and community building among the research library community. From its original founding in 1949 by ten member libraries in the Midwestern United States, today CRL represents an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries collectively building, stewarding, and sharing a wealth of resource materials from all world regions to support inspired research and teaching.

CRL is dedicated to advancing the values and first principles of academic librarianship, including the defense of intellectual freedom, celebration of diversity, advocacy of responsible stewardship, and promotion of social responsibility and the social good.

As a place of work, CRL places a high value on excellence, accountability, innovation, inclusivity, and teamwork. Learn more about us and our work here. 



Leadership & Strategic Vision:

  • Serves as an inspiring and visionary leader for the development of CRL’s collections through strategic planning, cross-institutional collaboration, and innovative approaches to building and sustaining rich, diverse, and multilingual collections
  • Builds strong partnerships and collaborations across the research library community to support CRL’s global collection development strategies and resource allocation
  • Leads creative initiatives to expand access to and to advocate for the research value of CRL’s existing and future collections with an eye to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion and to inspire new communities of users to engage with CRL’s collections
  • Plays a leading role in supporting and sustaining CRL’s global collections programs (e.g., Area Materials Projects and Global Resource Networks) by soliciting feedback, maintaining communications, and troubleshooting any problems that arise
  • Works with area studies colleagues and community stakeholders to identify strengths and weaknesses in existing workflows, determine solutions, and implement necessary changes so that operations fully leverage available resources  
  • Contributes to the ongoing development of CRL’s digital and open access initiatives to position the organization as a leader in connecting diverse collections with digital tools and technologies
  • Strives to be a leader within the broader area studies library community as a spokesperson for CRL’s accomplishments and ambitions at national and international conferences and conventions; serves as a liaison and CRL representative for existing area studies networks and professional organizations (e.g., IASC21, CORMOSEA, CONSALD, MELA, SALALM, ALC, CEAL, NCC, etc.); participates in external committees and working groups to support and represent CRL’s contributions to global collections
  • Attends conferences, workshops, and classes, and engages in other professional development activities to secure and sustain CRL’s status as a leader and innovator in the research library community

Management and Team Development:

  • Serves as a member of the CRL Directors Group, the senior internal CRL leadership team, which brings a team-first approach to leading CRL’s overall operations and decision-making
  • Leads, develops, and inspires a suite of internal departments, staff, and functional areas responsible for core global collections activities, including collection development, access initiatives and resource sharing, and preservation.
  • Ensures consistent and high-quality member services from the Global Collections Directorate by delegating work, monitoring performance, and holding staff accountable for meeting or exceeding CRL performance standards and exemplifying CRL values.
  • Expands existing skill- and knowledge-building efforts to enrich professional skills and knowledge across the organization; actively embraces CRL’s ethos as a learning organization 
  • Monitors operational goals and collection policies to ensure continued access to high-quality resources that address the needs of CRL’s members
  • Leverages knowledge of library software, integrated library systems, discovery systems, and metadata standards to support the assessment, development, and acquisition of new materials
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in metadata & discovery; collaborates with the Director of Discovery & Technology to maximize use and user engagement with collections
  • Works closely with CRL colleagues across functional areas to create collection assessment and user needs assessment protocols and standards to identify and support CRL members' evolving needs

Collections and Content:

  • Working with CRL’s Collections, Services, and Policy Committee and the International Content and Collections Group, provides a coherent vision and direction for CRL's collections; develops the policies, procedures, and practices to realize that vision
  • Employs expertise in collection development, collection management, and collection assessment to bring vision and coherence to CRL’s current and future collections
  • Manages collection activities by building partnerships and fostering collaborations across CRL, its members, and its partners
  • Develops and inspires a successful collections team that works collaboratively and independently with other departments and external partners
  • Works closely with CRL colleagues across functional areas to ensure responsible collection building by considering the total cost of stewardship throughout the collection's lifecycle 
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in metadata & discovery to collaborate with the Director of Discovery & Technology to maximize the usage and user experience of collections. 
  • Assesses CRL’s existing collections to identify gaps and works with partners and stakeholders to address those gaps
  • Builds and maintains knowledge of scholarly resources and trends in global studies and global collection building 


Qualifications, Education, & Experience

  • Graduate degree in a field related to area studies in addition to an MLS
  • Minimum 7 years of increasing responsibility in a research library and demonstrated expertise and experience with leadership, management, and operations in a research library collections area
  • Strong systems awareness, knowledge of, and appreciation for the functional areas which contribute to the full lifecycle management of collections (e.g., collection development, acquisitions, metadata and discovery, and preservation)
  • Demonstrated experience using data to inform strategic decision-making and ongoing assessment 
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise with best practices in budget development, budget management, and a commitment to incorporating financial information to inform strategy and operations
  • Proficiency in at least one language other than English; knowledge of issues related to non-roman language materials required; prior experience working with materials in non-Roman scripts preferred;
  • Knowledge of existing and emergent trends and practices relating to collection development and a passion for aligning resources, staffing, and operations accordingly
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholder groups that vary widely in terms of cultures, motivations, professional backgrounds, and institutional contexts   
  • Working knowledge of intellectual property and privacy issues related to global print and digital collections 
  • Demonstrated commitment to the field through participation in professional organizations, conference presentations, or publications. 
  • A passion for and demonstrated track record of building alliances with relevant organizations and community leaders/builders
  • Prior experience participating in CRL programs and activities is a plus

Compensation & Benefits
This is a full-time, permanent position with an expected starting salary of $110,000-$130,000. CRL offers competitive benefits including health, dental, life, and disability insurance, and flexible PTO including vacation, sick, personal time, 2 floating, and 12 paid holidays per year. In addition, CRL offers generous retirement benefits with a monthly 10% contribution after a year of employment (immediately vested). Employees will receive funding for professional development activities.

Application Process
Expertise in each requirement listed above is not expected — instead, we encourage applications from those who demonstrate a mix of expertise in some areas and commitment to learning and experimentation in others. Skills and relevant experience outlined in your application may be paid or unpaid and can include internships, volunteer work, and practicums. We understand that experience, education, learning, and creativity take many forms and expect that qualified applicants may bring additional skills to this position that we’ve not considered or listed here. If this role interests you, we encourage you to apply!


To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to Please include ‘Director, Global Collections’ in the subject line. We are keen to fill this important position on our team, and applications will be received until the position is filled. Applications received by close of business Monday, August 7, 2023, will be given priority attention.



CRL is committed to actively promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as key components for serving our members and advancing our global mission. As such, CRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding recruitment, hiring and employment and is dedicated to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at CRL are based on organization needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. CRL will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.