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Digital Library Federation Position Description:
Director, DLF Distributed Open Digital Library (DODL) 1


The vision and purpose of the DLF since its founding has been to put in place the means of developing large-scale federated digital libraries that advance the ongoing collaborative efforts of research libraries and deliver the rich mosaic of their complementary holdings to scholars through a variety of innovative online services. Much has been accomplished by DLF members along with other collaborators in the last nine years putting essential building blocks into place -- organizational capacity, digital collections, and technical, service, and strategic expertise; agreement about and widespread implementation of key standards and best practices; experience of cross-institutional collaboration.

The DODL initiative takes a next step forward: utilizing these building blocks and leveraging the evolving institutional capacity of its members, the DLF will extend the depth and breadth of high-quality online library collections and the range of innovative online services that make them readily accessible to research, teaching, and learning. The initiative may also be a vehicle for increasing the amount and value of DLF content in a sustainable manner. When DLF members can truly share digital resources, contribution of digital content conveys the benefits of cooperative collection development: each library's contribution is repaid by complete access to the larger collection. If the value of the collection is sufficiently attractive, digital contribution becomes a means of acquisition, potentially sustained with library operating funds.

The DLF seeks a director for its Distributed Open Digital Library. The Director will operate at a level equivalent to an Associate University Librarian and be responsible for providing collaborative leadership in developing, realizing, sustaining, and communicating the goals and achievement of the DLF's distributed digital library. Major duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Overseeing the development of essential strategic, sustainability, and project plans for the DODL including collection strategy, information architecture, service operational and functional requirements, rights management framework, standards framework, business plan, etc
  • Encouraging and facilitating DLF members' contributions to the DODL. It is anticipated that contributions may take many forms including digital information content, service development, applied research (e.g. into users' needs, technical issues, etc.), strategic planning, and evaluation
  • Overseeing implementation and development effort, keeping track of and reporting appropriately on progress. This will include but not be limited to:
    • convening, facilitating, participating in, providing appropriate leadership for, and reporting on meetings of the various committees and task groups directly involved in realizing the DODL;
    • initiating and coordinating actively the work of the various committees and task groups of the DODL;
    • preparing and present reports on DODL matters to the DLF and the broader public;
    • arranging for appropriate analytical work (e.g. user assessment surveys, reports on tools, features, standards, technical requirements, etc);
    • acquiring appropriate funding and other support from the DLF, member institution, and external agencies
    • partnering strategically with organizations and individuals that share a common interest in realizing the DODL's aims;
    • documenting decisions, processes, and developments of the DODL;
  • Representing the DODL in DLF gatherings (DLF Forum, DLF Steering Committee meetings, DLF working groups as necessary) and externally;
  • Other duties as assigned.

The DODL Director will be an employee of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) and be responsible organizationally to its Board through the chairman (currently Michael A. Keller, University Librarian, Stanford University). Programmatically, the Director will be responsible to the convener of the DODL prototype group (currently Daniel Greenstein, University Librarian, California Digital Library) -- a small group of DLF members who have agreed to play an active role as participants in DODL's initial developments. Participating institutions include: California Digital Library, Emory University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, Library of Congress, New York University, Stanford University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, and the University of Virginia. It is anticipated that the Director will coordinate and work closely with the DLF Executive Director (David Seaman) in particular to ensure that the DLF's broader program of initiatives at once informs and reflects DODL's development needs and interests.

The Director may be located at any of the DLF member institutions, though a strong preference will be shown to candidates able and willing to work from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA), the California Digital Library (Oakland, CA), the Council on Library and Information Resources (home of the DLF in Washington DC), or any of the DLF member institutions that are participating as members of the DODL prototype development group.


  1. A minimum of three years' leadership experience in a related professional responsibility, such as a position in a digital library program in a large research library, a program officer in a bibliographic utility or similar organization, or a mid-level staff member in an information technology company relevant to digital library developments;
  2. A graduate or professional degree in a relevant field (librarianship, informatics or information management, software development);
  3. Demonstrated success in strategically planning and managing implementation of complex, collaborative projects
  4. Ability to work well with and motivate others and to induce the best from co-workers and colleagues;
  5. Excellent written and oral communications skills
  6. Fluency in basic Internet technologies and applications;
  7. Upbeat, self-motivated attitude and personality

Salary and benefits: commensurate with duties and responsibilities, but expected at the level of an assistant or associate university librarian's salary in the region from which the successful candidate will operate.

To apply, send a letter of application and a resume with the names and contact information for no fewer than three persons who are willing to serve as references to:

DODL Director Search

C/O Digital Library Federation
1755 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
tel: 202-939-4750
fax: 202-939-4765

e-mail: dlf@clir.org

Position Filled -- Search Closed

1. DODL is now known as Project Aquifer.

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