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Head of Library Discovery Systems and Design, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island


Role Description

The Brown University Library (BUL) seeks a creative and experienced professional with a proven track record of project management and oversight to help deliver the next generation of library services and systems for serving a broad and diverse campus user community as the Head of Discovery Systems and Design. As a key member of the Library IT leadership team, the Head of Library Discovery Systems and Design will engage stakeholders across the library and the University in the design and implementation of systems that enhance and expand access to our rich digital and physical collections and resources to support academic excellence at Brown and beyond.

The Head of Library Discovery Systems and Design will be responsible for innovating and enhancing library information systems and services for a broad and diverse campus user community; providing analytics-driven guidance on library services and content systems; and promoting the adoption of technology policies and standards that support the library’s and university’s strategic academic priorities and diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Working with cross-functional teams and various campus stakeholders, this position will develop the product vision, strategy, features, and prioritization needed to deliver inclusive, usable, and sustainable systems and services via the library website, web-based applications, and high priority digital scholarship projects.

Reporting to the Director of Library Digital Technologies, the Head of Library Discovery Systems and Design directly supervises a UX and Front-end Designer/Developer, and the Library Web Manager, who heads a team of three paraprofessional staff. Providing leadership and expertise in User Experience (UX) strategy, user research, assessment, and website accessibility is a critical dimension of this position. Also critical to this role is the ability to work closely with other managers and developers within the department to define the work necessary to achieve project goals

Specific areas of responsibility include:

Leadership and Strategy 

  • Contribute to strategic technology operations for BUL in the context of library and university goals
  • Work closely with the Library Communications and Public Programs Manager to support Library communication priorities, and in alignment with University Communications guidelines and policies
  •  Develop goal-oriented planning and implementation road maps for Discovery Systems and Design priorities and areas of activity in alignment with the Library’s strategic and operational priorities.
  • Collaborate with other library department managers to plan and coordinate changes to the patron-facing Library Services Platform (LSP)
  • Continuously review the business needs, refine priorities, outline milestones and deliverables, and identify opportunities and risks for library discovery systems and services.
  • Provide leadership for staff on issues of discovery systems and designing for optimal website usability and inclusive user experience

Project Management

  • Translate identified project needs into well-defined goals, work plans, and specifications for success
  • Direct the execution of the project roadmap, prioritizing and maintaining the task list, while balancing the requirements of project stakeholders
  • Lead the functional design process based on an advanced knowledge of the users and technology.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate solutions to monitor projects post-launch to evaluate future improvements

Website Design and Usability Oversight 

  • Direct the work of the Library Web Manager to ensure alignment with the Library’s overall communications strategy, including design and usability goals
  • Direct the UX Designer/Developer to coordinate planning and administration of user testing for discovery systems changes and for new design projects
  • Work with library colleagues and partners to assess project design needs to plan for optimal website usability and inclusive user experience
  • Ensure that library discovery systems, website, and web applications are accessible, responsive, serve the needs of a diverse population, and adhere to modern standards for cross-browser and cross-device compatibility.
  • Collaborate with University stakeholders in Digital Learning and Design (DLD), the Office of University Communications (OUC), and Computer and Information Services (CIS) to ensure alignment with University security, technology, and design standards
  • Establish testing protocols for ease of use, speed, usability, search relevance, and other quality factors

Professional Development and Service    

Maintain professional knowledge and expertise related to the position and its role in the Library through self-directed learning and participation in professional organizations, training, and conferences.

  • Actively cultivate an inclusive and collaborative environment in developing relationships of trust and transparency among team members, peers, and leaders across a diverse organization
  • Participate in Library and University committees and task forces

Job Qualifications

Education and Experience

  • B.A. with 3-5 years relevant experience required; M.A. degree in library information science, or a related field preferred
  • 5-7 years of increasing responsibility in a Library position, with an IT focus preferred
  • Supervisory experience required
  • Project management experience preferred

Job Competencies

  • Commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in our workplace, as well the systems and/or services we build, as an equity and social justice imperative.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role and potential of technology for achieving excellence in the design and delivery of information resources and services
  • Demonstrated experience with user-centered service development and process improvement
  • Demonstrated experience working with content management systems (e.g. Drupal, WordPress) and information technologies relevant to website design and maintenance
  • Strong understanding of usability, usability testing, and information architecture concepts
  • Strong knowledge of visual design and data representation principles.
  • Knowledge of web standards, data formats and accessibility
  • Familiarity with academic projects or other scholarly communications preferred
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team

How to Apply:

Apply online here:

Application Deadline: July 15, 2021