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Curator, Feuchtwanger Memorial Library (#388)

Libraries Faculty Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries (Los Angeles, CA) seek an innovative, service-oriented librarian to join Special Collections. Reporting to the Head, Special Collections, the Curator, Feuchtwanger Memorial Library (FML), will provide research, instruction, reference, and collection development for the rare books, manuscripts and incunabula housed in the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, and the archival collections held in Special Collections relating to and documenting the German-speaking exiles in Southern California. The work of these individuals encompasses literature, music, the arts, politics, religion, history, and broad humanistic inquiry. At the core of these collections are the library and papers of noted exiled German-Jewish writer, Lion Feuchtwanger, and his wife Marta; archives of other noted contemporaries of Feuchtwanger, including but not limited to Heinrich Mann and Hanns Eisler, and Feuchtwanger’s own approximately 30,000-volume library of rare books and incunabula (see the FML website and research guide for more information). We are looking for candidates with experience managing and developing special collections, primary source literacy instruction, exhibition curation, and outreach.

We value qualified candidates who can bring to our community a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, who are motivated by a passion to develop transformative library services and an investment in the future of librarianship and archives, and who are creative in identifying and solving problems within a collegial and collaborative environment. The successful candidate must be knowledgeable of current relevant library and scholarly information trends and practices and be able to apply this understanding to make a significant, positive impact on the USC community. Duties may include weekend and evening hours.

USC Libraries

USC Libraries faculty and staff work to advance consequential engagement with our academic and arts communities. We are committed to USC’s unifying values of accountability, integrity, excellence, open communication, well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion as we support the university’s students, faculty, and staff. USC Libraries take pride in our Digital Library, the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study with its Ahmanson Lab, our data and visualization services, and the library’s strong primary source collections, including the history of Los Angeles and Southern California; LGBTQ history and culture, particularly relating to West Coast activities and activism; cinematic arts; and the Holocaust and genocide, and exile studies. For more information on how our libraries support critical, creative, and ethical habits of mind at USC, visit

Visit USC’s website for information about our students, academic programs, campuses, and research. 

Position Responsibilities and Duties

Reporting to the Head, Special Collections, the Curator will:

  • Oversee, curate, develop, and promote the FML book collection and archives, as well as related materials from Special Collections, and continue to build physical and virtual collections about the exile experience in Southern California in collaboration with the Feuchtwanger Librarian
  • Collaborate with the Rare Books Librarian and the Southern California Studies Specialist in Special Collections to promote the use of the FML and archival collections
  • Advise and collaborate with the Director of the Collections Convergence Initiative (CCI), as well as colleagues in the Specialized Collections portfolio who support CCI subject areas, on potential acquisitions and programming opportunities
  • Collaborate with subject specialist of the circulating Holocaust collection
  • Collaborate with the Libraries’ Programs and Planning unit on events and exhibits highlighting the collections and develop physical and digital exhibitions and public programming around the collections
  • Collaborate with USC Libraries’ reference and instruction librarians, USC teaching faculty, students, and local and international collaborators to promote awareness and use of the collections
  • Collaborate with colleagues in other units within the Specialized Collections portfolio to coordinate shared planning and implementation of collection development, instruction, exhibition, outreach, and reference, as needed
  • In collaboration with the Feuchtwanger Librarian, conduct regular preservation assessments of the FML book collection stored in Doheny Memorial Library as well as the collection (books, artwork, and furniture) housed in the Villa Aurora
  • In collaboration with the Feuchtwanger Librarian, liaise with Aufbau Verlag, the German publisher of Feuchtwanger editions, to steward the copyright of Lion Feuchtwanger’s works and manage incoming royalty payments
  • In collaboration with the Feuchtwanger Librarian, liaise with the International Feuchtwanger Society to distribute the newsletter and participate with developing the Society’s bi-annual conference
  • Engage with donors, prospective donors, and members of the antiquarian book trade to acquire items to enhance the collection
  • Provide reference and instructional services around the FML and related collections, serve as the main point of contact for reference requests and consultations, and participate in the department’s instruction program
  • With the Head of Special Collections, administer the Exile Studies Research Grants
  • Collaborate with the Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House, German Consulate General, Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, USC’s Visions and Voices initiative, USC’s History Department, USC Max Kade Institute for Austrian, German, and Swiss Studies, USC Shoah Center for Advanced Genocide Studies, and other relevant organizations and departments to encourage and support use of USC’s collections about German-speaking exiles
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the Digital Library to identify and digitize items from the collections. This may include work on grant-funded projects
  • Participate in library, university, and other committees
  • Engage in professional and/or subject discipline organizations, research, or publishing that will have a significant, positive impact on primary source literacy of USC’s students, and advance the strategic plans of USC Libraries and the university
  • Provide evening and weekend service as needed

