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Head of Reference - NYU

Location: USA - NY - New York

New York University's Division of Libraries is seeking a Head of Reference. The Head of Reference will reside in New York University’s Division of Libraries’ Teaching, Learning, & Engagement (TLE) subdivision and will provide leadership, management, training, and support to the Reference Services Department. This new position will use a critical reference lens to continually build and improve reference services within the NYU Libraries’ values and missions of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility (IDBEA), and blend these values with critical race theory, feminist reference practice, user-centered service, and other models that incorporate concepts of criticality into reference services. This position will report directly to the Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement.

This continuing contract (non-tenure track) position will work side-by-side with reference staff (e.g., adjuncts, administrators, student workers, and subject liaison librarians) supplying reference desk scheduling, service management, participation in the creation of information literacy resources for higher learning (such as LibGuides), management of the Ask a Librarian (AAL) chat service (on the LibraryH3lp platform), and general development and coordination of internal and external content for communications on teaching and learning. The incumbent will lead supervision, hiring, and training of (3+) full-time administrative staff, 15+ adjunct librarians, and coordinate with library subject liaisons in the Research and Research Services Department as well as the Undergraduate & Instruction Services Department to offer cohesive and uniform reference services. The Head of Reference will be required to provide some bibliographic instruction and participate in Division-wide committees as needed.

A list of principal duties is below:

  • Lead a team of librarians and library staff that provide in-person and virtual reference services of Bobst Library, adding to a user-centered service model that aims to incorporate critical librarianship.
  • Provide and coordinate reference services and student engagement activities, such as library tours, Welcome activities, and workshops.
  • Establish reference goals, objectives, and performance targets aligned with the institutional strategic plan and priorities. Support the development of budgetary projections to meet goals.
  • Supervise professional staff and student workers. Establish performance standards and goals. Perform ongoing feedback to ensure that staff succeeds in their roles.
  • Provide library instruction where appropriate.
  • Ensure that public services procedures are updated and improved for future efficiency, including revising any manuals, workflows, or communications.
  • Maintain and report statistics/metrics associated with areas of oversight.
  • Collaborate with reference services across multiple NYU library campuses including but not limited to Dibner Library in Brooklyn, NYU Abu Dhabi Library, and NYU Shanghai Library.
  • Collaborate on division-wide initiatives and committee work, as assigned.

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


  • Master’s degree in Library or Information Science
  • Knowledge of trends and issues in library reference, information literacy, and outreach services
  • Ability to work collaboratively and contribute optimally as a member of a team
  • Proven dedication to values of inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and accessibility.
  • Interest in concepts of criticalities in libraries, and specifically in reference


  • Working experience with Springshare, Libraryh3lp, or other chat and/or scheduling software
  • Active participation in professional communities of practice

Application instructions:

To ensure consideration, submit your CV and letter of application, including the contact information of three professional references. NYU Division of Libraries requires all candidates for this position to supply a statement demonstrating their dedication to inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging as part of their application.

Access the Diversity Statement prompt here:
Submit materials here:

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received by October 14th.


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