Dean for Barnard Libraries and Academic Information Services

Dean for Barnard Libraries and Academic Information Services

Barnard College

New York, NY   |   January 5, 2021

Barnard College seeks an innovative and thoughtful leader as its next Dean for Barnard Libraries and Academic Information Services (BLAIS). Reporting directly to the Provost and Dean of Faculty, the Dean provides intellectual, strategic, operational, and visionary leadership for the Library in alignment with Barnard’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. Housed in the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, and integral to the activities of the building’s Academic Centers, the Dean will join an extraordinary team of scholars engaged in innovative research and transformative teaching within Barnard’s distinctive academic culture, which combines the benefits of an outstanding liberal education with the opportunities of a major research university.

About Barnard College

Barnard College has been a distinguished leader in higher education for women for over 125 years and is one of the most sought after private liberal arts colleges in the nation. Founded in 1889, the College was the first in New York City, and one of the few in the country, where women could receive the same rigorous liberal arts education available to men. Its partnership with Columbia University, its setting in New York City, and its unwavering dedication to the advancement of women make Barnard a truly singular place to study and learn.

Today, Barnard College enrolls nearly 2700 academically talented undergraduate women from diverse backgrounds. Barnard’s student body includes residents from nearly every state and nearly 60 countries worldwide. About 40% of the student body identify as students of color, and 11% are non-US citizens or permanent residents. Barnard has a need-blind admissions policy, and 14% of its students receive Pell grants with 45% receiving some form of financial aid. With an 11% admissions rate, Barnard is among the most sought-after colleges and universities in the nation.

Barnard’s faculty are 63 percent women, 100 percent of whom possess the highest degree in their field. The College boasts a 9:1 student to faculty ratio, with 75% of classes having under 20 students. Barnard’s Foundations Curriculum was established in 2016 and gives students the opportunity and freedom to create their own educational experience. The curriculum challenges students to think theoretically, empirically, and technologically, to write effectively, and to speak persuasively. Barnard offers degrees in more than 50 fields and has 10 academic centers. Barnard graduates nearly 700 students and is consistently among the top in producing Fulbright scholars and graduates. After graduation, 93 percent of graduates are employed or attending graduate/professional schools within six months.

In her inaugural address, President Beilock articulated her vision for the future of Barnard College, emphasizing four key priorities: focusing on science as part of the liberal arts; continuing to extend learning beyond the classroom to all of New York City; strengthening the College’s mission to be diverse and inclusive; and enabling students to succeed after they graduate. Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard is a campus-wide initiative that integrates the core principle of your wellness, your way to set the gold standard of what health and wellness can look like on a 21st century college campus.

Located on the upper west side of Manhattan in Morningside Heights, the Barnard campus occupies four acres within four blocks between 116th and 120th Streets on the west side of Broadway. Morningside Heights is home to seven major institutions of higher education and has been dubbed the city’s “academic acropolis.” Barnard’s beautiful campus is very densely built, with six buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Opened in October 2018, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning is the hub of academic and intellectual life on campus. President Beilock says, “The Milstein Center is more than a wonderful new building… [It is] a place where we will look at pedagogy with fresh eyes and innovative tools and an opportunity to change the way we think about libraries and study spaces, and the way we interact in the classroom.”

Mission Statement

Barnard College aims to provide the highest-quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women, offering the unparalleled advantages of an outstanding residential college in partnership with a major research university. With a dedicated faculty of scholars distinguished in their respective fields, Barnard is a community of accessible teachers and engaged students who participate together in intellectual risk-taking and discovery. Barnard students develop the intellectual resources to take advantage of opportunities as new fields, new ideas, and new technologies emerge. They graduate prepared to lead lives that are professionally satisfying and successful, personally fulfilling, and enriched by a love of learning.

As a college for women, Barnard embraces its responsibility to address issues of gender in all of their complexity and urgency and to help students achieve the personal strength that will enable them to meet the challenges they will encounter throughout their lives. Located in the cosmopolitan environment of New York City and committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, and staff, Barnard prepares its graduates to flourish in multi-cultural surroundings in an increasingly interconnected world.

The Barnard community thrives on high expectations. By setting rigorous academic standards and giving students the support they need to meet those standards, Barnard enables its students to discover their own voice and to reach their highest potential. Living and learning in this unique environment, Barnard students become agile, resilient, responsible, and creative, prepared to lead and serve their society.

