Head, Research and Instructional Services, Duke University

Job Code/Title: TBD Ranked Librarian
Department: Research and Instructional Services
Supervisor: AUL for Collections and User Services
FTE: 1.0
Ranked: Yes
Date Created/ Reviewed: November 2014
Job Level: 00
Job Family: 29
FLSA Status: Exempt
Term: N/A

Position Summary

The Head of the Research and Instructional Services Department provides vision and strategic direction for the instruction and research services offered by the Duke University Libraries. S/he leads a group of 19 library professionals in engaging with faculty and students at Duke, designing and implementing pedagogically appropriate instruction for library users, and providing in-depth, specialized research consultation and reference services. S/he manages the operations of the department and co-manages the Libraries’ research commons, cultivating a forward-looking, collaborative environment and setting high user-centered service standards. The position reports to the Associate University Librarian for Collections and User Services.


  • Develops and implements a vision and strategic directions for research and instructional services that support the scholarly activities of the Duke community.
  • Encourages the exploration and adoption of new approaches to research, instruction, and outreach to students and faculty and, collaborating with staff throughout the Libraries, assumes a leadership role in identifying and implementing emerging technologies and incorporating best practices into research and instructional services.
  • With the head of the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Data/Visualization departments, develops the services and co-manages the operations of the Libraries’ research commons, The Edge, in support of interdisciplinary, data-driven, digitally reliant and team-based research.
  • Manages the operations of the Research and Instructional Services Department; sets goals; hires, trains, supervises and evaluates staff; establishes standards and expectations; prepares and manages the departmental budget.
  • Works with subject and functional specialists throughout the Libraries, including special collections, international and area studies, digital scholarship, and data/visualization, to create an environment supportive of interdisciplinary research and discovery.
  • Administers and oversees the Libraries’ in-person and virtual reference and research services, insuring that staff are well trained and that appropriate policies and procedures are developed, documented, and implemented.
  • As subject specialist in an area suited to her/his academic background and interests, serves as primary liaison to an academic department or program; provides in-depth, specialized research consultations and instruction; develops and manages collections in relevant formats and languages.
  • Participates in provision of in-person and virtual research services and of instruction for first-year undergraduate students.
  • Actively contributes to library-wide initiatives and to the development of the library website, research tools, and other applications of technology.
  • Facilitates understanding among departmental staff of the current priorities and objectives of the Duke University Libraries and fosters communication within the department.
  • Displays continuing growth in professional and subject knowledge and takes an active interest in the profession. Growth and interest should be demonstrated through continuing development of professional knowledge and abilities, membership and participation in professional organizations, and service to the library, University, or community in a professional capacity.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as assigned and performs other duties as required.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervises directly the department’s three section heads for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Engineering and, indirectly, the subject librarians who report to these section heads.
  • Supervises the Librarian for Instructional Services, the Program Coordinator for The Edge, and the Evening Research Services Librarian.
  • Coordinates staffing of interns, field-experience students, and volunteers in the Research and Instructional Services Department.


It is the expectation that all Duke University Libraries staff members will demonstrate exceptional workplace behaviors in the execution of their specific position responsibilities. These behaviors are customer focus, collaboration, creative problem solving, continuous learning and a commitment to diversity. In addition, managers and supervisors are expected to help develop a common vision by providing clear direction and priorities, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and promoting mutual understanding through effective communication. They are also expected to take the time to effectively plan and evaluate performance, provide feedback, recognition and coaching, and develop employees to achieve their personal and organizational goals.


Required: Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program or an advanced degree in a relevant subject field.

Preferred: Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program and an advanced degree in a relevant subject field.


Required: At least seven years of progressively responsible professional experience providing research services; evidence of strong supervisory and team management skills; ability to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the applications of new technology in library services and in learning and research; proficiency with information resources in a variety of formats and subject areas; teaching or library instruction experience. Must be flexible and a self-starter; have the ability to work successfully in a highly collaborative environment; possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, and oral and written communication skills as well as a strong commitment to public service; interest in and aptitude for learning emerging technologies and web applications; commitment to data-informed decision-making.

Preferred: At least five years of research services experience in an academic or research setting; experience supervising professional staff in an academic library; professional experience and strong academic background in a relevant field; familiarity with web publishing technologies; experience with user and/or usability study methodologies; experience with assessment tools and methods; experience with data management; and knowledge of issues related to open access.

Working Conditions

  • Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible
  • Frequent bending, crouching, stooping
  • Normal office environment
  • Occasional weekend shifts required
  • Occasional travel required

These statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

Salary and Benefits

Salary and rank dependent on qualifications and experience. Comprehensive benefits package includes 20 days vacation, 13 holidays, 12 days sick leave; health, dental, disability and life insurance and support for professional development and training.


Since its founding in 1924, Duke University has grown into one of the most prestigious private universities in the world and its medical center ranks annually among the top in the nation. The Duke University Libraries are the shared center of the university’s intellectual life, connecting people and ideas. The Libraries consist of the William R. Perkins Library and its branches: Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Lilly, Music, and the library at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort. Duke’s library holdings of 6.1 million volumes are among the largest of private universities in the United States.

Duke’s hometown is Durham, North Carolina, a city with vibrant research, medical and arts communities, and numerous shops, restaurants and theaters. Durham is located in the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational and educational opportunities. The Triangle is conveniently located just a few hours from the mountains and the coast, offers a moderate climate, and has been ranked among the best places to live and to do business.

Duke offers a comprehensive benefit package which includes both traditional benefits such as health insurance, leave time and retirement, as well as wide ranging work/life and cultural benefits.


Send cover letter, detailed resume and the names, addresses (mailing and e-mail), and telephone numbers of three references to: Teresa Tillman, Library Human Resources, at library-jobs@duke.edu. Please include HEAD, RIS in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Applications which are missing any of the components listed above will not be reviewed.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Duke University Libraries have a strong commitment to Affirmative Action and is actively seeking to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of our staff.

Did you enjoy this post? Please Share!


Related Posts

DLF Digest: June 2024

A monthly round-up of news, upcoming working group meetings and events, and CLIR program updates from the Digital Library Federation. See all past Digests here. 

DLF Digest: May 2024

A monthly round-up of news, upcoming working group meetings and events, and CLIR program updates from the Digital Library Federation. See all past Digests here. 

Skip to content