Head of Collections Access and Research

  • Job Reference: 00000746-1
  • Date Posted: 2 October 2020
  • Recruiter: Imperial War Museums
  • Location: IWM London
  • Salary: £48,550 to £60,750
  • Sector: National, Not for Profit/Charities
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

Imperial War Museums has developed an exciting new vision for its research services and we are looking for an exceptional information professional to develop and implement our plans.  Research services are part of the IWM Institute, IWM’s new innovation hub which launches in November 2020.

The Head of Collections Access and Research will provide leadership and strategic direction for the Museum’s reference library, research services and research agenda as an IRO (Independent Research Organisation). These newly merged teams will provide services to academic, family and commercial researchers and IWM staff, initially in London, but as funding allows also in our museums at Manchester and Duxford. A key function of the role will be to support both external and IWM research projects and to facilitate wider access to all IWM collections, including developing new digital scholarship services.  The role will also support the IWM Institute’s research agenda and those of its partner organisations, engage proactively with both internal and external stakeholders and raise the profile of the newly created resources and services both within IWM and to our external users.

Key Duties

1. Develop a strategy and operational plan for the newly created Library, Archive and Research Centre including the volunteer supported public enquiry service at the Information Desk.

2. Ensure that the Centre’s operations are informed by the most recent developments and innovations in library and archive services, digital scholarship and digital and information technology, anticipating trends and providing expert guidance to shape strategic developments in line with IWM’s One Customer Journey principles and programme, the IWM Institute Strategy, the Research Strategy and IWM’s Corporate Strategy

3. Work across IWM departments to maximise understanding and use of the Centre resources.

4. Develop and deliver modern, innovative, and user-focused systems and services that provide researchers, IWM Associates, CDP students and the alumni group with an excellent experience both onsite and online.

5. Promote the services of the newly created Library, Archive and Research centre to both internal and external audiences. Introduce mechanisms for obtaining regular user feedback.

6. Contribute to the delivery of a first-class research environment for academic staff, researchers and students including development of a digital research repository.

7. Identify and engage with key stakeholders; provide regular updates on service enhancements

8. Develop and implement an audience engagement strategy

9. Develop partnerships, displays and events to promote and raise awareness of the library and the Collections and enhance public engagement.

10. Maintain up-to-date awareness of professional developments in the field of library provision and an in-depth understanding of the changing needs of the library user, applying this knowledge as appropriate.

11. Work with the Head of Research and Academic Partnerships to develop and implement a Research Strategy for the IWM Institute that supports the IWM Institute strategy and the IWM Corporate Strategy. Support the Head of Research and Academic Partnerships and the Assistant Director Narrative and Content in developing and implementing a research capacity building plan to ensure that IWM staff are able to contribute fully to the IWM Institute’s research agenda.

12. Provide oversight and provide strategic oversight and support for IWM research projects, partnerships and funding bids in line with the Research Strategy from UKRI and other funders working closely with and supporting the Head of Research and Academic Partnerships and the Director of Development. Contribute to innovative approaches to research projects and funding bids that best meet the strategic objectives of IWM.

13. Line manage the collections access team staff. Lead, motivate and manage staff and conduct regular performance appraisals. Identify and implement learning and development needs for yourself and your team.

14. Manage the budget effectively and take responsibility for procurement, optimising value for money.

15. Ensure projects are delivered on time and to budget.

16. Work closely with the IWM Institute, Public Engagement and Learning and Communications teams to ensure that stakeholder, partnership and programming ideas and activities are well coordinated and achieve maximum benefit to IWM.

17. Lead on the IWM’s representation and engagement with relevant professional networks. Act as an advocate for the Museum and IWM Institute and contribute to raising the profile of the Museum and Institute at national and international forums.

Postgraduate professional qualification in Librarianship, Archives or Museum Studies
Skills and Experience required  

A dynamic leader with senior management experience gained within a large scale knowledge-driven organisation. Ability to influence with proven experience of strong people management skills

Demonstrable understanding of academic research processes and funding (including bid development) and designing services to meet the needs of the academic researcher.

Demonstrable understanding of digital scholarship: infrastructure, skills and funding requirements, curation of digital collections and digitisation.

A clear and wide understanding of and or experience of distinctive characteristics of the museum, cultural, public affairs and learning sectors

Experience of initiating and maintaining relationships with key partners, stakeholders, funders at a strategic or senior/policy level

Substantial experience of project management, including managing deadlines, resources, people, contracts and budgets in an environment of competing priorities

Entrepreneurial, proactive, demonstrating drive and a can-do attitude. Ability to work independently and problem solve. Excellent communications skills and demonstrable ability to create impact.  

To Apply

Apply by clicking 'Apply' to visit the IWM recruitment website and also view the full job description.

Please note we do not accept only CV’s, you will be required to fill in an online application form.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 9 am, Friday 30 October 2020.

Interviews will be held week commencing Monday 9 November 2020 on Teams (video call). Please note that the interview date(s) has been specifically chosen according to the availability of the panel. You are advised to keep this date free if you are interested in this vacancy. We are unable to reschedule interviews.

We regret that if you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date your application, in this instance, has been unsuccessful.

IWM is committed to a policy of Equal Opportunities.