Barnard and Columbia University

Barnard is an independent liberal arts college for women with its own leadership, administration, trustees, budget and endowment, faculty, curriculum, admissions standards, graduation requirements, and physical campus. Barnard operates in partnership with Columbia University, an Ivy League research university recognized worldwide for its contributions in science, medicine, the arts, and the humanities.  Barnard and Columbia share resources, whereby undergraduate students from both institutions have access to courses and facilities of both schools. Barnard and Columbia students also participate in a wide variety of joint social and extracurricular activities, and Barnard students are members of Columbia’s Division 1 Ivy League Conference athletic teams. Barnard faculty are tenured at both Barnard and Columbia and have access to Columbia’s Academic Research Institutes, Global Centers, Seminars, and other programs.

The relationships between academic departments at Columbia and Barnard range from fully integrated departments with a shared undergraduate curriculum, to fully independent departments with different curriculum and requirements. Some majors are offered only at Barnard (for example, Architecture), while others are offered only at Columbia (for example, Statistics). While Barnard College is a completely independent institution, Barnard students receive both a Barnard College and a Columbia University degree upon graduation.

For more information on Barnard, please visit

Barnard College Leadership

President, Sian Leah Beilock

A cognitive scientist by training, President Beilock has focused on developing Barnard’s unique strengths that make it a singular institution – both in and of New York City, strongly connected to Columbia University, and dedicated to the advancement of women. She has focused efforts on building the College’s eminence in math, science, and technology, in parallel to its renown in creative writing, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences. Focused on bridging the gap between college and life-after-college, President Beilock has created a new structure and office on campus – Beyond Barnard – to oversee student employment, student fellowships, and career services, where alumnae receive the information, advising, and access they need to lead fulfilling professional lives. Built on the principle that your major does not dictate your career, Beyond Barnard provides a single location for students and alumnae to receive the vital information they need to achieve fulfilling and exceptional careers.

Another signature program, Feel Well – Do Well, was launched this academic year and is focused on the student’s wellbeing. Based on the idea that wellness begins with the individual and extends to the classroom, laboratory, studio, and performance space, this new initiative is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to resources throughout the College that help them navigate healthy and fulfilling lives. As part of this initiative, Barnard has partnered with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that works to support the mental health of young adults around the nation.

Prior to her appointment as President, Beilock spent 12 years at the University of Chicago, where she was the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology and a member of the Committee on Education. Her research specializes on how children and adults learn and perform at their best, especially under stress. In her role as a member of the senior leadership, she served as the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and as the Executive Vice Provost and an Officer of the University.

Beilock won the 2017 Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, she is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association and a member of the National Academy of Kinesiology. Early in her career, she received awards from the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Foundation, the Psychonomic Society, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

President Beilock earned her Bachelor of Science in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, and Doctors of Philosophy in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University.

Provost & Dean of the Faculty, Linda Bell

Linda A. Bell is the Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Barnard College, where she is also Claire Tow Professor of Economics since 2012. As Provost, she has championed faculty-led student research, including the innovative Summer Research Institute, where nearly 200 Barnard students are paired with faculty members from Barnard, Columbia, and around NYC to conduct innovative research over ten weeks of the summer. Working with Beyond Barnard, Provost Bell has also championed the creation of innovative new 4+1 Masters Programs, including with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Previous to joining Barnard, Provost Bell was the Provost and John B. Hurford Professor of Economics at Haverford College. Provost Bell is also a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and a senior consultant for the labor practice group of the National Economic Research Associates.

Previously, Provost Bell was a senior economist in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and project faculty on a Danish Research Council-funded initiative at the Aarhus Business School in Denmark. She has served as a board member on the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession of the American Economic Association and has held visiting faculty appointments at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and at Stanford University.

Provost Bell received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a University Scholar. In her varied professional and scholarly capacities, Provost Bell has served as a consultant to the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to her academic work and teaching, she has been active in the American Association of University Professors, first in the capacity as chair of the Committee on Faculty Compensation, where she authored the association’s Annual Faculty Compensation Report, and then as a national council representative.

Provost Bell is an empirical economist specializing in labor markets and public policy. She has written and lectured extensively on the topic of compensation, union concessions, and hours of work in the U.S. and Europe. Her most recent research focuses on the determination of gender compensation differences in executive pay in large U.S. corporations generally and on female mentorship at the executive level specifically. Her work has been published in the Journal of Labor Economics, Labour, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Economic Journal, Economic Letters, Proceedings of the ILLR, and the Federal Reserve Bank Quarterly Review.

