Job Posting: Rare Visual Materials Catalog Librarian, Boston Athenæum, MA

The Boston Athenæum seeks a Rare Visual Materials Catalog Librarian reporting to the Head of Technical Services in consultation with the Curator of Prints & Photographs for matters pertaining to work prioritization and curatorial expertise. The Rare Visual Materials Catalog Librarian performs complex original and copy cataloging for visual materials in the collections of the Athenæum’s Prints & Photographs Department.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Provide access to the Athenæum’s rare visual materials in the collections of the Athenæum’s Prints & Photographs Department
  • Perform full descriptive MARC 21 original and complex copy cataloging of bibliographic records in OCLC Connexion following DCRM(G) standards and local practice for visual materials and import them into the Library’s Voyager integrated library system
  • Establish and/or revise authorized access points in the LC Name Authority File by creating or editing authority records according to NACO/RDA standards
  • Assign Library of Congress Subject Headings and form/genre terms for rare materials according to national standards and local practice
  • Maintain integrity of data related to visual materials in the library’s online catalog

Outcomes/Results: By performing the above responsibilities the individual performs a crucial role in supporting the Athenæum’s mission by “serving its members, the broader community, and scholars throughout the world” by providing access to the institution’s visual materials via our online catalog and international resources such as OCLC’s WorldCat. Participation in LC NACO program increases the Athenæum’s visibility and standing in the library community.  Additionally, the authority records produced provide for consistency of access points in the library’s catalog and in OCLC’s WorldCat. (80%)

  • Participate in shaping the policies and procedures of the Cataloging department, especially as they relate to visual materials
  • Work with the Head of Technical Services and the Curator of Prints & Photographs in the development of Cataloging policies related to visual materials, including documentation on the Technical Services Wiki
  • Fosters intradepartmental and interdepartmental communication and establishes workflows that enable the Cataloging department to successfully fulfill its role in providing access to institution’s collections.
  • Perform other activities as needed that fall within the scope of responsibility and requirements of the position
  • Provide access to and supervise in the Special Collections Reading Room the use and handling of special collections
  • Advise Digital Programs regarding metadata for digital surrogates of visual materials
  • Remain current with existing and emerging cataloging policies, practices, standards, schema, and procedures, including, but not limited to, MARC21, DCRM(G), AACR2r, RDA, LC-PCC PS, OCLC Bibliographic Standards, Dublin Core, and BIBFRAME
  • Work evening and weekends

Outcomes/Results: Fosters interdepartmental communication, assures the smooth operation of the Technical Services Department, and corresponds to the broader mission of the institution by providing researchers with direct access to the Athenæum’s Special Collections. (10%)

  1. Qualifications and Education Requirements
  • Master of Library Science from an ALA-accredited school
  • Background in art history and/or American studies desirable
  • Formal training in rare visual materials cataloging required
  • Three to five years recent experience performing original, complex cataloging of visual materials using DCRM(G) and GHIC on OCLC required
  • Experience with integrated library systems required; Voyager preferable
  • Working knowledge of MARC21 coding, LC-PCC PS, OCLC bibliographic standards, Catalogers Desktop, and GMGPC required
  • Knowledge of various printing and photographic techniques, and familiarity with standard visual material reference sources and databases strongly preferred
  • Ability to carry out detailed procedures with accuracy under minimal supervision; to plan and prioritize job responsibilities and tasks
  • Effective communication skills, including the ability to present complex concepts and  ideas clearly in written or oral form required
  • Capacity to work collegially with other staff members and to interact respectfully with patrons required
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds
  • Strong knowledge of American, New England, and Western European history and art desirable
  • Reading or bibliographic knowledge of languages other than English desirable

To apply: Please submit the materials listed below in a single document to

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. The names and contact information of three references. References will be contacted only after the applicant has been informed that s/he is a finalist.

Original posting:

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