Experience and Qualifications

Minimum qualifications: MLS from an ALA-accredited program or non-U.S. equivalent is typically required for a librarian appointment at USC.

In addition, candidates must provide evidence of: 

  • One year of experience in special collections librarianship
  • Proficiency with reading German
  • Experience with primary source literacy instruction and proven ability to generate interest in printed materials as cultural artifacts and primary sources for research
  • Demonstrated experience in and with collection development of rare book, manuscript, and archival collections
  • Familiarity with conservation, preservation and collection management practices relating to special collections
  • Familiarity with collections care and security protocols within a special collections’ environment
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team within a culturally diverse user community

Desirable qualifications

  • Three years of experience in special collections librarianship.
  • Evidence of scholarly activity in an area related to special collections librarianship
  • Secondary degree in modern German or European history, language, or literature
  • Proficiency with reading and speaking German
  • Familiarity with literary archives
  • Demonstrated knowledge of SAA-ACRL/RBMS Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy
  • Familiarity with the antiquarian book and manuscript trade
  • Experience with new technologies that advance teaching, learning and research including collaborations with digital humanities labs and technology platforms

Faculty Appointment Rank and Salary

Rank: Assistant University Librarian or Associate University Librarian (without continuing appointment); commensurate with experience and qualifications 

Librarians at USC have faculty status. This is a full-time, continuing appointment track position.  Appointment to the continuing appointment track requires the potential to meet the University’s criteria for granting continuing appointment—excellence in librarianship—which librarians achieve by having a significant impact on the development and/or implementation of high-quality collections and/or services. Additionally, librarians must demonstrate the expectation of continued excellence and growth in professional expertise. 

This is a 12-month full-time position. The annual base salary range are listed below and in accordance to rank.

● Assistant University Librarian $74,000-$90,000

When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience,  education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual  stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

For more on criteria and qualifications for the appointment, promotion and continuing appointment of librarians at USC, visit:


Benefits include a choice of retirement programs, 22 paid vacation days per year, university holidays, a choice of medical and dental plans, and tuition assistance (for employees and eligible dependents). For more information about benefits see:

Application Procedure

As part of the application, candidates must upload the following documents into a single PDF file: 

1) a cover letter that addresses the qualifications for the position

2) a curriculum vitae (including telephone and e-mail address), 

3) a list of at least three references that includes the name, address, telephone number, and e mail address for each referee, and 

4) a statement on fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion (no longer than one page in length). 

Closing date for applications: Open until filled; application review will begin September 15, 2023.

For more information about this position, contact the search committee chair Sue Luftschein at USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy.

We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.

USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance.

Minimum qualifications: MLS from an ALA-accredited program or non-U.S. equivalent is typically required for a librarian appointment at USC. In addition, candidates must provide evidence of: ● Three years of experience in special collections librarianship, preferably in the area of exile studies ● Reading fluency of one or more Western European languages, with German fluency required ● Experience with primary source literacy instruction proven ability to generate interest in printed materials as cultural artifacts and primary sources for research ● Demonstrated experience in and with collection development of rare book and archival collections ● Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines ● Effective oral and written communication skills ● Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team within a culturally diverse user community

REQ20133363 Posted Date: 08/10/2023

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