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Research Services Lead, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cornell University Library's department of Research and Learning Services (R&LS), Olin & Uris Libraries, is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Research Services Lead.

The Research Services Lead has primary responsibility for developing forward-looking strategies and services to support research in the humanities and social sciences. The incumbent contributes to planning, providing and assessing a wide range of traditional and innovative collection development and selection services, in addition to instruction, outreach and reference/consultation services. Partnering with staff in other Cornell University Library (CUL) departments as well as with faculty, staff, and students, R&LS proactively develops innovative services to support scholarship and emerging research methods in humanities and social sciences disciplines. The primary audience is the increasingly diverse College of Arts and Sciences community of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates; empowering their research, teaching, and learning is essential to the mission of R&LS. The Reference Services Lead engages with Cornell's growing populations of, for example, first-generation, international, and under-represented students of color. Overall departmental responsibilities include developing and implementing strategic directions for research services; assessing training needs and coordinating a training program for the department; participating in selection, liaison, instruction, outreach, and reference activities; fostering effective working relationships with library and academic colleagues in an environment that promotes the acquisition and use of reliable knowledge; modeling curiosity in scholarly inquiry; assessing and enhancing services; facilitating emerging trends in research, learning, and digital scholarship; and collaborating with academic support units to develop programs in support of teaching and learning.

Specific Responsibilities:

Works closely with the R&LS Department Head in ensuring timely and creative service solutions in support of the humanities and social sciences user community; responsibilities are largely focused on research services; engages in a team-based leadership model, serving on the R&LS Leads team, to assesses current practices, and works with the Department Head to provide vision both for the department and for the promotion of equity, inclusion and diversity in library programming and practices; collaborates with academic support units outside the Library to creatively develop and implement programs that enhance research services. Directly supervises librarians and Reference Desk & Map Room Coordinator (who supervises reference assistants and maps specialist). In concert with CUL-wide planning initiatives, participates in developing and implementing models for collaborative reference/consultation services, including cooperative chat services. Serves as liaison to and selector for one or more departments or programs in the social sciences. Supported by CUL, actively engages in research, presentation, publication, and service efforts both within Cornell and in the inter/national arena.

Required Qualifications:

  •     MLS, or master's degree in a humanities or social science discipline and library work experience
  •     5-7 years of professional experience
  •     3-5 years of demonstrated successful supervisory experience
  •     ·Demonstrated interest in or professional focus on reference and research services
  •     Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  •     Experience in and commitment to supporting services and programming in support of diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  •     Experience in developing and implementing innovative programs and services
  •     Experience in training library staff and/or supporting the continuing education needs of library staff
  •     A user-centered approach to designing services
  •     Ability to build relationships, lead teams, and foster collaboration, either within or outside libraries

Preferred Qualifications:

  •  Reading ability in a language other than English
  •  Interest and/or background in critical digital literacy as it relates to reference and instruction services
  •  Demonstrated academic background in a social sciences discipline

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


Our comprehensive benefits package includes 22 vacation days, 12 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, university retirement contributions, childcare and adoption assistance, and child tuition reimbursement. Professional travel funding is available to support research. The anticipated academic rank for this position is Associate Librarian, with a salary range of $66,000-$68,000.

How to Apply: 

Candidates are encouraged to apply before May 31, 2019. Applications are being reviewed as received and the posting could close earlier. Early submission is encouraged. All candidates must apply via the Cornell University Careers site at: Please include one document that contains a cover letter, resume, and the names, phone numbers, and addresses for three references (pdf preferred).

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