Director, Design & Discovery

Ann Arbor, Michigan
0 other recent jobs
Salary: $85,000 - $120,000
Created: June 27, 2024


How to Apply

To ensure full consideration, applications must be a single document consisting of:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in the position, your skills, and experience directly relevant to the work of the position

  • A resume / CV

  • A list of three professional references, including their names, contact information, and your professional relationship

Application Deadline

We expect this job posting to be open for the full 30 day period and close on Tuesday July 16, 2024. 

Position Summary

As the Director of Design and Discovery, you will provide vision and leadership for managing and enhancing the University of Michigan (U-M) Library's various web applications, web content management, and associated user interface and user experience (UX) work under the care of the Design and Discovery (D&D) department. As one of the five departments within the Library Information Technology division of the U-M Library, D&D provides expertise in software development, project management, content management, UX design, and digital accessibility. In this position, you will supervise the D&D personnel (11 FTE) and direct their work to best meet the evolving needs of the U-M Library users and staff. 

You will report to the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Library Information Technology. Library Information Technology (LIT) designs, develops, manages, and maintains a flexible and reliable technology environment in support of the Library's mission. As a member of the LIT Leadership team, you will assist the AUL for LIT with critical decisions that affect the Library as a whole and participate in the overall planning and development, maintenance, and operation of the Library's IT environment and the key technologies essential to the daily services and operations of the Library. Department directors in LIT work closely together to coordinate and manage projects, issues, and services that cut across many different areas, and the five departments of LIT frequently collaborate and partner not only with one another but also with many other departments across the Library.


  • Service and Project Management (50%)

    • Provide vision and expertise, set appropriate goals for department projects and ongoing work, and effectively manage the department’s service and operational work in library websites, an intranet, in-house and cross-platform search and discovery systems (including Library Search), library staff business workflow systems, teaching and learning applications, content management systems, user interface frameworks (including U-M Library Design System), and other tools that support online access to library resources.

    • Work in close partnership with other department directors in LIT to coordinate and oversee complex and diverse library technology projects toward their successful completion. 

    • Develop and sustain active communication channels between LIT/D&D and other related library groups to facilitate timely service and troubleshooting, maintenance, and development work.

    • Consult with library units in the development of new services that intersect with D&D services and responsibilities.

  • Supervisory (35%)

    • Supervise department personnel working in diverse areas by setting work goals, defining expectations, performing evaluations, and supporting professional growth.

    • Monitor the department’s evolving staffing needs and propose plans to address those needs as they arise.

  • Other (15%)

    • Participate in LIT-wide planning, reviewing, monitoring, and directing of services, projects, and operations, and ensure their alignment with the library’s strategic objectives.

    • Promote the adoption of inclusive and equitable technology policies and standards around user interface design, digital accessibility, and content governance.   

    • Cultivate an environment of innovation and accountability within the department and the division.

    • Participate in cross-departmental/divisional projects, committees, and working groups when appropriate.

Required Qualifications

  • Professional degree from an ALA accredited library school or other relevant advanced degree and equivalent experience.

  • Minimum of 6 years of work experience in web application development and project management at an academic or research library setting.

  • Minimum of 3 years of supervisory experience in a library technology environment. 

  • Deep knowledge and a thorough understanding of the workings of and developing trends in web technologies and related areas and demonstrated experience of applying aforementioned knowledge and understanding into various web applications development projects and related service management practices.

  • Demonstrated experience of leading and managing multiple projects and stakeholder groups and seeing them through planning, prioritization, communication, execution, and evaluation to their successful completion with strong service orientation.

  • Proven ability to analyze complex and/or unclear problems or requests, conduct necessary research and information-gathering, and accurately communicate issues and problems in appropriate depth and in a timely manner to all involved parties.

  • Demonstrated ability to function as a productive member of a highly collaborative leadership team, understanding and responding to evolving needs and priorities in one’s own department and beyond, while staying open-minded, flexible, and receptive to changes. 

  • Demonstrated commitment to apply and incorporate the values of diversity, equity and inclusion into one’s own work and organization.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail.

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in crafting a vision and directions in technology work, translating them into appropriate goals and plans, and executing them successfully.

  • Demonstrated success in highly complex project management.

  • Prior work experience in programming/scripting and familiarity with modern programming principles, tools, and application development processes.

  • Experience with web accessibility compliance, including WCAG accessibility standards and responsive, universal, and device-agnostic web design.

Additional Information

The anticipated hire date is November, 2024. Appointment is anticipated as a Sr. Associate Librarian, or Librarian. Salary and rank are dependent on the candidate's qualifications and experience. The salary range for this position is $85,000 - $102,000 for the Sr. Associate Librarian rank, and $103,000 - $120,000 for the Librarian rank.

Librarian appointments carry with them increased expectations regarding professional development, professional engagement, research, and service, in keeping with the library's process for librarian promotion and advancement.

The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, generous time off (24 vacation days per year, and 15 days of sick leave a year), matched retirement contributions with immediate vesting, professional development opportunities, and more. TIAA and Fidelity Investments' retirement benefits are available.

This position may be eligible for flexible work opportunities at the discretion of the hiring department. Flexible work agreements are reviewed annually and are subject to change dependent on the business needs of the hiring department, throughout the course of employment. Fully remote work is not applicable to this position. 

It is the policy of the University of Michigan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.  Pursuant to the 2022-2025 UM | LEO-GLAM agreement, each appointing unit will designate an administrative contact (“administrative designee”) who is responsible for communicating with the necessary parties about accommodations requests made by Employees in that appointing unit on each campus. The Administrative Designee for Library Information Technology- Design and Discovery is Maria Gonzalez.  They may be reached at 734-764-7196 or

About the U-M Library

The University of Michigan Library is one of the world's largest academic research libraries and serves a vibrant university community that is home to 19 schools and colleges, 100 top-ten graduate programs, and annual research expenditures approaching $2 billion. To enable the university's world-changing work and to serve the public good, the library collects, preserves, and shares the scholarly and cultural record in all existing and emerging forms, and leads the reinvention of the academic research library in the digital age.

The library is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills, and life experiences into their work. We champion diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our work engages a broad and diverse community with wide-ranging needs and concerns, and we empower all employees to actively participate in the ongoing process of learning about and responding to these needs. We value the synergy that results from sharing and leveraging our different experiences, backgrounds, skills, talents, and interests to build an environment in which all our community members can flourish. Learn more in the Library's Diversity Strategic Plan.

About Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best places to live. Fortune named Ann Arbor the #1 city in its recently published 25 Best Places to Live for Families for 2022, and U.S, News & World Report ranked Ann Arbor the #11 best place to live in the U.S. and #1 best place to live in Michigan. Ann Arbor has diverse, culturally-rich communities, top-rated primary and secondary schools, a thriving LGBTQIA+ community, amazing art fairs, film festivals, and theatrical productions, over 160 highly-walkable parks, numerous science, art, and history museums, multiple farmers markets, nationally ranked public libraries, outdoor recreation throughout the year, a charming, historic downtown lined with independent bookstores, gift shops, and breweries, and over 400 delectable restaurants across the city. Ann Arbor is about 30 minutes away from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and less than an hour to downtown Detroit.


Published: Monday, July 1, 2024 21:32 UTC

Last updated: Monday, July 1, 2024 21:32 UTC