Collection Development Librarian, Fine Arts Library / Harvard University / Cambridge MA

Collection Development Librarian

Fine Arts Library, Harvard University
Req. 44840BR

Harvard University seeks an innovative, collaborative, and user-centered Collection Development Librarian to build and manage collections for one of the leading libraries in the world for the study of art, architecture, and visual culture from antiquity to the present. Reporting to the Herman and Joan Suit Librarian of the Fine Arts Library, the incumbent will select library materials in all formats and work collaboratively with colleagues in the Fine Arts Library, across Harvard Library, and beyond to implement collection development strategies and operations. The incumbent will proactively partner with Harvard Library colleagues to develop creative solutions and efficient workflows for managing, acquiring, processing, preserving, and providing
access to library materials. He/she will actively engage with the visual arts community at Harvard to support innovative use of library collections in their teaching, research, and learning activities. To expand access to the Fine Arts Library’s unparalleled holdings to a wider global audience, the Collection Development Librarian will participate in local, national, and international digital initiatives and collaborative collection development partnerships.


  • Perform collection development processes in the Fine Arts Library for the Americas, Western Europe and portions of Eastern Europe (from antiquity to 1900), Africa, Australasia, Oceania, and other southern Pacific nations in traditional and emerging formats.
  • Work together with the Librarian and other Fine Arts Library selectors for Islamic, East Asian, Modern and Contemporary, Visual Resources, and Special Collections to build distinctive collections by acquiring and preserving antiquarian materials, primary sources, born digital collections, and electronic resources.
  • Ensure effective stewardship of the materials budget, including monitoring acquisition budgets and fund assignments for 8,000-10,000 titles annually.
  • Actively contribute to relevant Harvard Library collection development working groups, committees, councils, and innovative projects.
  • Maintain and update Fine Arts Library collection policy in consultation with FAL selectors and collection development colleagues across the Harvard Libraries.
  • Continuously evaluate print and digital publication trends in art history, architectural history, and the fine and applied arts and select rare and unique materials for digitization and wider dissemination to support digital scholarship.
  • Develop a wide and robust network of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, museum curators and educators, fellows, and visiting scholars in order to exchange information related to FAL collections and current and emerging research areas and interests
  • Exchange information and best practices proactively with selectors across the Harvard Libraries for shared purchases, purchase recommendations, and de-duplication.
  • Contribute to collaborative collection development and digital projects with external partners, e.g., Ivies Art and Architecture Group.
  • Create and maintain in-depth and relevant content for multiple web presences for Fine Arts Library collections and collection-related events and news.
  • Assess collection strengths and correct weaknesses for curricular and research support and create routine and customized acquisitions and collections reports using COGNOS and other tools.
  • Establish and maintain effective and efficient relationships with approval, firm order, and antiquarian vendors and booksellers.
  • Work together with the Librarian and other Fine Arts Library selectors to negotiate and acknowledge gifts of materials and funds.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Information Technology Services staff to insure consistent and efficient vendor relations and processing routines.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Access Services collection management staff to plan for collection care, stacks space planning, and ongoing transfer of materials to off-site storage.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Preservation Services on disaster planning, collections care guidelines, and environmental concerns, as well as Digital Imaging staff on reformatting and digital preservation projects.
  • Engage in research services and activities, including contributing to regular hours of support for special collections researchers in collaboration with other librarians. Provide in-depth research consultations and resolve complex reference questions for library patrons.

  • Master’s degree in library and/or information science or equivalent professional experience
  • At least 4 years of work experience with research collections in the visual arts
  • Demonstrated experience or research in the fields of Art and Architectural History
  • Working knowledge of at least one Western European languages


  • Advanced degree in Art History, or equivalent, preferred.
  • Evidence of a strong service orientation and demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty, students, library users, and library colleagues.
  • Expert level experience with arts and humanities databases and other digital research tools.
  • Experience working with the scholarly publishing market and the book trade.
  • Knowledge of trends in scholarly communication and digital scholarship and commitment to principles of open access.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property issues related to art library collections and services.
  • Strong technical skills and an enthusiasm for adopting new technologies and systems that expand access to collections and facilitate their use in research and teaching.
  • Record of engagement with professional groups and activities and/or contributions to professional or scholarly literature.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse library users and colleagues


Position will remain posted until filled, however applications will be reviewed beginning March 30, 2018.

For more information or to apply to the position please visit: Select Administrative / Staff Jobs, then enter 44840BR in the Search Jobs Field.

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