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Position Detail - Head of Research Services

Head of Research Services

Apply now Job no: 493514
Work type: Staff Full-Time (Hybrid)
Location: South Hadley, MA
Categories: Library Services

Position Type: Staff Full-Time (Hybrid)

Hours per week: 37.5   

Weeks per year: 52

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm; occasional nights and/or weekends as needed 

The annual salary range for this position is $78,000-$80,000.


Department Summary & Job Purpose:

Mount Holyoke College’s Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) empower a diverse and inclusive learning community equipping every person to purposefully engage the world. We connect people with the information, expertise, spaces, and technologies that enhance their work and fuel scholarly endeavors. Within LITS, Research and Instructional Support (RIS) is a group of librarians, instructional technologists, and a language learning specialist who engage with faculty and students to support teaching, learning, collections, and research.

Reporting to the Director of Research and Instructional Support (RIS), the Head of Research Services guides the vision, design, and delivery of several library services essential to teaching, learning, and research at Mount Holyoke. They lead a team of professional Research and Instruction Librarians who provide library instruction, research support, collection development, and outreach to the College’s vibrant academic community. They perform these responsibilities with a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with the LITS and College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) missions, continuing to increase and amplify the voices, visibility, and value of underrepresented groups and perspectives in the collection and centering equitable access to library resources and services for our users. 2023 is a particularly exciting time to enter into this position, as LITS will run the faculty and student Ithaka S+R surveys this spring, which will provide a wealth of new information about our users to inform the future of library services.

The Head of Research Services builds key relationships with colleagues in LITS and across the institution to develop partners and collaborators in understanding and meeting the needs of the curriculum and community. They develop a deep understanding of the academic program as it relates to library resources and services, represent Research Services, and advocate for their involvement in key conversations and activities. They are a core member of the RIS Managers and Coordinators team, helping to set strategic direction for the RIS Department, working closely with the Librarian for Collection Development on CD projects and processes, and the Head of Educational Technology on interrelated curricular technology and library services, outreach, and team management practices.

As the leader of a team of experienced professional librarians, the Head of Research Services provides the team with leadership, management, vision, strategy, and advocacy. They develop and leverage a deep understanding of the varied experience, expertise, and styles of the librarians on the team to maximize the positive impact of the group’s work, and guide priorities and future directions.

Mount Holyoke College is part of the Five College Consortium, an academic partnership that also includes Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Through cross-institutional collaboration, we work toward a collective vision of librarianship that includes a robust plan for sharing our resources, learning from our peers, negotiating with vendors, and more. We are also a part of the Oberlin Group of liberal arts college libraries.

This position has the option to be hybrid. The Research Services team currently works one day per week remotely during the academic year and up to two days remotely per week when classes are not in session. Occasional evening or weekend work may be required.


Core Job Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Lead a team of professional Research and Instruction Librarians, using an understanding of the team members’ various expertise, experience, and styles to best create structures and an environment for success, impact, and professional growth.
  • Using a team-based approach and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) lens, guide the implementation, prioritization and future directions of core Research Services work in library instruction, research support, and collection development.
  • Gather and track data relevant to the work of Research Services in order to assess the impact and inform decision-making regarding prioritization, vision setting, and the evolution of the team and its services.
  • Identify and build relationships with key colleagues and constituents across LITS and the campus, including faculty, LITS colleagues, and other staff leaders in academic support roles.
  • Develop programs and services with a user-centric approach, creating a welcoming, accessible, and user-centered environment both online and in person, in which a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff can thrive.
  • Participate in operational and strategic planning and decision-making for RIS as a member of the RIS Managers and Coordinators group.
  • Potentially provide occasional library instruction and reference consultations.
  • Attends and contributes to major campus-wide or LITS-sponsored events, which may be held at night, on weekends, or on holidays, and which are part of every employee’s core responsibilities. 


• MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited program, or education and experience sufficiently relevant to substitute for the ALA-accredited degree
• At least 5 years of experience working in an academic library
• Experience providing library instruction and/or reference services at an academic institution
• Demonstrated ability to build relationships and work collaboratively with colleagues or constituents outside of one’s home department
• Demonstrated success in a leadership role; balancing different roles, styles, backgrounds, and perspectives of individual contributors
• Experience reviewing and making positive changes to services, resources, and/or spaces to meet diversity, equity, and/or inclusion goals
• Understanding of collection development practices in academic libraries

LITS values the following skills and abilities as key to the success of the person in this position:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal
  • The ability to collaboratively problem solve
  • Maintains an appropriate and tactful approach in all interactions, responding to challenging interactions with compassion and patience
  • Balances finite time and financial resources by setting clear and thoughtful priorities
  • Values and seeks to create a collaborative, accessible, and culturally diverse environment

Preferred Qualifications:

• Progressively greater responsibility in the field of academic librarianship
• Experience with the structures and processes of a liberal arts institution as a student, employee, or in another role
• Promotion and advocacy of library services in an academic environment
• Demonstrated experience collaborating with other offices, groups, or individuals that also support teaching and learning


Compliance Requirements: 

Physical Demands: Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

This position may require travel in order to participate in consortial and professional meetings and events.

Working Conditions: The employee is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions (such as in a typical office or administrative work).  

Background Checks:

Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment, supported by qualified employees that will allow all of its students, faculty, staff and those associated with them to successfully carry out the mission of the college. As a condition of employment, the College will conduct appropriate background checks for all new hires. Mount Holyoke has designated the Office of Human Resources as the office responsible for ensuring that background checks (CORI, SORI, Credit History, & Driver Credential) are completed and utilized in the hiring process and Five College Office of Compliance and Risk Management as the office responsible for facilitating background checks as articulated in this policy.

Special Instructions for Applicants: 

Apply online; application materials must include:

  1. A cover letter summarizing interests and qualifications
  2. A complete resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Contact information for 3 professional references

Mount Holyoke College is a women’s college that is gender diverse. The College is committed to providing equal access and opportunity in employment and education to all employees and students. In compliance with state and federal law, Mount Holyoke College does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, genetic information, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, ancestry, veteran or military status, or any other legally protected status under federal, state or local law. The College does not discriminate on the basis of gender in the recruitment and admission of students to its graduate program.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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