Job at UF: Curator, Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature

POSITION:       Curator, Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
RANK:   Assistant University Librarian or Associate University Librarian
REPORTS TO:     Chair, Special and Area Studies Collections Department
SALARY:         Minimum salary $54,144 at the Assistant University Librarian rank
Minimum salary $62,574 at the Associate University Librarian rank
Actual salary will reflect selected professional’s experience and credentials

DEADLINE DATE:  February 8, 2021 – review of applications will begin on January 18, 2021

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida seek a collaborative, curious and knowledgeable colleague to lead the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. The Curator of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature is a year-round (12 month) tenure track library faculty position, which will lead a preeminent collection known for its exceptional breadth and depth in Anglo-American holdings. The Baldwin Library supports emerging scholarship by actively diversifying its holdings and applying a critical lens to collections and activities. Major endowments support the Baldwin Library and its activities, enabling the Curator to establish new directions for this renowned collection. Exciting recent directions have included interactive technologies such as movables and games; women in science; African-American children’s literature and materials on race; and collaborative acquisition and instruction.

The Curator manages materials and access, from acquisition to cataloging and digitization, and engages the UF campus and beyond through instruction, exhibits, collection promotion, and collaboration on projects and work groups. The Curator deepens and expands support for the study of children’s literature and interdisciplinary topics, and engages with faculty, students, and the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. The Curator oversees fellowship programs which support the research of scholars, librarians and educators in the Baldwin Library, and serves as a bridge between public and academic librarians through the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship. Previous Curators have forged important regional, national and international partnerships or created major open access digital collections. We look forward to hearing the next Curator’s vision for the Baldwin Library and supporting the Curator in achieving great success.

The Libraries encourage faculty and staff participation in reaching management decisions, and consequently the Curator of the Baldwin Library will serve on various committees and teams. To support all students and faculty, and foster excellence in a diverse and collaborative society, the Libraries actively seek candidates who bring culturally-rich lived experiences and awareness to work with individuals of  different backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, and perspectives. Alongside the Special and Area Studies Collections Department, the Curator will be part of the University of Florida’s commitment to anti-racism ( Curator of the Baldwin Library will pursue and be supported in research and professional service opportunities in order to meet requirements for tenure and promotion.

The Curator will establish an inclusive vision for the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, skillfully managing and developing collections, services and programs, with support from colleagues and resources in the department and across the Libraries. The Curator:

  • Develops strategic priorities for the collection and its activities that align with the Libraries’ Strategic Directions, including a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and awareness
  • Acquires materials to meet emerging needs and to maintain strengths of the collection, staying current in best practices of library and academic fields
  • Manages all aspects of Baldwin Library holdings, support and services by evaluating and planning for collection needs, space management, preservation and conservation, cataloging and digitization, personnel, funds, and collection data, collaborating with specialists as needed
  • Provides research assistance, consultations, orientations, and instructional support
  • Establishes and maintains vendor and community relationships
  • Seeks external funding through grants or partnerships, and maintains and cultivates relations with donors, in coordination with Libraries leadership, development personnel, and specialists
  • Furthers digital or other access efforts that reduce barriers to use of materials
  • Creates and maintains research tools such as bibliographies or other descriptive guides to support the collection and its use
  • Promotes the collection through programs, events, tours, social media and other activities
  • Acquires, maintains and disseminates knowledge related to the broad specialization of children’s literature and culture
  • Performs scholarly research and provides service at the institutional and professional levels as related to assignment and in accordance with tenure and promotion criteria


  • Master’s degree in library science from an ALA accredited library school or advanced degree in a field relevant to children’s literature or historical childhood studies.
  • Minimum two (2) years of relevant experience for appointment as Assistant University Librarian. Minimum eight (8) years of relevant experience required for appointment as Associate University Librarian.
  • Knowledge of and experience working with children’s literature or historical childhood studies as an academic discipline.
  • Experience curating or providing access to library, archival or other collections.
  • Record of teaching, research, or service that can be applied to making libraries more diverse, inclusive, and equitable.
  • Record of including individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, and perspectives in research, teaching, service and other work.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in teams and individually with faculty, staff and students.
  • Initiative, flexibility, and the ability to seek out opportunities in a complex, dynamic academic environment.
  • Demonstrated organizational and planning skills.
  • Strong potential for meeting the requirements of tenure and promotion


  • Evidence of creative and innovative approaches to access and use of library materials.
  • Experience with instruction, exhibitions, and/or engagement relevant to a learning or knowledge environment
  • Record of creating and maintaining strong collaborations with culturally diverse audiences and colleagues
  • Familiarity with information and digital-based technologies for office and library systems.
  • Experience creating and maintaining online content.
  • Experience relevant to managing budgets.
  • Supervisory experience.

Research indicates that applicants from underrepresented groups are hesitant to apply for positions if they do not meet all of the required and preferred qualifications. We want to emphasize that the preferred qualifications are not required and that we are committed to helping our future colleague develop these preferred skills. We strongly encourage those who are passionate about student success and working with underrepresented populations to apply. Additionally applicants are encouraged to communicate the ways in which their work fulfills the required qualifications in ways that may not be obvious.

The University of Florida (UF) is the state of Florida’s preeminent university. The state’s oldest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation’s most academically diverse public universities and won the 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. UF is currently sixth among “Top Public Universities” in the U.S. News and World Report and was second among Forbes “Best Value Public Colleges” (2016). UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities. At UF we have some of the top faculty in the country. In addition to attracting over $900 million in research each year, they foster the uniquely collaborative environment that transforms potential in to actual results. UF traces its beginnings to a small seminary in 1853 and is now one of the largest universities in the nation, with more than 50,000 students. The University of Florida seeks to address key challenges of our time, from COVID-19 to racism. For more information, please consult the UF homepage.

The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training. We are dedicated to the goal of building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff within a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment; we strongly encourage applications from women, members of underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

If an accommodation due to a hearing or speech disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD).

University benefits for this position include retirement plan options, insurance benefits, paid family leave (parental and medical), tuition fee waiver program, and employee assistance program, as well as paid time off and holidays. Gainesville, Florida, has no state or local income tax. The UF Screen, Test & Protect Program provides guidelines and resources related to COVID-19.

Gainesville, Florida and the surrounding community are home to approximately 257,000 people and both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. The city is surrounded by more than 40 nature parks, including a large number of spring-fed lakes and rivers, with many paved and unpaved trails for recreation. The city is just over an hour from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Gainesville is an award-winning and innovative city friendly to both professionals and families. The Guide to Greater Gainesville combines award winning photography and compelling articles that capture all of the reasons for calling Gainesville your next home. The City of Gainesville is a progressive municipality that seeks to promote racial equity. The area has numerous cultural institutions and is a haven for sports fans. Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee, and St. Augustine are all within a two-hour drive. Gainesville is an affordable city and area to live in – using a cost of living calculator you can compare cities across the United States. See how affordable Gainesville really is!

The libraries at the University of Florida form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida with seven libraries and three off-campus facilities. The George A. Smathers Libraries are comprised of six of the campus libraries, and all of the off-site facilities. The only library outside of this system is Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center at the Levin College of Law. The libraries hold over 6 million print volumes, 8.1 microfilms, 1.5 million e-books, 145,000 full-text electronic journals, over 1000 electronic databases, 1.3 million documents and 1.4 million maps and images. The libraries maintain partnerships and engages in a variety of collaborative, international projects while engaging with the UF community. We are a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and other regional library consortia. The library staff consists of more than 300 FTE librarians, technical/clerical staff and student assistants. The George A. Smathers Libraries are strong advocates for inclusion and intellectual freedom. The Libraries’ commitment to both is articulated in the Inclusion Statement and Intellectual Freedom Statement.

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature contains more than 130,000 books, ephemera such as board games and puzzles, and a small number of manuscript collections. The Baldwin Library has the largest collection of Early American juvenile books (pre 1823) of any academic institution. The Baldwin Library is also strong in comparative editions, particularly of the following works: Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Aesop’s Fables. The Baldwin Library began when Ruth M. Baldwin donated her collection of 35,000 items to the University of Florida in 1977. These materials were primarily from the 17th century through 1900, from the United States and the United Kingdom, and books that were used by children. The historical strength of the Baldwin Library is Anglo-American children’s literature, comprising the most comprehensive collection in the specialization among academic libraries. Since 1980, the collection has grown to include materials through the present day, and expanded to include Young Adult Literature, Series books, Nonfiction, and Specialty editions, with additional interdisciplinary areas such as interactive technologies, race, and science increasingly diversifying the collection.

The Baldwin Library is part of the Special and Area Studies Collections Department, which embraces international, circulating, and special collections in its holdings, services, programs, and personnel responsibilities. It is one of four preeminent collections that distinguish Smathers Libraries, along with the Latin American and Caribbean Collection; the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica; and Florida History Collections. The department is committed to further embedding diversity, inclusion, and equitable practices into how it serves the University of Florida and external communities. The Baldwin Curator will be part of a department-wide effort to reappraise and redress exclusion, in addition to building new directions for holdings.

To apply, submit

  • a cover letter detailing your interest in and qualifications for this position
  • a written statement regarding: “New directions for a preeminent collection of historical children’s literature” (250 words)
  • your current resume or CV
  • a list of three references including their contact information (telephone number and email address)

Apply by February 8, 2021 (applications will be reviewed beginning January 18, 2021). Submit all application materials through the Jobs at UF online application system at Requisition 68082. Failure to submit the required documents may result in the application not being considered. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please contact Tina Marie Litchfield, George A. Smathers Libraries Human Resources Office, at