About Barnard Library and Academic Information Services

Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) is a partner in the College’s mission to provide the highest quality liberal arts education to young women by developing and providing access to collections and other information resources, providing exceptional support to undergraduates and faculty in a liberal arts environment, and supporting excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. As a catalyst for knowledge creation and investigation, the library is a vibrant social and intellectual center that brings scholars and disciplines together. With 37 full-time employees and an operating budget of over $ 1.4 million, the library is an epicenter of scholarship, research, and collaboration in the greater Barnard community. Located at the center of the Milstein Center of Teaching and Learning, BLAIS’s approach is framed around their core values:

  • Academic Excellence. Supporting and enriching the academic programs of the College. Women’s liberal arts education. Fostering the students’ exploration of the world through the lenses of multiple disciplines and from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Diversity and Inclusion. Nurturing, celebrating, and prioritizing diversity and inclusion within their community.
  • Engagement.  Amplifying their effectiveness through partnerships, collaborations, and shared expertise.
  • Openness. Advocating for the wide dissemination of ideas, knowledge, and information to benefit the College and the global community.
  • Privacy. Respecting and safeguarding the privacy of their users in the quest for information.
  • Learning. Fostering the open exchange of ideas and knowledge production in an atmosphere of reflection and innovation.
  • Critical thinking. Valuing the appropriate framing of research questions, accessing and evaluating sources, understanding the economic, legal, political, and social issues surrounding information, and the ethical use of information.

A champion of intellectual inquiry, ethical scholarship, and life-long learning, BLAIS is a collaborative, dynamic, working environment for students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and visitors. Advocates for social justice in academia, BLAIS staff worked collaboratively with the community to establish a set of community guidelines that affirm an unwavering commitment to the following communal values:

  • Inclusivity and anti-oppression. BLAIS staff provide a space where people can expect to work in an atmosphere free of racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, elitist, entitled, and unjust attitudes, comments, behaviors, and actions.
  • Privacy.BLAIS staff protect the privacy of reading, scanning, borrowing, consultations, research, and inquiries.
  • Support. BLAIS staff work collectively to ensure that the library is a welcoming and affirming space.

BLAIS has increasingly expanded its support for excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. This service-rich organization now sponsors a wide range of curricular and co-curricular activities with a focus on undergraduate research, critical feminist approaches to information literacy, and engagement in scholarship and the broader professional community. The Barnard Library excels at providing innovative and responsive service via its Personal Librarian program (one of the earliest such initiatives in the country), which matches each incoming student with a Librarian. Personal Librarians provided approximately 1000 one-to-one research consultations with students as well as faculty during the academic year. The members of this team are also subject area librarians who provide over 130 instruction sessions across the curriculum and support faculty and majors in their departments. Librarians, archivists, and instructional technologists in BLAIS also work collaboratively to support faculty needs and new modes of digital scholarship and pedagogy.

BLAIS continues to advance the mission of the College through the development of collections and information resources. The Library’s circulating collection of 176,000 volumes specializes in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Dance Studies with a focused collection of books in Art and Architecture and supports the full undergraduate curriculum. Notwithstanding the compact scale of the collection, the Circulation & Help Desk staff team processes the second highest circulation, including consortial borrowing, among the constituent Columbia University Libraries. The collection includes digital resources and support for Open Access scholarship through cataloging and subscription. Special circulating collections include:

  • Barnard Zine Library. A site of feminist research, pedagogy, and feelings, the Barnard Zine Library attracts scholars at all levels, activists, journalists, artists, teachers, novelists, zine makers, and the zine-curious. The collection is comprised primarily of zines created by womxn, with an emphasis on zines by womxn of color.
  • Barnard BIPOC Alum Collection. A collection of works by and affirming the lives, histories, and imaginations of past and current Barnard students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
  • Barnard FLI Partnership Library.Created through student advocacy and sustained by Barnard Library Access Services, this partnership between the Barnard Library, the Barnard SGA, and the Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership provides textbooks for first-generation and/or low-income undergraduate students.

