Website University of Nottingham

Working closely with the Director of Libraries and the Deputy Director for Education and Experience, the role will help to define the strategy and future shape of UoN Libraries. As well as providing inspiring and visible leadership within the department, you will act as an ambassador within both the wider university and the sector, building effective relationships and networks, and seeking opportunities to enhance services. You will work with the Director of Libraries to shape the vision and strategy of the department, developing and delivering key strategic priorities, which align to the university’s broader strategy.

Core to the role will be your responsibility for the strategic leadership and management of large-scale core service functions, including dedicated leadership of three Associate Director positions – Research, Content and Discovery, and Manuscripts and Special Collections. You will be responsible for leading on key, discrete strategic pieces of work according to need. You’ll have a strong understanding of the sector, its challenges and its opportunities and you’ll maintain a focus on continual improvement, whilst fostering ambition and creativity and ensuring that our users are at the heart of our service delivery.

As well as managing your own portfolio of work, you will deputise for the Director of Libraries as required, both internally, across the university, and upon external committees and groups.

Main duties and responsibilities

Core Operations – 30% time per year

You will:

  • Provide strategic leadership and support of core library services, specifically Research, Content and Discovery and Manuscripts and Special Collections.
  • Maintain a comprehensive contextual awareness of all sections and key functional areas within UoN Libraries in order to prioritise and manage work effectively and appropriately.
  • Act as escalation point for matters arising, leading the management and resolution of issues for the department.
  • Have oversight and understanding of the UoN Libraries budget, so enabling effective strategic financial planning, and specifically having ultimate budgetary responsibility for Research, Content and Discovery and Manuscripts and Special Collections.

People – 30% of time per year

You will:

  • Provide leadership to the UoN Libraries Senior Management Team, making a valuable contribution to the ethos of collective leadership, providing constructive challenge and promoting continued excellent team performance.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Libraries, work to actively develop the profile and visibility of the Libraries Senior Management Team within the department in order to engage staff across all levels.
  • Lead on activity to develop and enhance the UoN libraries culture and behaviours, linking this directly to the university’s core values.
  • Foster and promote opportunities for the Senior Management Team to operate as ambassadors for UoN Libraries both within the wider university and the sector.
  • In the Director’s absence, be responsible for all core management functions across the whole Senior Management Team.

Relationships – 15% of time per year

  • Work in partnership with senior stakeholders across and beyond the institution, ensuring the UoN Libraries position is embedded within key programs of work.
  • Play a leadership role in the institution, providing a valuable contribution to relevant boards and working groups and the senior professional services network, working collaboratively with colleagues and maximising opportunities for Libraries to work in partnership with other departments.
  • Be an active participant in groups outside UoN and build effective networks across the sector.
  • Be a credible and visible leader within UoN Libraries, hosting events such as staff forums, and leading key meetings, such as Libraries Leadership Group.
  • Deputise in the absence of the Director of Libraries as required.

Programme and Project management – 10% of time per year

You will:

  • In conjunction with the Associate Director for Strategy and Planning, lead the scope and shape of work, ensuring development of cross-Department links, and that resources are prioritised in line with strategy.
  •  Take responsibility for key, discrete strategic activity.

Strategy Development and Business Planning – 10% of time per year

You will:

  • Working with the Director of Libraries, take a lead role in the co-creation of departmental strategy and its implementation.
  • Sponsor departmental programmes and projects, in alignment with strategy, ensuring appropriate governance and reporting mechanisms are in place.
  • Be accountable for meeting departmental KPIs and service standards.
  • Identify opportunities for internal and external funding and develop business cases in order to maximise departmental resources and facilitate innovation.

Any other duties appropriate to the role and level – 5% of time per year



All of the following are considered essential unless otherwise noted.


  • Excellent leadership and management skills including strategic planning, project and people management.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.

Knowledge and experience

  • Extensive relevant professional experience in an appropriate library or information service.
  • Excellent influencing skills gained at a senior level.
  • Proven track record of motivating and inspiring a team.
  • An ability to work effectively in a team environment with colleagues from different professional backgrounds.
  • Experience of leading and managing change.
  • Emotional intelligence, agility and flexibility.
  • A commitment to service quality.
  • An ability to prioritise and to schedule workloads in the face of conflicting demands.
  • A proven track record in operational delivery and financial management.
  • A proven track record in strategic planning.
  • Experience of managing human and financial resources in the provision of quality customer services to a diverse range of users within a framework of accountability.
  • A strategic understanding of the potential of information and communications technologies in HE.
  • Knowledge of the University sector and current drivers. (Desirable)
  • Experience of participation in regional/national/international initiatives. (Desirable)

Qualifications, certification and training (relevant to role)

  • Education to degree level or equivalent.
  • Graduate professional qualification or commensurate professional experience.
  • (Desirable)
  • Appropriate higher degree. (Desirable)
  • Formal training in project or programme management. (Desirable)

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