L-50. Special Collections Leadership Seminar
“It was tremendously helpful to be among a community of peers and to have so many generous visiting speakers to learn from, ask questions of, and bounce ideas off. I learned so much this week.” — 2017 student
Special collections libraries in the twenty-first century have taken on an increasingly important role in the academic library. Moving out from their perceived “silo,” special collections have become more integrated into academic life through creative partnerships and productive collaboration with other librarians, faculty, students, and the wider scholarly community. Leading a special collections library requires a portfolio of skills and strengths that are often difficult to develop within the traditional functional areas of a library. These skills and strengths include strategic thinking and planning, building and managing diverse collections, designing and managing facilities, development and fundraising, public relations and marketing, managing through others, grant writing, data-driven decision making, and administering complex budgets. This course provides an introduction to these competencies and an opportunity to discuss and explore them as a class. Faculty from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business will visit the class to facilitate sessions on leadership. During the week students will assess their own strengths and areas for growth and will develop a personal professional development plan.
This course is intended for mid-career librarians and archivists who are interested in exploring a career as the director of a special collections library or department.
Participants are expected to bring a laptop with them to class.
Naomi Nelson is Associate University Librarian and Director of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. She came to Duke from Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, where she held a variety of positions over twenty years, including Curator for Southern History, Director of the Digital Archive, Coordinator for Research Services, Assistant Director, and Interim Director. Her interests include managing and providing access to born-digital materials, exploring the new avenues for humanities research opened by new technologies, and women’s history. She is a Presidential Appointee to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and a member of the 2016 ARL Leadership Fellow cohort. She received an M.L.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in American History from Emory University.Full Bio »