The Barnard Archives and Special Collections collects and makes accessible materials that document campus and academic life at Barnard, as well as histories of feminism and dance, with a focus on supporting the undergraduate curriculum at Barnard with primary source instruction and engaging students in creating and using archives. The staff of the Barnard Archives commits to work that is equitable and anti-oppressive, and encourages and supports work which centers voices, knowledge, and memory-making practices historically excluded from the archival record. Highlighted collections include:

Barnard Library staff work closely with Columbia Libraries staff to enhance and coordinate collections and student and faculty services throughout the University. As collaborative and reciprocal partners, library staff members meet frequently with their Columbia counterparts to the greater good of the collective communities. The library enjoys a close working relationship with the Columbia University Libraries and receives access to journal and database subscriptions through Columbia; Barnard Library contributes journal and database subscriptions in its specialty areas to Columbia as well as contributing to consortial and national lending. Barnard and Columbia faculty and students have access to both library facilities and systems, while the two libraries’ staff work closely together both on numerous formal committees and informally in cooperative initiatives. True to the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and social justice, Barnard has collaborated with other Sibling Colleges on a federal grant to create an open access portal of archival resources called College Women.

The Instructional Media and Technology Services (IMATS) division includes AV support, a media equipment checkout room and videography services, and an academic technology team. The IMATS equipment room, staffed by over 20 Barnard undergraduate students, circulates more than 1,000 pieces of media equipment per semester. IMATS also provides video recording services for course lectures, conferences, and events held on Barnard’s campus, and delivers over 100 videos per semester. IMATS has a close partnership and adjacency with the Sloate Media Center, which includes a professional production studio equipped with a light grid, audio booth, green screen, and high-end camera equipment, as well as a post-production/editing lab. IMATS and the Media Center offer instructional workshops related to production (such as Adobe Creative Suite, podcasting, etc.); programming, such as the Feminist Film Screening Series and the Emerging Filmmaker Mentorship program; and support several courses every semester around meaningful curricular integration of media/production.  IMATS had a leading role in transitioning the College to on-line instruction and in the significant upgrade of the classrooms and equipment to support it.

The Academic Technology team consists of three full-time staff, and some of the work under their portfolio includes administering course evaluations and the learning management system Canvas; server building and maintenance; the digital archives collections in Islandora; building and maintaining over 75 accessible web pages across Library and Milstein Centers; and creating additional technical infrastructure, such as custom application development.

The Audiovisual Technology Service team provides specialized audiovisual services, support, equipment and operators for classes, departments, extra-curricular activities, and special events, such as conferences, lectures, and panel discussions. They receive over 1,350 requests per academic year for events to support. The AV team leads and manages significant classroom hardware upgrades, working with contractors around AV systems and installations. They also respond to as-needed support calls to assist with problems that arise using classroom technology.

About the Milstein Center of Teaching and Learning

In September 2018, BLAIS relocated to their home in the newly constructed Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, the College’s new hub of academic life. This state-of-the-art, 128,000-square-foot building, designed by award-winning architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM). Is a beacon of the college’s entrepreneurial spirit, and it is a distinctive place that convenes students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and others across campus. The Milstein Center is a distinctive place that offers space for community-wide dialogue, experimentation, and collaboration. Along with the building, nine centers opened, three of which were pre-existing but reopened in brand new facilities. The Library at the Milstein Center brings high-caliber scholarship together with current technologies in interactive learning settings. In their inaugural year as a collective, unified by a shared commitment to teaching, scholarship and research, the nine centers offered a diverse variety of programming. Through the centers, students, faculty and staff had the chance to explore areas such as design, media, movement, empirical reasoning, and computational science. Its library brings together current technologies and learning spaces in interactive settings, and its nine centers offer students the opportunity to explore areas such as design, media, movement, empirical reasoning, and computational science. From seminars to research support to panels and events, 2018-19 was an exciting and innovative year for the Centers.

The Library and the Centers are integrated through a shared mission-driven sense of supporting teaching and scholarship, through their connections to the Center for Engaged Pedagogy and through the co-location in the Milstein Center.  The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning consists of the following entities:

The Opportunity

The Dean of BLAIS provides leadership for an interdisciplinary, collaborative space of intellectual discovery, cutting edge research and transformative teaching. The Dean will develop, articulate, and bring to life a vision for the Library’s future in support of the College’s mission; provide inspired leadership to a highly professional, collaborative, committed, and service-focused team; support, advocate for, and provide access to resources for research, teaching, and learning for faculty and students; and guide the continuing evolution and implementation of new technology and services that enhance the library’s digital and physical presence.

The opening of the Milstein Center in 2018 has created a distinctive locus of community and intellectual collaboration. The Dean will join BLAIS at an exciting time of growth and will help chart its future course in developing a strategy to encourage integration and collaboration between and among the Library and the Academic Centers to support and enhance the evolving needs of researchers, educators, students, users, and innovators.

