Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Head of Access Services

Duties & Responsibilities:

The Harvard Library seeks a creative and forward-thinking professional to serve on the Library's senior leadership team in the new position of Head of Access Services, with responsibility for shaping the strategic direction for the storage, circulation, and collaborative lending and borrowing for the Harvard Library collection.

This position represents a key opportunity to champion an integrated collection philosophy across Harvard University and to lead, shape, and oversee the work of staff engaged in providing access to research resources in many formats for the Harvard Library community.

Reporting to the Associate Director for Library Services, this role provides the day to day management of and optimizes the operational effectiveness and costs of materials delivery, circulation and storage throughout the Harvard Library.

Develop a library-wide strategic direction for evolving local and offsite storage systems in the light of developing information technologies, increased digitization of materials and collaborative lending and borrowing arrangements with peers.

Align the Harvard Library's different collection storage, circulation and collaborative lending and borrowing functions and hold lead responsibility for the enhancement and strategic development of programs and services that meet constituent needs across the University.

Bring a demonstrated knowledge of and affinity for IT services and play a proactive role in managing, streamlining, and updating Harvard's integrated library system (ILS), OPAC, and web-based patron services.

Provide oversight for the Harvard Depository, which is the University's current offsite, high-density storage facility and which provides timely and reliable services to the Harvard libraries and other customers. HD is equipped with 1.3 million linear feet of shelving specifically designed to accommodate books, records, microforms, and other media.

Demonstrate accountability and creativity in building strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders and foster an environment of innovation and continuous improvement.

Contribute to Library-wide planning, budget allocation, and to all initiatives that advance the Library's evolution
as the preeminent research library of the 21st century.

Foster fresh thinking on contemporary topics across the Harvard Library to identify and implement new business and funding models for library storage facilities, including collaborative approaches, within the library system.

Note: For the complete text of this job description please visit:

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree required with an ALA-accredited master's degree in Library Science or a minimum of ten years experience with eight years directly related and progressively responsible experience leading professional programs in project, production or operations pertaining to collection storage, circulation, and collaborative lending and borrowing strategies
  • Experience managing complex budgets and financial planning and analysis

Additional Qualifications:

  • Ability to identify strategic priorities and lead preferably with experience from within a large academic research library with working knowledge of academic institutions and ability to respond to faculty expectations, academic calendars, and varied planning cycles
  • Demonstrated leadership and expertise leading a variety of collection management and circulation approaches and technologies (e.g., data storage, data collection, data reporting, analyses, electronic document delivery, and library management systems)
  • Previous warehouse management systems expertise, including experience with locator software applications, logistics, and space management skills
  • Working knowledge of academic institutions and ability to respond to faculty expectations, academic calendars, and varied planning cycles
  • Ability to monitor multiple projects that serve a range of clients
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively influence, persuade and promote the organization's work internally and externally

Additional Information:

The Harvard Library

By setting a fresh course for the Harvard Library, the University seeks to build a flagship research library that is positioned to excel in the rapidly evolving, 21st century information environment. On the basis of an extensive, 18-month library review, Harvard will restructure the organization, governance, and funding of its University library system to better serve the changing needs of students, faculty, and researchers. The Harvard Library will support excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and scholarship by attracting and developing a community of talented professionals who can actively shape the cultivation of knowledge and the development of pedagogy within the University and throughout the broader scholarly community. The new Harvard Library structure will:

  • maximize strategic capacity in the library system as a whole;
  • harmonize library management and business processes;
  • facilitate enhancements in collections and services;
  • create a culture of continuous improvement and innovation; and
  • preserve appropriate local autonomy in establishing collecting priorities and patron service levels.

The University

Founded in 1636, Harvard University is preeminent among the world's research universities. Harvard has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 6,600 undergraduate students, over 14,000 graduate students, and an additional 2,000 part-time students. Over 16,000 people work at Harvard, including approximately 2,100 faculty members. An additional 10,000 individuals have faculty appointments in Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals.

Designated a university in 1780, Harvard includes 12 colleges and schools. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences-comprising Harvard College, the School for Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Continuing Education-is the oldest and largest of the Harvard faculties. The University's world-renowned graduate and professional schools include Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School (including the School of Dental Medicine), the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

In the course of 375 years, Harvard's Library has grown from a single collection of 400 volumes to a 73-unit library system whose holdings include nearly 17 million volumes, more than 21 million digital files, 10 million microforms, 8 million photographs, an estimated 400 million manuscript items.

Competencies for Success

Select behaviors and attributes will be critical for the success of the chosen candidate. Competencies for this role and for other leaders in the Harvard Library include a strong strategic sense, a commitment to creativity, innovation and continuous improvement along with a willingness to hold oneself and one's staff accountable for producing results.

How to Apply:

Qualified candidates may apply online at, Please refer to req 23515BR.

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