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Director of Cook Library - Western Theological Seminary - MI

Western Theological Seminary is seeking a Director of Cook Library who will also serve as a member of the faculty. The Director will oversee all aspects of the life of the library, and will contribute constructively to the seminary’s reformed, evangelical, and ecumenical identity, and to its mission “to prepare Christians called by God to lead the church in mission.” 

WTS is actively pursuing diversity (understood in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and ability) in its faculty and staff, and encourages all interested individuals to apply for this position.

The Cook Library, housed in the newly constructed De Witt Learning Center, is the seminary’s center for access to information resources supporting student studies, faculty research, and area ministries. Cook Library’s resources include more than 110,000 books and bound periodicals. Approximately 1000 books are added to the collection each year; current periodical subscriptions number 220. The library provides access to many electronic resources for theological study, including databases, and thousands of e-books and e-journals. The Library recently migrated to Ex Libris’s Alma and Primo systems. The Seminary and Hope College libraries maintain reciprocal borrowing privileges. The library staff consists of the director, two other professional librarians, a paraprofessional, and student assistants.

The Director of Cook Library should be committed to the historic Christian faith, adhere to Reformed theological tradition, and embrace the mission, identity, and vision of Western Theological Seminary.

The Director oversees all aspects of library operations, including collection development, information literacy activities, information literacy digital repository development, website design, personnel, budget development and monitoring, facilities, long-range planning, public services, internal and external relations, and the integration of the library with the academic programs of WTS. Reporting to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Director is a member of the WTS faculty, with duties assigned by the Vice President.

  • Responsible for overall management of the library collection, including electronic, print, and other media.
  • Responsible for all acquisitions and cataloguing functions, and for maintaining the Cook Library section of the Western Theological Seminary website.
  • Oversee, support, advocate for and evaluate all professional and paraprofessional library staff. Responsible for annual performance appraisals, team building, assignment of job duties, and hiring. Chair weekly library staff meetings. Exhibit a management style that is participatory, respectful, effective and fair, and that promotes a high level of professionalism and morale.
  • Manage day-to-day library operations, including planning and implementing the annual budget, formulating library policies, and overseeing physical facilities in collaboration with the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds.
  • Establish, communicate, and implement a long-range vision for the library that aligns with the institutional vision. This includes creating proposals for programs and library improvements, project implementation, and involvement in institutional strategic planning.
  • Oversee all library public services functions including information literacy, course management system integration, website design, training materials (e.g., tutorials) and communicating with the wider seminary community regarding library matters).
  • Serve as library liaison with faculty and students in the degree and certificate programs. This includes helping faculty with research needs, connecting students with library services and resources, and working with faculty and library staff to create ways to incorporate library resources in both in-residence and distance-learning courses.
  • Participate in appropriate professional organization in the library field and in appropriate theological or information technology fields.
  • Maintain and enhance relationship with the Van Wylen Library at Hope College, and work cooperatively with other libraries in the Great Lakes region to leverage library resources and opportunities.
  • Perform other faculty duties as assigned by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.


  • Commitment to the historic Christian faith, adherence to Reformed theological tradition, and embrace of the mission, identity, and vision of Western Theological Seminary.
  • MLS, MLIS or equivalent from an ALA-accredited library/information science program.
  • Doctoral or master’s degree in a theological field, with demonstrated capacity to function as a peer among the faculty.
  • Successful experience in academic library management.
  • Experience with and ability to think innovatively and strategically about digital library resources and services.
  • Understanding of theological curricula and the Reformed tradition.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong leadership, negotiation, and team-building skills.


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