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Director of Access Services

Director of Access Services

Columbia University Libraries Job Location: New York Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 05-03-2022

Columbia University Libraries has an opening for a Director of Access Services. The Director is entrusted with establishing Columbia University Libraries’ vision and the strategy for providing equitable and ongoing access to the resources that drive the research and learning of the University. The position is essential to fulfilling Columbia University Libraries’ role in building community and supporting the discovery, creativity, and innovation of library users, directly benefiting Columbia students, faculty, and staff, plus the constituents of consortial partners and the broader New York and worldwide scholarly communities.

Access Services is a central unit that provides key library services to Columbia’s communities. It oversees the primary point of interaction and access to our services, maintains access to our collections, distributes our resources to our peers and partners, and brings in those collections from that same community to support research, creative work, and learning at the University.

While seated in Butler Library, the Director, Access Services leads services that impact users beyond Butler and the Columbia Campus. This position plays a sizable role in crafting campus-wide services, working with colleagues across the community to build a consistent and equitable user experience.


  • Collaborate with other access services leaders in the Columbia community to develop a cohesive service portfolio across library locations and departments. Identify and implement new services, maintain and improve existing services, and sunset non-strategic or ineffective practices and services.
  • Lead a team of department heads and access staff in Circulation, Reserves & Support Services, Head, Delivery Services, and Shipping & Receiving. Oversee the design, implementation, and assessment of library access services.
  • Lead & manage the Access Services Division’s operations & interactions with other departments and staff (e.g., Facilities & Libraries Facilities Coordinator, Public Safety, Library Information Technology, Humanities and Global Studies, Preservation, Cataloging, and Acquisitions).
  • Actively participate in professional organizations relating to access service issues and represent Columbia University and its user communities in strategic planning and program and service execution with consortial partners.
  • Cultivate and maintain regular open communication with the Columbia University Office of Public Safety and other campus partners such as University Life to collaborate on issues relating to belonging, the safety of the Columbia community, and access to spaces and collections. Cultivate relationships with campus emergency managers to ensure two-way communication of CUL needs and perspectives within broader university emergency management.

Minimum Degree Required:

  • MLS or other advanced degree in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience in libraries, museums, archives, or other cultural heritage research centers.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience in management /leadership in diverse organizations.
  • Demonstrated experience in a library access or public services operations.
  • Demonstrated experience in service design.
  • Ability to address complex issues.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of ILS and other library systems related to access.
  • Budget management experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with assessment.
  • Knowledge of higher ed & library issues & trends.
  • Change management experience.

Minimum salary: $120,000

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.

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