Assistant Librarian - Fife Folklore Archives Curator -- Utah State University

Post date: Jan 14, 2020

Utah State University (USU) Libraries seek a collaborative, innovative, and service-oriented professional to serve as the Fife Folklore Archives (FFA) Curator within the Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives unit. The FFA Curator is responsible for developing, preserving, and providing access to the Libraries’ folklore collections, with a focus on the Intermountain West. The curator will actively engage university and community partners to acquire new materials and promote the collections through instruction, exhibition, programming, and outreach. The anticipated start date is May 15, 2020.

The FFA is one of the largest repositories of American folklore in the United States. Established in 1972, the Archives comprise an integral part of USU's cultural heritage resources. The Fife Folklore Archives is named for folklorists Austin E. and Alta S. Fife, Utahans who helped shape the field of folklore and worked to preserve the folk expressions of the American West. The FFA is home to more than seventy collections, including ethnographic collections, student fieldwork collections, and Austin and Alta Fife's fieldwork collections. The FFA also is the home to the historical American Folklore Society Manuscript Collection.

Reporting to the Unit Head for Special Collections & Archives, the position is a 12-month, tenure track faculty appointment with rank as Assistant Librarian.

The Library is especially interested in promoting an environment of diversity and excellence throughout the institution and welcomes candidates committed to fostering diverse and inclusive environments.


  • Oversee collection development program related to the Fife Folklore Archives.
  • Accession, appraise, arrange, and describe incoming collections in both tangible and electronic formats according to established processing workflows and professional standards.
  • Prepare materials for digitization, ingestion, and description within ContentDM, DigitalCommons, Omeka, and/or other electronic platforms.
  • Work in collaboration with internal and external partners to develop and support community-based collection projects such as ethnographic and oral history work.
  • Provide in-depth research assistance to users of the FFA collections, including collections of the American Folklore Society.
  • Promote the use of Fife Folklore Archives collections through active engagement in the Unit’s instruction program as well as through community programming.
  • Support the Special Collections & Archives Unit through providing general reference service in the Reading Room, via email, and on the telephone.
  • Supervise Fife Folklore Archives student employees, graduate assistant, and interns.
  • Serve as the American Folklore Society Archival Liaison
  • Participate in the Library’s Exhibition Program through occasional curation of both digital and physical exhibits.
  • Serve as the Library’s liaison to the USU Folklore program, housed in the Department of English.
  • Participate as part of the professional community to stay up to date on new programs, standards, and developments within the field.

Required Qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library Science, Archival Science, or related field (awarded or near complete).
  • Knowledge of archival theory and methodology including appraisal, arrangement, description, and preservation.
  • Minimum one-year experience processing materials in an archives or special collections setting.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including listening, speaking, and writing.
  • Excellent analytical, organizational, and time management skills with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative, team-based environment.
  • Ability to be flexible and adapt to changing assignments and needs.
  • Ability to meet the university's requirements for promotion and tenure.
  • Ability to travel for fieldwork.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Degree in Folklore or extensive experience working with folklore collections.
  • Knowledge of intangible folk culture and ethnographic ethics/practice.
  • Experience with oral history or ethnographic projects.
  • Familiarity with IRB protocols.
  • Experience with ArchivesSpace.
  • Experience with externally funded projects and/or grant writing.
  • Experience teaching.
  • Familiarity with digital preservation best practices.
  • Familiarity with project management.


Salary commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits. Utah State University offers a competitive benefits package, to include medical and dental with a 14.2% retirement contribution by the University, and 22 days/year vacation. The Library provides generous support for professional development and travel.

  • Life and Disability Insurance
  • Health and Dental insurance coverage for the whole family
  • 14.2% of annual earnings are deposited into a 401(a) account, no matching required
  • 22 days per year of paid annual leave
  • 12 days per year of paid sick leave
  • 12 paid holidays per year
  • Free access to an on-campus exercise facility for both employee and family
  • Opportunity for 50% off tuition for both employee and immediate family members
  • Substantial, individual, equipment budget, refreshed every three years, to purchase hardware and tools of your choosing to do your job well
  • Ongoing training and funds to attend seminars, conferences, etc.

Utah State University is a multi-campus, land-grant institution. Utah State University’s campus in Logan is located 80 miles north of Salt Lake City, within easy driving distance of many national parks. The surrounding Wasatch Mountains, including ski resorts, trails, lakes and rivers, place Utah State University in one of the finest outdoor recreational environments in the nation.

Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2020, and the position will remain open until filled.

Apply online at: