Position: Reference Librarian, Head of Collection Services
Location: Howard University School of Law Library
The Talent Acquisition department hires qualified candidates to fill positions which contribute to the overall strategic success of Howard University. Hiring staff “for fit” makes significant contributions to Howard University’s overall mission.
The Reference Librarian, Head of Collection Services & Special Collections oversees the Technical Services (TS) Department at the Law Library in addition to serving as the primary curator for the Law Library Archives, Special Collections, and Rare Books. Because this position oversees multiple areas fundamental to the successful operation of public-facing services in the Law Library, the incumbent coordinates regularly with the Associate Director. Oversight of the TS Department includes assisting staff in acquisitions, serials, and cataloging. In addition, the position collaborates on an as needed basis across departments within the Law Library, Howard University Libraries, and regionally (e.g., WRLC). Responsibilities of the Law Library’s Special Collections include the preservation of books, manuscripts, and personal papers of prominent individuals, and making these materials available to researchers. This position performs at a high degree of responsibility with interpretation of collections, outreach, and advanced reference capacities. Primary contacts include Law Library and Howard University Library staff, researchers and scholars, as well as vendors and suppliers related to library operations and information systems. This position requires the ability to manage expectations, balance competing tasks, troubleshoot, streamline workflows and procedures to maximize efficiency and the effective allocation of resources based on priorities articulated by senior management. This position must ensure an exceptional level of service to Howard Law faculty, students, and staff – as well as the Howard University community more generally.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
Special Collections: Makes collections and the information in or about them available in response to requests; supports researchers and provides advice and consultation to scholars. Uses knowledge of the holdings as well as subject matter expertise to identify and locate germane source materials, explain the background, suggest primary and secondary sources or documents that might be useful to the inquirer, and provide the information requested.
Special Collections: Analyzes the condition of records and recommends preservation treatment to safeguard them from deterioration, damage or destruction, or from impairment of their value through disarrangement or alteration.
Collection Services: Supervises implementation and utilization of various automated library modules in the Technical Services Department. Serves as the system manager and key technical resource for the Law Library operating database system (e.g., Alma) including all relevant modules. Evaluates workflows, policies, and procedures. Recommends and implements revisions as needed. Troubleshoots and problem solves in collaboration with staff and colleagues both within and outside of the Law Library.
Collection Services: Responsible for day to day management of the Technical Services Department (e.g., supervision; training; assisting staff in acquisitions, serials processing, cataloging, and mail services). Supervises all employees assigned to the full spectrum of technical services operations and information systems in the Law Library.
Education: Master’s in Library Science (or equivalent) from an ALA-accredited institution; Juris Doctor (or equivalent) from an ABA-accredited law school preferred
Experience: 3-5+ years of relevant experience
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
Ability to work effectively and creatively with an active, diverse, research-oriented faculty, student body, and staff
Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Ability to work collaboratively, adapt to and lead direct reports through change
Model positive, solutions-driven responses to challenges • Ability to exercise sound judgment
The ability to establish and maintain effective and collaborative working relationships both inside and outside the Law Library
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Experience drafting, updating, and communicating procedures and policies
Ability to assess services, collect statistics, and prepare reports for internal and external use
Project management skills (e.g., set priorities, manage time, manage expectations, communicate in a clear and efficient manner)
Substantial knowledge of legal databases
Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Desire and enthusiasm to excel
Strong service orientation
Familiarity with ILS systems and integration with other resource sharing systems
Knowledge of and interest in current and emerging information technologies Howard University
Knowledge of or willingness to learn the principles, concepts, and techniques of professional archival work
Knowledge of or willingness to develop the ability to organize and analyze historical information and materials
The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, marital status, religion, disability or protected veterans status. Veterans and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Inquiries regarding provisions for persons with disabilities or veterans status, Equal Employment Opportunity and Title IX should be directed to the Office of Employee Relations and Equal Employment Opportunity at 202-806-1280.