Head, Technical Services

Brown University

Providence, RI

Application Deadline

Open Until Filled


Not Specified


Providence, RI


Not Specified



Minimum Education

Not Specified

Library Experience


Supervisory Experience


Type of Library


This job is more than 3 weeks old or the application deadline has passed.

Job Description

Critical to the 21st century scholarship that will impact global society for generations, research in STEM fields is an area of significant priority and growth at Brown. The Library is refreshing and bolstering our Scholarly Resources Department with the cluster hiring of a Head of Technical Services and two librarians, will support STEM scholarship at the highest level. Welcoming new staff together in key roles offers the Library and the incumbents the rare opportunity to build a team of complementary strengths, shared vision, and authentic perspectives in a dynamic and supported environment.

All members of the Brown University Library team are vital contributors to our mission to advance instruction, learning, and research at Brown University in an environment of creativity and inclusivity. A community of academic, professional, and organizational learning, the Library embraces people who span a wide range of viewpoints, life experiences, and intellectual pursuits. Together, we preserve the past and innovate for the future. We invite candidates with initiative, unique perspectives, inventive thinking, and a passion for collaboration to join the University's global mission of leadership and academic excellence.

The Head of Technical Services directs the operations of the Technical Services Department which includes acquisitions, cataloging, metadata services, and database maintenance for print and electronic resources. Leads a staff of approximately 16 (13 hourly, 3 professional/exempt; 10 direct reports) who provide timely access to information resources in all formats for the Brown University Library (BUL). They are responsible for the timely expenditure and accuracy of a $12 million+ collections budget.

In collaboration with the senior leadership team in Collection Strategies and Initiatives participates in organizational planning and development initiatives and they regularly review and assess department operations and maximizes their effectiveness and efficiency.  This position serves as primary liaison for matters related to technical services operations and priorities.  The Head of Technical Services is responsible for overseeing vendor relationships and negotiations for services and pricing of approval and shelf-ready plans.  The Head of Technical Services provides direct support to the Acquisitions Manager who has oversight for the acquisition of materials by purchase, gift, or lease.


●        Provides leadership to the team providing bibliographic control for a wide range of print and non-print materials in various formats as well as metadata for our digital projects.  Oversees the maintenance and troubleshooting of eresources.

●        Directs and manages the day-to-day activities and workflows of cataloging and metadata staff.

●        Supports Acquisitions Manager in daily operations of the Acquisitions unit.

●        Collaborates with Collections Strategy for Descriptions and Discovery to write and maintain documentation relevant to cataloging and metadata for digital collections.  Stays current with changes to cataloging standards and rules.

●        Hires, trains and evaluates the work of Technical Services staff.

●        Answers questions concerning cataloging, both bibliographic and authority based, and resolves complex cataloging problems including those associated with monographs, serials, eresources, and non-textual formats.

●        Collaborates with the Collections Strategy for Licensing and Assessment and the Eresource Librarian on issues of eresource acquisition and maintenance.

●        Works closely with the Associate University Librarian for Special Collections to establish best practices for the care, handling, description, and security of special collections materials.

●        In collaboration with the senior leadership in Collection Strategy and Initiatives uses a team approach to create policies, guidelines, and procedures for the acquisition and description of library materials.

●        Regularly reviews methods, processing software, automation potential, and outsourcing opportunities.

●        Maintains future-oriented approach in planning for new and evolving responsibilities across the department.               

●        Creates and manages an ongoing staff development program to ensure continuous skill development and competencies necessary to stay current in technical services operations.

●        Meets regularly with teams and individuals in the Department to create a strong and effective team.

●        Collaborates across BUL to support collections alignment with Brown and BUL strategic priorities.

●        In collaboration with the senior leadership team introduces and provides training for new initiatives and projects.

●        Participates in the creation of a vision for the Collections Strategy and Initiatives Department in collaboration with the senior leadership.

●        Works across the BUL to create a cohesive and effective program for the acquisition, description, and access of all scholarly resources.

●        Develops and maintains a program of continuous improvement based on data driven assessment and decision making.

●        Monitors and contributes to the development of local, national, and international standards and policies; contributes to professional publications and forums; influences academic library practice accordingly.

●        Participates in the Ivy Plus Library Confederation.

●        Represents BUL on University-wide initiatives.


●        MLS degree from an ALA accredited institution.

●        4 years experience in cataloging or metadata services; knowledge of acquisitions and eresources management.

●        Experience leading teams and fostering continuous improvement. 

●        Demonstrated ability to effectively engage, motivate and coach staff.

●        Demonstrated proficiency with current and emerging cataloging rules and standards.

●        Thorough understanding of the relationship between bibliographic and authority records in an automated environment, including discovery system functionality generated from MARC and non-MARC metadata.

●        Knowledge of or demonstrated interest in BIBFRAME and LRM development and other library applications of linked open data.

●        Excellence in the following skills: verbal and written communication, interpersonal, planning, organizational, and analytical.

●        Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as an understanding of the contributions a diverse workforce brings to the workplace. 

Other Information:

·         This position requires the ability to read fine or small print

Additional Info & Requirements

Please submit a cover letter


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Posted Jan 28, 2020