Dean of Library Services

Reporting directly to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, the Dean of Library Services is responsible for the direction, development, implementation and evaluation of all aspects of library services in order to meet the scholarly and intellectual needs of the university community and its service area. The Dean is the chief administrative officer for the Library and works collaboratively with the six college deans, the Vice President of Research and Economic Development, the Dean of Graduate Education, the Vice Provost for International, Graduate and Extended Education, the VP ITS/CIO and Directors/Managers of IT services, the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and members of the Dean’s Advisory Council. The Dean of Library Services participates in advancement planning and activities to support efforts on behalf of the Library and is active in the development of policy as a member of campus leadership committees and the CSU Council of Library Deans (COLD). 

Required qualifications

Required Education and Experience:

  • MLS/MLIS degree from an American Library Association accredited program or equivalent.
  • Five or more years of progressively responsible administrative and leadership experience in an academic or research library or related archival repository or institution.
  • Demonstrated experience in recruitment, professional development and retention of library faculty and staff.
  • Demonstrated experience as a collaborative, consultative, empathetic leader who recruits, strongly supports, and retains outstanding faculty and staff and fosters student success.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in resource allocation and budget management.
  • Experience in direct, patron-facing interactions such as outreach, reference, and information literacy instruction.
  • Experience with the assessment of library services, programs and resources.

Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated skills in an institutional/educational environment utilizing a customer-oriented and service-centered attitude.
  • A sound grasp of current issues and trends in academic libraries with the ability to serve effectively as an advocate and spokesperson for the library’s educational mission.
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds of the university community, especially a proven record of individual action and institutional leadership to advance diversity.
  • Ability to develop and implement strategic plans with a clear vision of the evolving role of the academic library in the digital environment and the integration of digital resources into the curriculum to advance knowledge management.
  • Demonstrated ability to build consensus and to make considered decisions for priorities, with both flexibility and follow-through.
  • Demonstrated ability to be highly effective in staff evaluation and supervision, resource allocation, and budget/fiscal management.
  • Ability to demonstrate and communicate the impact and value of the library within the institution, including but not limited to student success and the return-on-investment of library services and resources.
  • Demonstrated success in community outreach.
  • Ability to generate external support and fundraising to support the mission of the Library.
  • An understanding of the instructional and scholarly needs of students and faculty.
  • A strong record of professional participation and scholarly contributions.
  • Ability to lead the library’s human resources with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity.
  • Ability to initiate, establish, and maintain communication and teamwork to foster a positive, cooperative, productive work atmosphere within and outside the library and across the University.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within a diverse population and with those from various cultural backgrounds.

Preferred qualifications

  • An additional advanced degree.
  • Previous experience as a library dean or director.
  • Proven leadership ability, preferably at a university.
  • Demonstrated success in fostering university, state, regional and/or national cooperation in resource sharing, networking and collection development.
  • Experience with advancement, fundraising and/or external funding initiatives in libraries.
  • Experience with library redesign/renovation projects.
  • Experience in academic libraries where librarians hold faculty status and/or tenure/continuing appointment.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and experience in a collective bargaining environment and/or knowledge of California State University policies and procedures.

How to apply

Review, Applications and Nominations:
The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. Nominations should be addressed to Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by December 15, 2017. The anticipated starting date for the position is July 1, 2018. To apply, visit to complete the required online Cal Poly Management Employment Application. Completed applications must be submitted to Requisition Number 104665. In addition, each applicant must provide as separate attachments to the online application a detailed curriculum vitae or resume, and a cover letter. The cover letter should address the applicant’s qualifications and experience for this position, including a personal statement of the applicant’s views on academic administration and the role and responsibilities of library faculty and staff, as well as the applicant’s experiences with and views on leadership, their management style, and diversity and inclusion in higher education.

For Assistance with the Online Application Process Contact Academic Personnel:
Phone: (805) 756-2844
Cal Poly Website:

About Kennedy Library

The Robert E. Kennedy Library is nationally recognized for its distinction in engaging the students and faculty of the Cal Poly university community. While integrating traditional library resources and services with digital tools and platforms, the library continuously experiments to adapt its services, programs, and spaces to meet the evolving academic programs, research interests, and needs of the university community. Annual visits exceed 1.4 million.

Kennedy Library’s ten librarians, 35 staff, and over 120 student assistants work with campus partners to deliver services focused on Cal Poly’s commitments to research, learning, collaboration and innovation. The library is customer-driven, whether in providing high-quality information resources, supporting faculty teaching and research, developing digital user interfaces, or redesigning spaces that encourage creative work, collaboration, and focused study. Its innovative peer-to-peer learning and reference programs and active student think-tank (Student Library Advisory Council) were among the programs that led Kennedy Library to become the state’s first university library to receive the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award in 2014.

Kennedy Library is working with an architectural design firm to finalize an ambitious architectural renovation plan, which will provide a vision for renewing the library’s heavily impacted physical spaces to accommodate the diverse and growing needs of Cal Poly’s students and faculty. The renovation will create exceptional new spaces to deliver the library’s innovative programs, services and resources.
The Library partners with campus organizations to promote faculty development and student success, including several that are located in the Kennedy Library: the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology; the Academic Skills Center; the University Writing and Rhetoric Center; and the Honors Program.

The Library is a member of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the Library Publishing Coalition, WEST, RapidILL, LOCKSS and MetaArchive.

About Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive public university and is part of the 23-campus California State University system. Founded in 1901, the 6,000-acre campus is nestled in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, along California’s scenic central coast and midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The emphasis of the University is a “learn by doing” educational experience for its students.

For more information, please see the Human Resources Prospective Employees page.

About SLO

Cal Poly’s location in San Luis Obispo makes it one of the best places to visit. It’s a quintessential coastal California town with some 43,000 residents. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and just minutes from beaches, state parks, landmarks and premium wine regions, it’s also a popular vacation spot. Sunset Magazine has called it the most Californian place in all of California.

The city of San Luis Obispo offers a historic, restored downtown full of restaurants, theatres, art galleries and shops centered around San Luis Obispo Creek, Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission Plaza. San Luis Obispo’s Thursday night Farmer’s Market on Higuera Street has become a model for cities around the state. It’s a mix of fresh produce and flowers, baked goods, restaurant fare and free music all within strolling distance.

San Luis Obispo is just minutes from some of California’s best beaches and original beach cities: Avila Beach (10 miles), Pismo Beach (12 miles), Morro Bay (17 miles), Montaña de Oro State Park (18 miles), Cayucos (18 miles), the Pismo Dunes (28 miles) and world-famous Hearst Castle ( 45 miles).

For more information, please Visit San Luis Obispo County