Duties & Responsibilities
The Harvard Law School Library (“HLSL”) seeks a skilled, innovative, and collaborative professional to join the team as its Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects. Reporting to the Manager of the Digital Lab, this position will work cooperatively between the Harvard Law School Library Digital Lab and Historical & Special Collections (HSC) teams. The split of responsibilities is expected to be 70% Digital Lab and 30% HSC-related activities. However, these activities are in many instances cross-departmental.
The Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects is the first point of contact for all digital projects involving HLS Library materials. The person in this role leads, coordinates, participates in, and collaborates on initiatives and activities designed to build digital collections that facilitate access to and discovery of the library’s holdings. This position will help conceive and implement an evolving strategy designed to expand the library’s digital presence of content and services, primarily from Harvard Library platforms. On a day-to-day basis, the Librarian/Archivist will coordinate processes to build and manage digitization queues, and will plan, manage, and carry out projects, create workflows, and serve as a liaison to service partners on campus and off. As a member of the Digital Lab and HSC teams, the Librarian/Archivist also participates in and contributes to the activities, meetings, decisions, and workflow processes in both groups. The successful applicant will possess strong technical skills and knowledge, communicate effectively, work collaboratively and collegially with a broad spectrum of colleagues, and demonstrate the ability to grow and change.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned (continued in additional information).
- Leads on creating, managing, and directly undertaking processes for nominating materials for digitization.
- In collaboration with HLSL managers, drafts and vets project plans, specifications, timelines, local staffing and resource needs, service provider partnerships, destination repositories and platforms, and core user requirements to be satisfied by digitization.
- Pilots workflows and documents procedures when the Digital Lab evaluates the feasibility of working with formats which lack programmatic services and workflows at Harvard.
- Manages the annual digitization budget, ensuring that imaging queues per fiscal year neither under- nor over-spend available funds.
- Builds, inspects, enriches, and links to public catalogs the digital surrogates produced in each project.
- Researches rights and requests permissions in response to requests for digitization of materials not in the public domain.
- Arranges periodic conservation/imaging reviews of items nominated for digitization. Safeguards HLSL materials throughout digitization workflows in partnership with Weissman Preservation Center conservators.
- Manages and executes the full range of tasks to build digital objects, including: workflow tracking, editing descriptive metadata, depositing batches to the Harvard Library Digital Repository Service, performing quality control of digital objects, producing structural metadata, and linking digital objects to catalog and finding aid records.
- Delegates, coordinates, and undertakes the full range of tasks to manage source materials through digitization, including: paging, retrieving, reviewing, prepping, and batching materials before scanning; transporting materials to and from the scanning/digitization studios; and re-shelving materials when batches are complete.
- Appraises, ingests, and manages newly accessioned born-digital materials in short-, medium-, and long-term storage.
- Coordinates the work of full-time HLSL staff who contribute to digitization projects.
- Supervises temporary, student, and part-time staff on digitization-related projects.
M.L.S. or other library and information science degree from an ALA-accredited academic program required by the time of appointment. Minimum of one year of experience in any combination of processing archival or published materials, digitization, or use of technology to manage, preserve, discover, and deliver digital collections.
- Demonstrated experience in project management, and in developing project plans that best manage tradeoffs among multiple viable options.
- Demonstrated understanding of EAD, MARC, MODS, METS, and other metadata standards.
- Experience working in a library special collections or archives environment.
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively both alone and as a member of multiple teams.
- Experience with Perl, PHP, Python or other languages to automate file processing functions, and/or JSON, HTML, CSS or WordPress for web presentation of digital content.
- Understanding of digitization standards, techniques, and workflows.
- Understanding of the issues involved in the use and preservation of digital collections, both reformatted and born-digital.
- Experience working on inter-departmental projects as a project lead and project team member
- Cataloging experience
- Experience with Aeon and ArchivesSpace.
- Experience working with confidential records.
- Experience researching rights and permissions to digitize for preservation and access.
- Experience with library or archives public services work, such as staffing a service point, assisting researchers, creating exhibits, and contributing to social media.
- Understanding of current developments within the digital library and special collections profession and demonstrated commitment to engage in ongoing professional development and service to the profession.
- Experience implementing new technologies and other techniques to improve work processes.
- Capacity to thrive in a changing working environment.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES cont.
- Consults with Curator of Modern Manuscripts on born-digital and AV questions and issues arising from donations from faculty and others; explains procedures and answers questions from donors.
- Answers reference questions pertaining to digitized, born-digital, and AV collections.
- Staffs HSC’s reading room up to 4 hours per week.
- May participate in HSC’s and HLSL’s outreach activities, including blog post and exhibit rotations and library events.
- May serve on Harvard Law School Library and Harvard Library committees and working groups
- Maintains an active presence in local and national professional organizations.
- Ability to lift and move materials weighing up to 40 pounds; load, push, and unload heavily loaded book trucks and portable delivery cases.
- Ability to use a stepstool and bend, reach, and lift materials overhead and at ground level.
- Ability to operate hand-cranked compact shelving, and shelve or retrieve books and boxes.
- Ability to pick up and deliver materials around the Harvard campus (a car is not required).
- Some work is performed in an area with library materials that may contain allergens or irritants such as paper dust and/or mold.
- The work is performed in an office setting within a library.