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Head, Research and Collections Services

Head, Research and Collections Services

Columbia University Libraries Job Location: New York Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 03-09-2022

Columbia University Libraries seeks a Head of Research and Collections Services who sets the vision and strategic directions for Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library’s research services and collection development. This includes working with the unit team in implementing innovative teaching, learning and liaison programming, Avery outreach, and digital project development. This role is also central to building collections through targeted donor relationships while managing relationships with library vendors. The Head will also collaborate with colleagues across Avery and CUL on cross-disciplinary collection projects and research services initiatives. This position will represent Avery and CUL on local, national, and international platforms and conferences.


  • Set vision and strategic directions for Avery’s general research collections in response to the needs of researchers with multidisciplinary backgrounds, hybrid (digital-physical) needs, and changing curricula; manage the development of Avery’s fine arts and archaeology collections.
  • Oversee the conceptualization, management, delivery, and assessment of Avery’s research services including reference; orientations and liaison services; programmatic instruction for undergraduate and graduate programs; the development of research tools and digital projects.
  • Participate in development, coordination and ongoing support of the Avery Library special projects programs; these include both digital projects (e.g., Omeka presentations, digitized collections), published research (e.g., articles, books), and exhibitions.
  • Participate on Avery’s management team while directly supervising and mentoring two Officers of the Library – the Research Services Librarian and Architecture Librarian.
  • Lead creative initiatives to communicate the collections and research services of Avery to new and existing target audiences, with attention to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, and inspiring new levels of engagement among the Columbia and broader arts research communities.
  • Participate on CUL professional committees and professional development activities.

About Columbia University Libraries

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and abilities to apply for this unique opportunity to become a part of our evolving Libraries and University community. Columbia University Libraries is a globally-recognized academic research library system, serving one of the world’s most important centers of research and learning in the most exciting and dynamic city in the world. Talented Libraries staff build, sustain, and make discoverable collections that transcend traditional boundaries of format and domain, keeping pace with a dynamic and rapidly evolving information environment and creating opportunities for users to encounter 4,000 years of human thought.

Our decisions are informed by new curricula developed to meet the needs of a more diverse student body, new and emerging areas of research being conducted by a broad spectrum of researchers, including graduate students and newly-hired faculty, as well as by perspectives from the diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations and communities. As an organization, the Libraries provides a supportive, connected environment where every employee’s perspective is valued and every employee is encouraged to grow. All staff members have an impact on Columbia’s mission to advance knowledge at the highest levels and make the results of research accessible to the world.

Columbia University has a longstanding commitment to diversity rooted in values of inclusion and social justice, a commitment reflected in the curriculum and throughout University life. Columbia welcomes applications from candidates who share these values and who will foster their contribution to the University's educational mission. We invite applicants who have demonstrated creative approaches to empowering and mentoring staff, leading projects, solving problems, and developing user-centric programs, services, or collections. We offer salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The Search Committee will review applications and nominations and will continue to receive and review them until the position is filled. Proposed start date is negotiable.

Minimum Degree Required:

  • Master’s Degree in Library Science or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Three or more years of significant academic or research library experience with responsibility in areas related to collection development, public services, and assessment.
  • Three or more years of supervisory experience.
  • Knowledge of fine arts, architecture, archaeology, and/or decorative arts academic fields.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and collaborating with faculty, staff, and students through research services programming.
  • Experience fostering a collaborative team environment with a focus on professional growth and development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering an environment of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills; ability to communicate clearly, knowledgeably, and personably, orally and in writing.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD or MA in a related subject.
  • Experience working in a museum, art, or architecture research library.
  • Reading knowledge of French, Italian, Spanish, or German.
  • Knowledge of major vendors, booksellers (new and antiquarian), subscription agents.
  • Experience with a library enterprise system such as Voyager, Alma, etc.
  • Knowledge of current trends in humanities pedagogies, digital scholarship, open access or scholarly communication.
  • Knowledge of current trends in library collection development and arts publishing.
  • Familiarity with digital project development and management, digitization and web technologies.

Application Instructions

Minimum Salary: $75,000

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