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Job Summary

The Schlesinger Library seeks a user-centered, service-oriented, and collaborative librarian committed to inclusiveness and access to lead our Research Services unit. Reporting to the Associate Director of the Schlesinger Library and as part of the library's senior management team, this position contributes to library-wide strategic and operation planning. The incumbent will... represent the Library on University-wide committees and other projects that promote the innovative use of the Library’s collections in research, teaching, and learning.

The Head of Research Services provides leadership and expertise in the development and implementation of programs and services to meet the research and learning needs of the Library’s users. They manage the Library’s service points, including reference and reading room operations, remote and in-person reference, and patron scanning services.

Position Description
• Leads and manages the Research Services by developing and articulating strategic vision and direction, overseeing day-to-day operations and special projects, establishing priorities, and coordinating work within the department and with other library units.
• Fosters a positive, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all Library users and ensures that users receive welcoming and efficient service.
• Manages the operations of the Library's service points, onsite and remote reference, circulation, and patron scanning services.
• Coordinates and schedules reference desk coverage; covers regular shifts at the Schlesinger Library reference desk.
• Collaborates with the Head of Education and Outreach and contributes to the Library's growing instruction program and outreach initiatives.
• Ensures collection care by developing, implementing, and overseeing policies and procedures that govern the use of special collections while also creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.
• Understands copyright and intellectual property issues relating to archives and special collections and answers complex reference questions regarding collection access, permissions, and copyright.
• Compiles and analyzes data and statistics that contribute to our understanding of trends in research use of the collection and our ability to plan and implement changes to our services and programs wisely.
• Leads the development or enhancement of workflows and information tools to support the unit's research and reference activities.
• Collaborates with library managers on long-range planning, annual goal setting, policy and procedure development, staffing and budget decisions, facilities planning, and daily administration.
• Supervisory Responsibilities:
• Supervises Research Services staff.
• Carries out supervisory responsibilities according to the Institute's / University's management policies, procedures, and any applicable laws.
• Responsibilities include hiring and training, planning and assigning work, conducting performance appraisals, addressing performance issues, and resolving problems.

Basic Qualifications
• ALA accredited master's degree in library science/information science/archives or equivalent education with a concentration in archival studies or equivalent education or work experience.
• Minimum of 5 years of professional experience providing reference and research services in archives or special collections.
• Minimum three years supervisory/managerial experience in a library or archives setting.

Additional Qualifications And Skills
• Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.
• Demonstrated understanding of trends, principles, and practices in reference and research services.
• Ability to work effectively and collegially in a complex and dynamic environment.
• Ability to plan, manage, and complete multiple, concurrent projects, and communicate issues that affect plans, policies, and procedures in a timely fashion.
• Strong analytical skills and demonstrated flexible problem-solving abilities.
• Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
• Experience with archival collection management software, such as ArchivesSpace and Aeon.
• Capacity to thrive in an environment of change.

Physical Requirements
• Employee must have the ability to sit at a desk for a minimum of seven hours a day and complete tasks requiring repetitive use of hands.
• Standing, sitting, talking, hearing, focusing for considerable lengths of time is required.
• This position requires frequent lifting, pushing, and pulling of boxes up to 50 lbs and requires bending, squatting, stretching, and climbing tall ladder when needed to retrieve materials and reshelve them.

Working Conditions
• Located in a library office setting, there may be limited exposure to dust and mold.
• The work schedule for this position may include occasional work beyond the official business schedule (Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00PM) including covering Saturday shifts.

Additional Information

Cover Letter:

Please note that cover letters are required for every application for a position at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Please combine your cover letter and resume into a single document that is uploaded when you are instructed by HARVARD CAREERS, Harvard’s online application program, to “Upload my resume/CV from my computer”.

Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. However, we encourage all interested candidates to apply before July 8, 2024.


We will be conducting interviews virtually and might invite finalist candidates for on-campus interviews. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process.

Work Format Details

This role is offered as a primarily on-campus position where the incumbent will be required to be onsite at our Cambridge, MA-based campus regularly. There may be occasional opportunities to work remotely. Specific schedule will be determined between the incumbent and manager. Any remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA*, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA).

About Us

The Harvard Radcliffe Institute is dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The Fellowship Program annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars. Academic Ventures and Engagement fosters collaborative research projects and sponsors lectures and conferences that engage scholars with the public. The Schlesinger Library documents the lives of American women of the past and present for the future, furthering the Institute’s commitment to women, gender and society.

We are proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and are committed to achieving our goals through the efforts of a highly skilled, diverse workforce. With outstanding benefits , competitive pay , extensive learning opportunities , and a stimulating and attractive work environment, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University may be exactly the employer you have been looking for.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
• Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
• Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
• Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
• Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
• Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
• Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
• Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
• Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
• Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

387058 Library Sr Specialist

Work Format



Salary Grade



Schlesinger Library


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Employment, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and abilities to apply to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members.  Our work with faculty, students, and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

A global leader, the Harvard Library is a pre-eminent research library that acquires, disseminates, and preserves knowledge. Harvard's Library holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding inventories of digital resources. It is the work of the Harvard Library to provide the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with comprehensive access over time

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law
Cambridge MA United States


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