Boston, MA: Special Collections Public Services Librarian, Boston Public Library

Job Opening Title: Special Collections Public Services Librarian

Employer Name: Boston Public Library

Job Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Application Deadline:

Salary Range: $65,758-$85,913

Link to job posting:

Years of experience required: 4

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: The Boston Public Library is seeking a Special Collections Public Services Librarian to manage and provide daily oversight of in-person public services for the library’s recently reorganized and reimagined Special Collections Department. This newly created position reflects the BPL’s commitment to supporting research, learning, and public engagement with its special collections.

Reporting to the Manager of Rare Books and Manuscripts and supported by department colleagues, the Special Collections Public Services Librarian will oversee the daily operations of the BPL’s shared Special Collections reading room. This fully redesigned and newly renovated space is scheduled to reopen to the public in 2022. The Special Collections Public Services Librarian will both oversee and participate in the delivery of in-person reference services and the circulation of collections; this position will also play a central role in coordinating educational and programmatic collaborations with the communities that we serve.

Salary and application info: The salary range is $65,758-$85,913. Please see below for an expanded description of salary and benefits.

About the BPL Rare Books and Manuscripts Department: The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department is the BPL’s primary repository for rare and historically significant books, manuscripts, and related materials. Strengths of the collection include 19th-century American abolitionism and anti-slavery movements; British and American literature and drama; Boston, New England, and early American history; and early European printed books and manuscripts, among many others.

Situated in the BPL’s Central Library in Copley Square, we work to support the overall mission of BPL Special Collections, facilitating discovery and fostering public engagement with library’s rare, distinctive, and culturally significant holdings.

Boston Public Library is committed to racial equity and to becoming an anti-racist organization and formed an action plan in 2020 in response to systemic racism, inequity, and injustice prevalent in our society. You can read more about the action plan and the steps BPL is taking to address diversity, equity, and inclusion here.

Scope of Responsibility

1. In coordination with special collections department heads and curators, researches and implements policies and procedures for special collections reference, access, and public reading room services in accordance with professional standards and best practices for public service, security, and preservation.
2. Manages the special collections reading room and its operations, including creating and maintaining desk schedules, materials retrieval, and delivery. Monitors the use of the collections and adherence to departmental policies and procedures.
3. Alternates with other staff members in supervising the reading room in such a way as to maintain an atmosphere conducive to research while responsibly preserving and protecting materials.
4. Oversees the administration of reading room management software, including setting up new accounts, establishing workflows for requests, and instructing staff on appropriate use of software.
5. Collaborates with special collections department heads and curators in creating training materials for special collections reference services and in training relevant staff on procedures.
6. Performs difficult and involved reference service for rare books and manuscripts material which requires a high level of professional competence and specialized knowledge in locating materials and suggesting resources within the Library and in other libraries.
7. Coordinates access for patrons whose research, teaching, communications, and learning activities benefit from engagement with the library’s special collections. Works with curators and other Special Collections staff to initiate new ways of engaging students and the academic community with primary source material.
8. Participates in the development of new and innovative approaches for effective public outreach and reference services for rare books and manuscripts material including programs, classes, exhibitions, tours, presentations, resource guides, publications, and social media.
9. Assists the Manager of Rare Books in the cultivation and stewardship of prospective donors and identification of potential collections for acquisition to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department collections.
10. Suggests items or collections in need of conservation, makes recommendations for reformatting of materials.
11. Commits to keeping current in the best practices of the profession by taking advantage of training and development activities, by reading professional literature, and by participating in professional activities.
12. Maintains up-to-date knowledge of major Boston Public Library special collections, including frequently used materials.
13. In coordination with the Preservation team, instructs patrons and other staff in the proper handling of special collections.
14. Participates in stacks maintenance and inventory projects as needed.
15. Represents library at local and national conferences as assigned.
16. Prepares statistical and other reports and analyses related to research, service, and outreach metrics, as assigned.
17. Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.
Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

– Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university and a master’s degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited library school.
– A second master’s degree in the Humanities or advanced coursework that would increase the knowledge of rare books is desirable.
– Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required.
– In exceptional circumstances, specialized training/experience may be substituted for all or part of the educational requirement.

– Four years relevant experience working in a library, museum, or other similar cultural heritage institution, including two years’ experience working in a special collections reading room.
– Experience developing and implementing best practices for a special collections reading room.
– Supervisory experience required.

– Excellent public service skills.
– Some evening and weekend hours.
– Residency – Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
– CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.

Salary and benefits:
– The salary range is $65,758-$85,913. This is governed by the City’s pay scale. This position is a P3 – the automatic annual step increase info can be found here:
– The position is part of the Boston Public Library Professional Staffing Association (PSA), one of two unions in the library.
— PSA members are entitled to up to one full year of parental leave (unpaid). Within this potential full year, the City offers paid leave for 6 weeks. In July 2021, the City is expanding paid leave to 3 months.
— PSA members receive 20 days of vacation per year, 3 personal days, and 2 swing days.
– All staff pay in to a pension program. More info can be found here: Additional benefits info can be found here:
– Special Collections has a particular commitment to growing the skills of our unit, and has funds both through the library and affiliate donors to draw on for training and conferences.
– The person hired must be a resident of the City of Boston proper on the first day of work.

Applying: For further information and to apply to this position, please visit the City of Boston employment website. Please combine your cover letter and resume in a single PDF file and attach them together in the resume upload section of the website.

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