Key opportunities for the incoming Dean are as follows:

Serve as an architect and communicator of vision. The incoming Dean will join a well-respected and innovative organization. In the central roles of educator and scholar, facilitator and leader, the Dean will help to guide, articulate, and implement Barnard’s vision for innovative pedagogy, engaged learning, and meaningful research.

Provide inspired and supportive leadership. With the support of a talented team of librarians and professionals, the Dean directs the recruitment, development, and retention of the diverse and motivated team, and must have the ability to manage a complex and nuanced organizational structure with skill and respect. This leader will nurture a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and access, and will build and lead a high-performing team with an emphasis on creativity, empowerment, and professional growth.

Enhance teaching, research, scholarship, and creative activity. Barnard Library and Academic Information Services supports and propels the College’s mission through the development of collections and informational resources, its collaboration with student and faculty researchers, and the development and support of new forms of digital scholarship and pedagogy. The Dean will foster excellence and achievement in collections strategy and development, in the development and implementation of technology and media, and in innovative teaching, learning, and digital scholarship. With campus partners, the Dean will bring dynamic programming and oversee thoughtful space allocation and planning to nurture the Center’s place as a welcoming, accessible center of intellectual inquiry and support.

Cultivate collaboration and connectedness. The Dean will play an integral role in working with BLAIS academic and administrative partners in the Columbia University network and in the wider academic community. The relationship with the Columbia University Libraries is integral to BLAIS, as it continues to serve as a point of intersection between the two institutions. The Dean represents Barnard at local, state, national, and international levels, and actively contributes to the profession through their participation. This professional and scholarly involvement advances the collaborative reputation of the library, creates multiple opportunities for innovation and collaboration, and enhances Barnard’s stature and service in the exchange of new ideas and best practices with peer institutions locally and nationally. The Dean’s ability to seek out opportunities to forge strong relationships and engage in active collaboration will be key to success, as a catalyst to encouraging a culture of collaboration, information sharing, support, and shared responsibility.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will bring extensive experience working in collaborative, innovative, digital, and interdisciplinary environments and will possess a deep understanding of current issues relevant to academic librarianship, including information services, pedagogy and inquiry, digital libraries and library technologies, scholarly communication, assessment, strategic planning, and advocacy. Working both with development and deployment of staff and material resources, the Dean will manage a highly collaborative and complex organization with skill, integrity, respect, and humor. A commitment to open communication and consultative leadership, combined with strong interpersonal, problem solving, and decision-making skills, is crucial.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated the following qualities and experiences in alignment with Barnard’s commitment to social justice and the values of diversity and inclusiveness, critical inquiry and engagement, openness and respect:

Strategic Vision

The incoming Dean will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who is experienced at articulating and implementing a vision for the Library and the centers at BLAIS in support of the College’s mission. This vision will be informed by knowledge of developments in higher education that affect research libraries and the scholarly process in research, teaching and learning, and awareness of best practices and emerging innovations in academic research library services and pedagogy.

Commitment to Diverse, Inclusive, Organizational Leadership

The incoming Dean will have a record of collaborative thought leadership and strong interpersonal and decision-making skills to set priorities effectively, build trust, and manage resources (human, financial, materials, and space) to achieve Center and College goals. Understanding the value of diverse and inclusive organizations, the Dean will bring enthusiasm for leading a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational organization with a highly skilled staff and an ability and initiative to find solutions and embrace challenge and change. They will demonstrate understanding of the ways in which issues of race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and gender impact individuals, the workplace, and the profession, and will demonstrate capacity and willingness to actively seek varied perspectives. They will strengthen hiring, recruitment, and retention practices that foster equity in the workplace.

Exceptional Communication Skills

The next Dean will possess the ability to develop, articulate, and enact a vision for the Milstein Center Libraries and will communicate effectively, and with integrity, to a broad group of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and potential donors. The successful candidate will be adept interpersonally and will be a skilled listener, synthesizer, connector, and ambassador across the campus, the country, and around the world, communicating the value and impact of the Library and the Center to stakeholders and donors.

Candidates should be accomplished professionals with at least ten years of progressive administrative leadership experience, including significant management and supervisory responsibilities in an academic or research library. An ALA-accredited graduate degree in library or information science and/or advanced degree in an academic discipline is required. Also required is a demonstrated commitment to diversity, social justice, and inclusive excellence and an ability to connect with others and cultivate relationships based on mutual trust and respect, collegiality, and kindness.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Managing directors Amy Sugin and Beth Schaefer are leading this search, supported by consultant Malissa Brennan. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please connect with them here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Barnard College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Barnard does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit