Head of Library Research

Pennsylvania, United States
05 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
05 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Description 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.

Job Description

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 “think tank” 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.


  • Advanced degree with concentration in higher education, organizational dynamics, business intelligence, or related fields.
  • 3-5 years of experience in research library management, higher education administration, senior level in foundations or research institutes, or related organizations.
  • Advanced understanding of organizational dynamics, trends, history and futures in the research library sphere.  Similar experience with trends in the R1 space strongly desired.
  • Excellent writing and verbal competence.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with quantitative information, statistics, research and analytical methods, and the presentation of research findings for technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to work independently; to manage a complex portfolio of projects and related deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a team-focused, inclusive environment
  • Demonstrated record of initiative and creative thinking.

*** REQUIRED*** Please submit a resume and cover letter as one attachment when applying.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Library

Pay Range
$72,837.00 - $138,391.00

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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