Head, The Learning Commons – Internal Search
Department The Learning Commons
Position Type Faculty
Apply for Position
Appointment Rank Assistant/Associate Professor
Reports To Associate Dean
Salary Minimum $58,000
Available August 15, 2019


The University of Tennessee Libraries seeks a highly motivated and collaborative individual to lead our Learning Commons. This position provides vision and strategic direction for the University Libraries in the development and management of services, programming, spaces, and partnerships to promote student success. The Head provides leadership, directly and through staff, for all areas of the Learning Commons operations including Public Services, Research Assistance, and with Libraries and campus partners offering services in the space. The Head ensures a welcoming and inclusive user experience and fosters the Learning Commons vision by working collaboratively with partners from the Libraries and campus to plan and implement best practices, procedures and services that support the goals of the Learning Commons and UT Libraries.

This highly collaborative position works across the Libraries and the University to connect instruction, engagement, and assessment efforts in the Commons to the larger campus learning environment. The Head evaluates services, programs, and spaces on a regular cycle to ensure the Learning Commons is meeting the teaching and learning needs of the campus. The Head is expected to stay abreast of learning commons models at other institutions as well as teaching and learning trends in higher education. This individual will participate in local, regional and national initiatives broadly related to active learning and Commons environments.

This key leadership position actively participates in management of the Libraries through Library Council and other committees and groups, and successfully collaborates with others in the Libraries to deliver excellent Commons programming and services. The department currently includes seventeen full-time librarians and staff as well as graduate and undergraduate hourly student assistants. The successful candidate must exhibit flexibility and the ability to work cooperatively and effectively to achieve common goals and meet changing needs within a culture of continuous learning.

Responsibilities & Duties


  • Directly supervises the Director of Public Services who has responsibility for the Hodges Library’s main service points
  • Supervises Public Services Librarians who provide information and research assistance, instruction, and engagement activities
  • Oversees the provision of research assistance services both in person and online
  • Directs the activities of the Library Ambassadors Program
  • Establishes and fosters strategic relationships with campus units and Commons partners likewise committed to teaching, learning, and student success
  • Works collaboratively with partners from the Libraries and campus to plan and implement best practices, procedures and services that support the goals of the Learning Commons
  • Develops an ongoing assessment plan for programming, services, and spaces provided through the Learning Commons and communicates impact
  • Collaborates on the development of active learning spaces in support of student success
  • Oversees Learning Commons web presence and works with Library Marketing and Communication to market the Commons and its initiatives
  • Ensures training and professional development opportunities for librarians and staff on all aspects of customer service and research assistance
  • Supports instruction and engagement efforts in collaboration with Libraries’ faculty and staff
  • Participates in continuing education opportunities in order to enhance skills and to remain abreast of continuing developments in the field

Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity, and Service

  • Engages in scholarly activity through publications, presentations, and other creative outlets
  • Participates in professional activities associated with job functions and research interests
  • Serves on library, university, and professional committees
  • Serves the library profession through involvement in professional organizations and through cooperative efforts with other information professionals

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree from an ALA-accredited program
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional experience in an academic library setting
  • Experience supervising and/or mentoring library faculty or staff
  • Evidence of commitment to diversity and inclusion in a higher education setting
  • Experience with program development, implementation, and assessment
  • Experience teaching in an academic library setting
  • Demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, prioritize, set and achieve goals and lead others in achieving shared goals
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Successful experience in forging strong relationships and partnerships

Preferred Qualifications

  • Supervisory experience in an academic library
  • Experience in user-experience and assessment
  • Record of research or creative activity
  • Evidence of involvement in service activities related to the position


The University of Tennessee Libraries serves the flagship campus of Tennessee’s premier public research university. The University of Tennessee holds the Carnegie Foundation Research 1 designation, granted to doctoral universities with very high research activity.

The UT Libraries supports the teaching, research, and service mission of the university and enhances the academic experience of each student at the Knoxville campus—through outstanding print and electronic collections, reference and instructional services, and top-notch facilities and technological resources. The John C. Hodges Library in the heart of campus houses the majority of the UT Libraries’ collections and many unique services. Two branch libraries offer specialized collections and services: the Webster C. Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library and the George F. DeVine Music Library.

The UT Libraries is a national leader in digital collections; in support of open access though our digital repository, Trace; and through a rich history of designing innovative spaces and building key partnerships that enhance the teaching/learning enterprise. The UT Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, HathiTrust, the Library Publishing Coalition, LYRASIS, and the Center for Research Libraries. The UT Libraries collaborates actively at the state level with the other University of Tennessee System libraries as well as the libraries in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.

The UT Libraries champions diversity in collections and staffing. The University of Tennessee is committed to creating a welcoming environment. More information about how we put our principles of civility and community into action is available at https://www.lib.utk.edu/diversity/.

Additional information about this position and the UT community is available at https://www.lib.utk.edu/employment/position/head-the-learning-commons/


Appointment at the rank of Assistant/Associate Professor with a minimum salary of $58,000.  Faculty rank and status; twelve-month, tenure-track appointment.  Library faculty must meet University requirements for promotion and tenure.

Excellent benefits include 24 annual leave days; choice of state retirement plan (TCRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) (VOYA, TIAA, VALIC) with nonrefundable contributions paid for the employee by the University; optional group health and life insurance plans.  Tuition remission is available for all university employees and partial undergraduate tuition remission is available to dependent children and spouses of UT employees. Start-up funding in the amount of $10,000 allocated over a three-year period; annual support for travel & professional development.

UT’s Prospective Faculty Viewbook has information on academic support, personal support, and living in Knoxville.

Application Procedures

A background check and official transcripts are required prior to hiring.  In order to be considered for candidacy, you must submit a cover letter addressing the above qualifications, a current resume or CV, and the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of three recent references to: Elizabeth Greene, Executive Director, Libraries Administration and Human Resources, 1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-1000.  Application materials may be sent via email attachment to ejgreene@utk.edu.  Review of applications will begin August 19, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled.

Apply for Position

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN  37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498.  Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

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