Assistant Director for Research and Instruction, Gordon Library, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester MA

The Assistant Director for Research and Instruction Services is a senior level management position that has primary responsibility for planning, coordinating, and promoting the research and instruction program of the Gordon Library. This position is a part of the library's administrative team and contributes to decisions on policies, operations, and library budget. The Assistant Director oversees a department of five full-time and two part-time librarians.

  • Coordinates delivery of course-integrated instruction, research consultations, and related online support (tutorials, LibGuides, etc.) for WPI students and faculty;
  • Provides expertise and support for pedagogy, instructional technologies, and assessment methods used in the library's instruction program
  • Evaluates new and existing library tools, services, and resources
  • Compiles and contributes to statistical and other library reports.
  • Participates in collection development and other related administrative committee assignments

Critical skills needed for this position include leadership, teaching talent, flexibility, patience, humor (especially humor), excellent communications skills, and an ability to foster and perform well in a collaborative team environment. This position will include occasional evening and weekend hours.


  • Coordinates the Research and Instruction program for the Gordon Library, including librarian/faculty partnerships, pedagogy and teaching style standards, assessment, professional development and projects for librarians in the Research and Instruction department
  • Directly supervises five full-time and two part-time librarians. Mentors all others serving on the Information Desk in areas of instruction and reference as needed
  • Oversees development of appropriate instructional materials and comprehensive curricular structure to aid users in accessing library resources, using a variety of print and electronic formats
  • Gathers and analyzes data to develop recommendations and solutions for the improvement and/or implementation of research instruction services, procedures, and organization; assesses the outcomes of these programs
  • Provides reference assistance, instruction, and information to library clientele via the Information Desk, telephone, virtually, and through individual appointments
  • Coordinates information desk services with the Assistant Director for Access Services
  • Provides classroom, individual and virtual instruction to library clientele focusing on the identification, retrieval, and evaluation of information
  • Monitors developments and trends in the delivery of research and instructional services in higher education, specifically in academic libraries with particular attention to engineering education
  • Serves as a bibliographer and a subject specialist in Sciences and Engineering; additional disciplines may be assigned as necessary.
  • Participates in professional activities at a regional and, if possible, national level
  • Performs additional duties as assigned


  • American Library Association (ALA)-accredited Master's degree (or equivalent)
  • Minimum 8 years professional library experience and prior teaching and 5 years supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated expertise and knowledge to perform reference and research in electronic and print resources in the fields of science and engineering
  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge and understanding of information literacy best practices, pedagogy, current issues, and trends in scholarly communication
  • Experience in assessment methodologies and skills in planning, managing, and evaluating programs and services
  • Success in mentoring, developing, and leading staff with a collaborative and open approach
  • Demonstrated analytical ability along with excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills complemented by the ability to take initiatives and manage change
  • Demonstrated record of ongoing activity and contribution (publications or presentations) in professional organizations


  • Degree in physical science, mathematics, engineering, or other technical field, advanced degree preferred
  • Minimum of two years work experience in a research library emphasizing science or technology
  • Understanding of digital library technologies with skills at advanced level
  • Success in obtaining grant funding
  • Experience with collection development
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, prioritize, and meet deadlines


Research and project work are essential components of a WPI education. Information literacy and research instruction is central to current library service in academic libraries, which is shifting away from the traditional emphasis on building print collections and resource management to discovery, access, and preservation of digital collections. The Assistant Director for Research and Instruction Services in the Gordon Library leads a team of librarians that links the library to the research process. The person in this position ensures that instruction and reference services are efficient, effective, relevant to the WPI curriculum, and relevant to the needs of the individual user, whether it is a novice or an experienced researcher. This person leads assessment of research and instruction services; engages with faculty and students to foster and expand scholarly publishing efforts; and works with library staff and with faculty to improve library collections in all forms and services.

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