Associate Director for Research and Learning, MIT Libraries

Associate Director for Research and Learning, MIT Libraries

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA   |   September 30, 2019

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, located in Cambridge, MA, seeks a dynamic and thoughtful leader for the position of Associate Director for Research and Learning (AD). Reporting directly to the Director of Libraries, Chris Bourg, the Associate Director will be part of the senior leadership team of the Libraries and will be responsible for providing strategic leadership for the full range of research and learning services and support offered by the Libraries. The Associate Director will lead, inspire, and empower a staff of over 70 and will be responsible for the following departments and programs:

  • Information Delivery and Library Access – provides information service assistance and enables access to BarkerDeweyHayden, and Rotch ID&LA staff make the Libraries’ collections (both electronic and physical) and spaces as welcoming and useful as possible through a broad service portfolio including in person and referral services, scanning and delivery of MIT held items, course reserves, study and event spaces, Interlibrary Borrowing and consortial services, and management of the storage annex.
  • Liaison, Instruction, and Reference Services – supports MIT Departments, Labs, and Centers to ensure they get the most out of information resources and services for their learning and research by developing and leading teaching and learning activities, research support, and consultation services. Staff share knowledge gained through outreach to drive the iterative processes used to develop services as research practices change rapidly and as computational methods become embedded in MIT research, shifting services towards support of scholars as information creators and inventors of information environments. Currently also supports Lewis Music Library.
  • Data and Specialized Services – provides the MIT community with expert consultative services related to the creation, use, and management of data and other digital content in their research, teaching, and learning. Staff work with Libraries and Institute partners to shape how the Institute supports the data needs of its researchers. Programs supported within DSS include the Citation Management and Writing Tools Team, Geographic Information and Statistical Software Services, and Data Management Services.
  • Community Engagement – collaborates with campus stakeholders to enrich the lives of all members of a community of learners. Staff leverage intellectual content, expertise, and library spaces to support discussion, exploration, interaction, wellness, and connection.

The successful candidate will be innovative and visionary while driving forward these strategic priorities:

  • Provide leadership and vision for the MIT Libraries, particularly on the community-facing service portfolio of the Libraries, exploring, planning, and implementing a new balance between core and emerging library services, in alignment with MIT’s focus on computational research and with the Future of Libraries report;
  • Grow staff capacity to facilitate and guide community members to effectively and critically create, use, and share information;
  • Develop a service portfolio to support emerging digital forms of research, teaching, and learning specifically serving the unique scholarly environment at MIT;
  • Contribute to the transformation of library spaces for learning, community engagement, and creation of new knowledge; and
  • Build partnerships and shape the campus’s understanding of how research libraries can transform their work.
About The MIT Libraries

The MIT Libraries aspire to advance knowledge by providing a trusted foundation for the generation, dissemination, use, creative engagement with, and preservation of information in support of the MIT mission and so that it can be brought to bear on the world’s great challenges and in the cause of social justice.

The MIT Libraries advance the Institute’s programs of research and study by providing a host of services, as well as access to more than 4.6 million tangible items, 25,000 cubic feet of archives and manuscripts, 9 terabytes of digital items, and 900 gigabytes of web archives. The library system has service points across the campus: Barker LibraryDewey LibraryHayden LibraryLewis Music Library, and Rotch Library, the Department of Distinctive Collections, comprising the Aga Khan Documentation Center, the MIT Institute ArchivesRare Books and ManuscriptsVisual Collections, and the Wunsch Conservation Lab, as well as the Library Storage Annex. The Libraries’ locations welcome over 600,000 visitors annually for inspiration, using collections, working collaboratively, quiet study, and creating new knowledge. The Libraries sponsor many community events, from data rescue hackathons to meditation sessions.

In November of 2015, Provost Martin Schmidt called together an Institute-wide task force, Future of Libraries. A key recommendation from their report was to convene the MIT Open Access Task Force, which was charged with developing recommendations to further support and enhance the open sharing of MIT research and educational materials and to contribute to the global transition to open science. The work of these Institute-wide task forces informs the MIT Libraries strategic priorities, and inspires a focus on the library as open, interactive, and computational.

MIT Libraries are leaders at MIT and within the Libraries’ profession, shaping the discourse on scholarly communication within the Institute and driving forward approaches to negotiations and research programs more broadly, in support of the Future of Libraries report.

The largest of the MIT Libraries, Hayden Library, which houses the humanities and sciences collections, will be undergoing significant renovation in 2019-2020. The overarching goal of the renovation is to envision and build a physical space that reflects the Libraries’ mission and values. This effort has provided the unique opportunity to review the service portfolio. Simultaneously, with the launch of MIT’s Schwartzman College of Computing, the MIT Libraries is focusing its service model and collections on computation and the application of artificial intelligence to research, by advocating for open access to the scholarly record, and by supporting the data-intensive needs of the Institute’s research community.

Organized in four directorates and a research center – Administrative Services, Collections, Research and Learning, Technology, and the Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS) – the MIT Libraries leadership team is well-positioned to address the interdisciplinary strategic priorities identified by the Libraries and the MIT community. This is an exciting and pivotal time for the Libraries and the leadership team, as leaders for two of the Directorates are being sought. The incoming Associate Directors for Research and Learning and for Collections will work with the existing leadership team to map out a successful path to achieving the ambitious goals outlined in the Future of Libraries report.

About Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. MIT seeks to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind. Research at MIT today covers the full gamut of disciplines – from nanotechnology and brain science to energy and sustainability through to policy work related to world poverty.

MIT was founded in April 1861, two days before the start of the Civil War. Today MIT carries out its research and educational mission with over 12,500 employees and over 11,500 students. MIT offers 54 undergraduate majors in its Schools of: Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Science; MIT Sloan School of Management; and, as of later in 2019, the newly created MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Supported by a wide range of funders, research expenditures across MIT were $731.51 million in FY2018.

MIT is an integral part of its host city of Cambridge, a diverse and vibrant community noted for its intellectual life, history, and thriving innovation climate. With a campus nestled between Central and Kendall Squares, and across the Charles River from Boston’s Back Bay, the Institute is optimally positioned to collaborate with its neighbors and to contribute to its community.

Experience And Qualifications

The ideal candidate for the Associate Director for Research and Learning will be an experienced innovative thinker who can collaboratively lead their team and engage the directorate in the active, open, and productive exchanges of ideas and perspectives to drive to decisions and actions which will advance the goals of the Libraries. Working with a large team, the next AD will arrive with significant management experience.

The Associate Director will also demonstrate evidence of many of the following qualities:

  • Experience in a research library, or related field, and a thorough understanding of best practices and current trends in information and knowledge service development and operations;
  • Ability to be a change agent and an innovative and forward-thinking leader who is strategic and able to translate those strategies into actionable plans;
  • Evidence of resource allocation and capacity planning within a complex, user-focused setting, such as a research library or educational environment;
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to transparency, collegiality, collaboration, mutual respect, and inclusiveness; ability to act in a fair, flexible, honest, trustworthy, and ethical manner;
  • Proven record of organizational, administrative, supervisory, and budget management skills;
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to advancing social justice in the information ecosystem via strategic focus, planning, and action, and advancing within the organization by building equity, diversity, and inclusion into organizational systems and structures; and
  • Advanced academic degree in a relevant field.

This search is being led by Mo Lashendock and Kristine O’Brien, PhD and supported by Josy Roche of Koya Leadership Partners. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials, including your letter of interest and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit