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Head of Library Research

Head of Library Research

University of Pennsylvania Job Location: Pennsylvania Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 01-11-2021

I. Vision and justification Today and increasingly in years to come, technological inflections, environmental crises, economic turns, and political events will have real potential for disrupting operations that support academic excellence and with that the continuity of Penn’s mission. As the COVID-19 experience demonstrates, the Libraries are not exempt from this reality. To weather 21stCentury challenges to mission, the Libraries must develop 21st Century tools and resources, particularly knowledge resources, that will prepare us for and help us steer through disruptive currents – including those, like COVID-19, that have global scale. To this end, the Libraries have been developing perhaps the richest, most diverse talent pool in recent history. This investment in skills and knowledge will be vital to the delivery of responsive, innovative, resilient services. To guide and effectively organize the talent we are mustering, the Libraries will need continuous planning foresight and the business intelligence necessary to recognizing and managing change. To address these needs we seek to augment the Impact Assessment group born out of our Strategic Plan, with the addition of a qualified professional tasked to environmental research, strategic forecasting, the advancement of organizational learning, and analytics, and to tracking the course of theory and practice in higher ed. II. Fit with the Division of Impact Assessment: The learning ecosystem The Impact Assessment group is presently comprised of professionals in User Experience Design, data science and decision-support, and project management. These staff participate in a matrix of activities and services that inform IT planning, academic engagement, strategic communication, service development, and senior administration. A Library Research program is the capstone to this group. Its Head will oversee the gathering and synthesis of intelligence that complements the work of the other IA staff and that is critical to all levels of staff in planning, operations, project execution, and innovation. The Head of Research will help coordinate current assessment activities drawing on the deep expertise we have in information science, instruction design and IT, communication, and organizational effectiveness. The Head’s overarching goals will be to foster continuous learning throughout the enterprise and sharpen strategic foresight at all levels of staff. III. Head of Library Research  Position Summary Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Impact and Assessment, the Head of the Libraries Research program is a key member of a team that assists the Libraries in identifying, managing and leveraging change for the benefit of the academic experience at Penn. The position works with the AUL and Library Leadership to sharpen the Libraries’ strategic foresight and inform continuous planning. In support of foresight planning, the Head orchestrates Library resources drawn from user experience (UX) design, information science, management information systems and analytics, project management, strategic communication, and organizational awareness and effectiveness. The Head tracks, synthesizes and presents research findings, trends, and forecasts that pertain to information services, higher educational practice in teaching, learning, and research, emerging technologies (particularly artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and XR), digital transformation, organizational design, workforce dynamics, and the impact of present and future environmental disruptors on mission continuity, organizational climate, and the quest for equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. The position also coordinates assessments of service quality, and works with a range of staff to evaluate and sustain the alignment of library services to developments in pedagogical theory and practice. In this capacity, the position oversees a Library research institute that aids staff in responding to the real-world challenges of change. This structure provides methodologies, applied research tools, and business intelligence to organizational analysis, environmental assessment, and change management. The Head of Research also leads a program of powerful learning experiences for staff, designing venues for learning and diverse, equitable, inclusive dialog that fosters a change-resilient staff and organization. Finally, the Head monitors funding and grant opportunities that can fuel innovation in library services and raise the Penn Libraries’ capacity for thought leadership in academic support.

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