Job Analysis Part One

Head of Special Collections (Full-Time)

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries


The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries is seeking a dynamic, energetic Head for Special Collections. This position is responsible for the effective administration of the Special Collections Department and oversees the department’s daily operations, contributes to the Libraries’ strategic processes, and facilitates collaborations throughout the Libraries and across the university. The department head exercises administrative leadership for the Special Collections Department which includes manuscripts, photographs, rare books, university archives, and born-digital content; leads efforts to incorporate these collections into the study, teaching, and research of students, faculty, and outside scholars.


  • Required Qualifications:  ALA accredited Master’s degree from an accredited institution.   Five years of successful and increasingly responsible professional experience in archives and/or special collections. Demonstrated supervisory experience; excellent analytical, interpersonal and communication skills, both verbally and written; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other library units, all levels of university personnel and a diverse donor base; ability to work with donors and attract new collections; knowledge of standards such as USMARC, EAD, and Dublin Core; and knowledge of digital preservation standards.
  • Preferred Qualifications: Additional certification in archives or special collections; progressively responsible experience with all aspects of archival/special collections work to include processing, reference, appraisal, basic preservation, digitization, digital preservation, and donor relations and the ability to collaborate with other library staff and UTSA faculty. Three or more years supervisory experience.


52,140 – 75,636 USD/year

There is nothing like starting at the very top for a dream job. The job I have chosen for my analysis is the Head of Special Collections at the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries. I think that this job sounds absolutely amazing. It combines an academic library setting with special collections which I think would be a very exciting prospective job to have. Off the cuff, I am far from qualified for this position. I view this position as being the ultimate…it is not obtainable yet, but after five or ten years of working and gaining experience, it would be something to strive for.

Which brings us to the required qualifications for this position, first and foremost an ALA accredited Master’s degree from an accredited institution…give me two or three years and I will possess one of those, also known as the “golden key” to any library job. The next requirement is five years in an archival or special collections environment with growing responsibilities; since I am not quite sure whether I would like to pursue an archival certificate or not I would fill this requirement by getting a job in a special collection…this could come in the form of working in an academic library, a museum or right here at the DIA. I would prefer to work in an academic library setting, but I would really be happy working anywhere to gain that kind of specialized experience. I feel it would be a rewarding and unique experience to deal with special collections.

Other requirements for this position include, supervisory experience, analytical, interpersonal, verbal, written and communication skills and the ability to work with other library units. The supervisory experience I think would be gained through working in libraries after getting my degree and gaining more experience as I move up the totem pole. I feel that supervisory experience is a natural skill gleaned when moving up in the librarian world. In obtaining my Master’s degree I will hone my analytical and interpersonal skills as well as improve my communication and verbal skills. Through projects and classes I will no doubt gain analytical and written skills through papers and projects. After all, they have been hammering it into our heads since orientation, this program is all about team work and I know that is one skill that I will have in abundance after graduating from Wayne State. Another major skill in order to hold this position is the ability to work with donors and attract new collections, I think that learning the process of grant writing will help a great deal in acquiring this particular talent. I hope to pick up this skill while I am still at Wayne and build on it with the subsequent jobs I have after I graduate. Other skills required for this position include knowledge of USMARC, EAD, and Dublin Core, which I admit had me scratching my head. EAD I learned is Encoded Archival Description at the Library of Congress. USMARC is all about bibliographic information and how that data is in machine readable form in the US. There are three main USMARC communication formats which are authority data, holdings data and bibliographic data. Dublin Core is concerned with organizing and formatting metadata. I admit I am near clueless on these three things, but with more classes completed and on the job experience I feel that I will become more accustomed to these practices.

Overall, I am nowhere near qualified for this position. However I feel that after significant on the job experience (three to eight years) while moving up the totem pole, that I could eventually become a suitable candidate for this position. An archival certificate would probably help immeasurably as well in obtaining this job. This job could lead to a director position or lead anywhere really. To me this job would be the top, I hope that all of my studying, reading and working someday leads to a job like this.

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