The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) invites applications for the full-time position of Research + Instruction Librarian with a focus on the sciences, to start in August 2017.
We recognize diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to our learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experiences, scholarship, service, and/or professional practice has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence.
In this newly conceived entry-level position, the Librarian will engage in research, reference, collection development, and instruction, with an emphasis in the sciences (broadly defined but with a particular emphasis on the natural sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences). The Librarian will work collaboratively to shape and implement multiple literacy practices within the library and on campus. In this capacity, the Librarian will have an affinity for, experience in, and/or an articulated understanding of broad interrelated and creative thinking about art, design, and science information and practice.
The Librarian will be based in Fleet Library and will work in collaboration with library staff as well as other colleagues in the other units within the Dean of Libraries’ interdisciplinary community – The Nature Lab, Campus Exhibitions, and the Writing Center.
We see the Library as a laboratory and platform for creativity and ideas. We seek to create an environment that understands and respects the past while inventing the future. Our approach to research, instruction, and collection development emphasizes strong disciplinary focus with an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens.
As a member of the Research and Instruction team, the Science Librarian engages in research and professional development, library instruction, research assistance, and collection development related to the sciences – with an emphasis on the intersection of science and art practices, broadly defined. In addition, the candidate will engage in outreach to the RISD community – encouraging and creating connections across campus – as well as chair a library committee based on skills and interests. This is a newly imagined position and it reports to the Dean of Libraries.
The RISD Library was founded in 1877 and is one of the oldest independent art college libraries in the country. The Library is centrally located in an award-winning adaptive reuse space on the first two floors of a former bank – the remainder of the building consists of student housing, dining facilities, and storage. The original banking hall serves as the library’s stunning main reading room. All of the library’s collections reside within the structure – a luxury that allows for resources to be available to the community at all times.
The Library includes an open stack collection of over 100,000 volumes, including a reference section, 1500 RISD masters’ theses, and 330 current periodicals. Specialized collections and storage include another 54,000+ volumes. Print collections focus on art, architecture, and design, with approximately 15% currently focused on supporting areas of the humanities and social and physical sciences. Specialized collections include artists’ books, zines, rare books, an institutional archive, a materials resource library, and a picture collection.
The Library is building its digital platforms and currently hosts and operates an online institutional repository – Digital Commons @RISD – that collects and presents faculty and student research and creative work, college records and history, and materials from specialized collections.
RISD has a distinguished history of providing inspired leadership in art and design education and an ongoing commitment to creative experimentation and risk-taking. This progressive, inquisitive attitude permeates the campus.
Since its founding, RISD has pursued its mission to educate the public about the important role of art and design within society. That pursuit in conjunction with the STEM to STEAM RISD-led initiative makes this position particularly relevant and exciting. The goal of STEAM is to truly explore the combined thinking and practice of scientists, artists, designers, and technologists. The sciences are integrated throughout RISD’s campus in different departments and are highlighted in the Digital + Media program, increased emphasis on the sciences in the Liberal Arts Curriculum, and the exceptional Edna Lawrence Nature Lab.
Rhode Island School of Design is an undergraduate and graduate college of art and design with approximately 2,400 graduate and undergraduate students. RISD supports librarians’ professional practice with sabbaticals, conference funds, and professional development grants. RISD offers a critical review process, which is similar to the tenure process.
All librarians are members of a collective bargaining unit, the Full-time Faculty Association (NEARI/NEA).
-Provide reference and research services by answering questions, advising on appropriate resources, instructing patrons in the use of online and in person catalogs and collections in the arts and sciences.
-Write and edit resources guides and explore platforms for sharing resources and telling the story of research through technologies and tools.
-Provide orientation and research instruction – in groups and one-on-one – to RISD students, faculty, and staff with traditional library resources as well as using emerging technologies.
-Support the development of information literacy (and multiple literacy) practices within the library and across campus.
-Participate in the promotion, outreach, and marketing of library collections, resources, services, and projects.
-Contribute to collection development initiatives and build access to science literature and resources with limited resources. Develop a suite of resources that aggregates and curates open access/open data/open source science resources applicable to artists, designers, makers, and creative thinkers across disciplines.
-Serve on library, college faculty, and administrative committees.
-Engage in professional development and research activities to advance the profession, your work, and your development as a librarian, colleague, and member of a local and global community.
The ideal candidate is an individual interested in defining, experimenting with, and building information systems, collections, and instruction related to and inspired by the sciences as well as art and design. We are seeking a colleague who has demonstrated (in scholarship, community engagement, education, or practice) creativity and curiosity within the field of librarianship.
-ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
-Degree (or relevant experience) in a scientific discipline – with particular emphasis in biology, mathematics, design science, or the physical sciences.
-One to three years professional experience providing research, reference, instruction, or public service in a library, laboratory, or research setting.
-Strong interpersonal and communication skills are critical, as is an ability to think critically and articulate ideas clearly. We are seeking an ideas person who enjoys working on a team and is generous and open to thinking that challenges their own.
-Ability to work collegially and generously within a small team that is flexible and extremely responsive to users.
-Knowledge of contemporary art, architecture, and design, and an awareness of cross-disciplinary issues in an art school setting.
-Knowledge of print and electronic resources – particularly open access, open data, and open source resources. We are an art school and this position will support scientific research in that context.
-Ability to use a full range of text and electronic resources in the arts, sciences, and related areas.
-Background in library technologies and emerging technologies – with a curiosity (and healthy skepticism) about current trends.
-Reading knowledge of a language other than English.
-Fearlessness (with a healthy dose of common sense)
Candidates who submit their materials before May 15, 2017 are assured full consideration.
RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.