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Head, User Inquiry Experience, NYU Libraries

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Joined: 07/Dec/2017
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    Posted: 19/Dec/2017 at 5:12pm
New York University Libraries seeks an innovative Head of User Inquiry Experience (UIX) who will combine experienced knowledge of reference interactions and a sophisticated understanding of user experience to lead the critical and continuingly evolving range of services that directly support user inquiry. Recognizing that library users’ information-seeking behaviors aim for the same results-oriented, satisfying experience whether they are channeled through in-person or online questioning or through “self-service” pathways to library resources, NYU Libraries aims to insure that users have a consistently positive and successful experience when interacting with services and systems. The Head of the User Inquiry Experience (UIX) will provide leadership and vision for delivering successful discovery and inquiry-response services, whether users are interacting with library information professionals (through in person or virtual reference) or directly with the library’s discovery system or other online interfaces. The UIX Head will coordinate and lead efforts to design and implement reference and inquiry services and online interfaces that create an integrated, holistic user centered experience, an experience both informed by direct interactions with users and incorporating the best of online UX design.

The Libraries’ strategic plan emphasizes the need for continual organizational learning and innovation to meet the challenge of integrating library resources and services with new, ever-changing, powerful networked teaching, learning and research environments. This is a newly designed position that will enable a knowledgeable, entrepreneurial leader to make a significant impact on the user experience at NYU Libraries.

The UIX Head is a member of the Libraries Department Managers Group and collaborates closely with user service departments across the Libraries, as well as the Web Development unit and Knowledge Access and Resource Services to create integrated services and to lead initiatives that ensure a satisfying user inquiry experience both online and in person. The UIX Head will collaborate closely with the many units and subject specialists that deliver a wide range of in-person reference and consultation services across the Libraries, will design programs and lead the work of those individuals when they are participating in virtual reference services, and will directly manage a department of UX specialists who are tasked with continually assessing and improving the user experience for all online systems and services. The Head of UIX will serve as a member of the Public Services Steering Group and other relevant committees to promote and develop a strong user experience culture throughout NYU Libraries. The UIX Head reports to the Associate Dean for User Services, Outreach and Assessment.

Principal Duties
• Create and lead the development of a cohesive and coordinated user inquiry vision and strategy across all user services and systems of NYU Libraries.
• Lead and coordinate projects to improve user/inquiry experience at NYU Libraries, working collaboratively with librarians, staff and senior library leadership.
• Design and lead efforts to assess library interfaces, identify service gaps and “dead-ends,” and develop and implement plans to re-architect interfaces and integrate services to improve the user inquiry process.
• Work with public service librarians and staff to develop and implement consistent service expectations and best practices in all areas of user information inquiry, both in person and online.
• Manage and coach a staff of UX specialists who work closely with Web Development and are responsible for projects/deliverables to ensure all user facing online interfaces incorporate UX centered research, design, usability testing, and best practices.
• Collaborate and partner with library department heads, service teams and other internal stakeholders to incorporate UIX strategies and best practices into all service points.
• Monitor the effectiveness and success of implemented strategies, policies, processes and programs; where necessary, add/modify/remove policies, processes and programs to improve their effectiveness.

NYU Libraries: NYU is one of the larger members of the Association of Research Libraries, with 319 FTE staff, 63 of whom are faculty librarians. Librarians responded to 97,000 reference queries in the last year, including via 24-hour cross-globe virtual reference. Librarians reached 20,000 attendees through instructional sessions, and thousands more through orientations and similar events. The Libraries serves a large and diverse population of 40,000 students and faculty across 18 schools and colleges-- including, for example, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Tisch School of the Arts, the Stern School of Business, the Meyer College of Nursing, the Wagner School of Public Administration, NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, etc.-- and from every U.S. state and more than 133 countries. NYU is one of the largest private universities in the U. S., and is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). New York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the HathiTrust, the Manhattan Research Libraries Initiative, the Research Libraries Group Partnership of OCLC, the Digital Preservation Network, and the Digital Library Federation, as well as regional resource sharing consortia. The Libraries also provides an integrated library management system for the Research Library Association of South Manhattan, a consortium that includes New School and Cooper Union. For the NYU Libraries Mission and Strategic Plan go to

NYU’s Division of Libraries embraces diversity and is committed to attracting qualified candidates who also embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.

Education and Experience Requirements:
• Minimum one graduate degree (master’s level or higher) for consideration. A second graduate degree will be required for tenure review. One of the two graduate degrees must be an ALA-accredited MLS or equivalent.
• 5 years’ experience in library public services, user experience or reference services in an academic or research library.
• Experience with user assessment tools and usability studies.
• Experience leading high-performing teams.
• Experience working across organizational boundaries and managing complex stakeholder groups to move projects forward.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Knowledge of web centered technology, social media platforms, and current and future trends in library services.
• Knowledge of academic library public services and reference services.
• Knowledge of user experience and assessment methodologies in a library environment.
• Ability to articulate a vision for traditional and innovative reference services in an academic setting.
• Strong analytical skills and a familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience supervising UX or technology professionals.

Salary/Benefits: Faculty status, attractive benefits package including five weeks annual vacation. Salary commensurate with experience and background.

To Apply: To ensure consideration, send your CV and letter of application, including the name, address, and telephone number of three references to: Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
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