Friday, July 08, 2011

Visual Resources and Public Services Librarian: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Position Description:

Cornell University Library seeks an experienced and innovative public services professional to serve in a new position: the Visual Resources and Public Services Librarian. Working under the direction of the Director of the Music and Fine Arts Libraries, the VR&PS Librarian will serve as the primary point of contact for students, faculty and staff in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning on topics related to finding and using digital image resources; the person in the position will also serve as a visual resources contact person for library staff and other members of the Cornell community. In addition, the individual will oversee outreach and instruction in the Fine Arts Library, as well as providing one-on-one assistance through consultations and reference. The individual in this position should have a deep working knowledge of current visual resources and their associated digital technologies for research, teaching and presentation purposes. She/he should also demonstrate a commitment to understanding, evaluating, and implementing emerging technologies based on their pedagogical uses within the fields of architecture, art, planning, design, and landscape architecture and be able to facilitate the transition from traditional visual media to digital media. A record of and commitment to effective and dynamic service to all patron groups, and demonstrated successful interpersonal skills are required to succeed in this position.

The VR Librarian will work closely with faculty and students to ascertain their needs and how to effectively integrate new resources into the evolving curricula of the departments. The individual must take a pro-active role in helping faculty and students navigate the wide range of services available through CUL and various campus entities. He/she will take an active role in CUL’s Visual Resources Working Group, and will work synergistically with librarians and digital consultants throughout the library system and campus community to inform and coordinate the support of visual and digital image resources on a campus-wide basis.

The VR Librarian will be responsible for the purchase and promotion of new discipline-specific image resources at both the local and institutional levels. Other responsibilities include: visual and information literacy instruction, research consultations, workshop development and presentation. Promotional activities include: curatorial responsibility for digital displays of new materials in public areas; keeping the library website up-to-date with information on resources and technological tools and applications; and use of social media technologies to connect users with both subscription-based and freely available image content. This individual will also serve as a liaison to appropriate information technology personnel. She/he will work closely with the Architecture Librarian & Coordinator of Collections to provide a wide range of outstanding services to the user community.

Required Qualifications:

Demonstrated ability to work successfully with a team of staff within an art, architecture, fine arts, or design library setting. Excellent communication skills and the ability to foster effective working relationships with faculty, students, staff, and library colleagues. The successful candidate should have at least two years of academic library experience, and an understanding of and enthusiasm for new technologies and their application in the evolving academic/information environment. Involvement in, or interest in becoming involved in appropriate professional associations. A graduate degree or equivalent experience in an art or design field and an M.L.S. or equivalent degree from an accredited institution are required.


Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning is one of the university's seven endowed colleges, and the departments of architecture and planning are consistently ranked near the top of their fields nationally. AAP is committed to the belief that art and design are simultaneously intellectual and material practices, and that leadership in cultural production demands deep expertise both in a specific discipline and in the liberal arts. Students and faculty in the College make extensive use of visual materials in their teaching and research.

With the completion of the College’s new studio addition Milstein Hall, AAP is reprogramming portions of the existing buildings, including the existing FAL. The FAL is scheduled to move from Sibley Hall into Rand Hall in the near future, triggering both a spatial and programmatic reconceptualization of the library to fully integrate new technologies and innovative space usage. The College recently moved away from slides as the principle medium of visual images, and the VR Librarian will need to provide to a high level of service in assisting with this transition. The faculty, students and administration of the college will turn to the VR Librarian for leadership and vision in realizing a world-class, contemporary art and design library.

Cornell University is an Ivy League comprehensive research university located in Ithaca in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. The town and university offer a unique cosmopolitan and international atmosphere in a beautiful natural setting of waterfalls, gorges, and lakes. The university comprises 14 schools with over 2,700 faculty members and nearly 21,600 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. The Cornell University Library is a vigorous professional organization with a strong track record in innovation and service quality. It contains nearly 8 million printed volumes, 99,000 current serials in print or online, over 650,000 additional networked electronic resources, and rich materials in other formats. The Library was a recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in 2002.

Benefits: Comprehensive benefits package including 22 vacation days, 11 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and university retirement contributions (TIAA-CREF and other options). Professional travel funding available.

Application Procedure: Review of applications will begin on August 15, 2011. To apply for this position go to, search under the job category of Librarians, and select posting number 15342. Follow the instructions for online submission. Please include a cover letter, resume, and the names, phone numbers, and addresses for three references. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. For additional information or confidential inquiries, please contact Bonna J. Boettcher, Chair, Visual Resources Librarian Search Committee, at or 607-255-7126.

Cornell University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer strongly committed to diversity. We value qualified candidates who can bring to our community a variety of backgrounds and experiences.