Job Board/Director, Digital Technology at The New York Public Library

Photo of The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library
emoji of a money mouthNew York, NYemoji of a pushpin$175,000emoji of a clockThu Oct 22 2020

The New York Public Library is looking for a Director, Digital Technology to motivate and lead a team of engineers/applications developers, to advance and support the mission of the New York Public Library (the Library).  The ideal candidate will be a thought leader on how the Library can be an exemplar for the ethical and sustainable use of digital technologies in society and will have demonstrated inspirational leadership; and a passion for collaborating with peers and senior leaders across a sizeable non-profit organization to deliver well considered solutions within a dynamic environment and limited resources. 

The ideal Director, Digital Technology is an “idealistic pragmatist” who can lead teams to deliver to a high standard, is obsessed with making the Digital Department a “great place to work!”, can tell a great story in a business plan and can also get their hands into the code if necessary.

We are looking for someone we can count on to…


  • The management, coaching, and mentoring of Digital Technology team members

  • Digital technology strategy and business cases for the Library’s current and future digital needs (plan for the future, consider and recommend options, assess risks, balance costs versus benefits)

  • Our diverse tech stacks, determining what our core technologies are, and the strategy for them over the next several years

  • Digital delivery and all tactical processes

Teach the team to:

  • Proactively identify challenges and offer appropriate, timely and practical solutions

  • Work in a consultative and collaborative way to meet the needs of our patrons and fellow staff while managing expectations and resources (time & budget)

  • Business acumen, time management and critical decision-making


  • About NYPL - our culture, goals and strategy and the environment in which we work

  • About the specific challenges that digital technology introduces for our patrons, the Library in general and the work of our staff, vendors and partners

  • About the critical relationships across Digital, IT and the “business” of The New York Public Library


  • Collaboration across Digital Technology, Software Engineering, UX&D, Product and Business Management teams

  • Technology, quality, agility, standards, processes and decision-making incrementally

  • Key business deliverables

Principal Responsibilities

Our expectations for this person are that within…

1 month, this person will:

  • Start to understand and appreciate the business of NYPL and constraints that determine much of our decision-making

  • Create a personal strategy for a successful career at the Library; craft personal goals

  • Get to know and start to build cooperative relationships with her/their/his team; agree on personal development plans and goals with team members

  • Get to understand the needs/requirements of Digital peers (Directors - User Experience, Product, Strategy and Business) and work to effectively support them

3 months, this person will:

  • Be working with colleagues in Business and Planning and Finance teams, begin development of a 2-year Digital Technology Strategic Plan

  • Design and propose a new structure for the Digital Technology team

  • Identify digital requirements/needs from Senior Leaders across the Library

6 months and beyond, this person will:

  • While continually learning and refining, show demonstrable progress on a 2-year Digital Technology Strategic Plan

  • Implement a new structure for the Digital Technology team, roll out FY2020 goals for all team members

  • Identify opportunities in the existing business processes and begin to make corrective changes

  • Start to craft an expansive 2-5 year Digital Technology strategy

Required Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience/application

  • 5+ years managing a diverse technology/developer team

  • Proven track-record of managing high-delivery teams

Minimum Qualifications

(See overview, Required Education & Experience and Key Responsibilities)

Preferred Qualifications

  • 3+ years experience in managing a team-based organizational structure preferred

  • 3+ years experience in analyzing and interpreting HR data preferred

  • Experience managing an ecosystem of diverse technology stacks

  • Experience working with and deploying systems to AWS or similar cloud services

  • Knowledge of different architectural patterns, such as Microservices, Serverless architecture, etc.

  • Knowledge of the following languages and frameworks is beneficial: PHP, Drupal, JavaScript, React, Node, Ruby, Rails

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues

  • Be Resourceful in solving problems

  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Work Environment

Requires travel within NYC; occasional travel to relevant conferences

Physical Duties

Limited physical effort is required


M-F, 9-5 - Occasional weekend work as required.

What efforts are you making in terms of increasing diversity & inclusion within your company?

The Library’s mission is one of social equity and social inclusion. We are in the midst of a Library-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion five-year strategy. The strategy addresses recruitment and retention, organizational policies and protocols, metrics and training.

The Library is committed to encouraging and creating opportunities for diverse internal and external candidates who will strengthen our inclusive organization. Our strategy ensures all employees have access to tools, knowledge, and data to continually strengthen diverse, equitable and inclusive policies and practices in their departments. They will experience even more clearly that they are valued and respected at work at the Library, regardless of status or social identity. We’ll engage in a proactive commitment to encourage and create opportunities for diverse internal and external candidates who will strengthen our inclusive environment.

Cultivating an inclusive environment by recruiting a diverse workforce is a key priority for our organization. We believe that having a diverse staff enables us to meet the needs of our patrons and colleagues from diverse perspectives, and creates an atmosphere of openness, mutual engagement and respect. We are devoted to diversity and valuing differences, in 2018 we launched our series, "A Dialogue on Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Identity". The purpose of the Dialogue was to create a safe space for colleagues to explore and expand on their knowledge of their own identities, share experiences about current issues, and support one another in building a more inclusive NYPL community.

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