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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Librarian-Archival Arrangem't & Description, NYU (NY)

Librarian for Archival Arrangement and Description, New York University Libraries


New York University Libraries seek a creative and collaborative Librarian for Archival Arrangement and Description to oversee its archival processing and description program. The position is based in the Archival Collections Management Department (ACM) of Knowledge Access and Resource Management Services (KARMS). Reporting to the Head of ACM and in close collaboration with the Accessioning Archivist and Digital Archivist, this position will play a leadership role in the newly formed ACM department, a unified technical services department supporting NYU’s three archival repositories: Fales Library, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and New York University Archives.

The position will help to reshape the way NYU Special Collections arrange, describe, manage, provide access to, and facilitate discovery of NYU’s rich archival collections in support of research, teaching, and learning in the libraries. The successful candidate will be committed to providing excellent support to our researchers by leading the Special Collections Processing Team, overseeing the processing and description work of three FTE professionals, grant-funded and project-based staff,  and multiple student workers; directing the ongoing application of thoughtful archival arrangement and descriptive practices; contributing to policies, procedures, and workflows for productive and efficient processes;  performing hands-on collections processing as needed; ensuring a user-centered, access-driven approach in all arrangement and description work;  and seeking out opportunities for innovation in all of these endeavors.  This position will also closely collaborate with other librarians and archivists throughout the Division, especially colleagues in Special Collections and the Preservation Department.  Librarians are expected to serve as partners in the educational mission of NYU by establishing strong relationships with faculty and students and providing responsive and innovative information services.


Under the general supervision of the Head of Archival Collections Management, the successful candidate will:

Oversee the arrangement and description program, including supervising all archival arrangement and description work in the unit by professional, project and student staff; setting policy and best practices for processing and descriptive work; developing program goals and metrics to evaluate work; developing processing plans; and helping to plan and prioritize large-scale processing projects.  

Arrange or oversee arrangement of archival records in accordance with accepted archival standards. Describe or oversee description of archival collections according to archival standards in the collections management database (Archivists’ Toolkit / ArchivesSpace) and publish EAD-encoded finding aids on the web. Aid in creation and be responsible for maintenance of documentation and policies for arrangement and description.

As a member of the senior staff and in close collaboration with the Head of ACM and the Accessioning Archivist, assist in implementing professional standards and best practices and setting priorities for collection management, processing, description, digitization, and discovery. Collaborate with Curators and Special Collections Public Services colleagues to ensure that descriptive tools and products are responsive to research needs and priorities.  Participate in general planning and policy development in the support of ACM strategic directions; assist in project development for fundraising activities as appropriate; plan and manage specific library projects.

Collaborate with the Digital Archivist to develop tools and workflows for the arrangement and description of born-digital materials and in the ongoing administration of and workflow for imaging and ingest of born-digital materials within existing collection holdings. In collaboration with colleagues from the department of Knowledge Access Design & Development, coordinate strategies and workflows for integrating EAD records into NYU’s primary discovery portal.

Collaborate with colleagues in the Preservation Department to ensure proper handling and housing methods for archival collections and the integration of good preservation assessment practice within the processing program. Identify preservation needs and priorities for materials in all formats during processing work and consult with Conservator for recommendations on treatment.

Participate in unit-wide meetings and planning; contribute to department reference services by providing reference assistance in person and remotely; serve on relevant library-wide committees. Actively contribute to the profession through professional service, research and publication.


Minimum one graduate degree (master’s level or higher) required for consideration.  A second graduate degree will be required to obtain tenure. One of the two graduate degrees must be an ALA-accredited MLS or equivalent.

Five or more years of professional experience in archival arrangement and description, preferably within an archive or special collections in an academic or research library.  At least 3 years successful supervisory experience required. Significant experience providing reference and research support to archival and special collections users is highly desirable.

Demonstrated proficiency in archival theory and practice, especially accessioning, processing and description, including minimal and basic processing strategies.  Demonstrated experience as lead processor on large-scale and/or complex processing projects, managing multiple processors, setting and meeting goals, and developing metrics to measure progress throughout a project. Familiarity with current approaches to accessioning and processing and description of born-digital holdings preferred.

Demonstrated knowledge of current national data content and structure standards related to the archival control of collection materials and  proficiency in the use and application of DACS, EAD, MARC, LCSH, LCNA; strong working knowledge of EAD and XML, including experience with XML schemas and the use of XML editors and the manipulation of metadata across systems and platforms. Demonstrated proficiency in the use, maintenance, and support of automated archival collections management systems (Archivist’s Toolkit and its successor ArchivesSpace).

Knowledge of basic preservation and conservation issues as they relate to archival collections. Knowledge of rights administration and management issues for archival collections.

Superior written and verbal communication skills; excellent analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills; excellent interpersonal  skills and experience working collaboratively with varied groups within a complex organization and team environment. Flexibility and the capacity to thrive in a rapidly changing environment. Great attention to detail; demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks and complete projects in a timely manner.

New York University Libraries:

Libraries at New York University serve the school’s 40,000 students and faculty and contain more than 5 million volumes. The Libraries supports NYU’s vision to become the first true Global Network University by collaborating and providing services to our 11 global academic centers and “portal campuses” in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.   New York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the OCLC Research Library Partnership, and the HathiTrust. The Libraries participates in a variety of consortia and collaborates closely with Columbia University Libraries and the New York Public Library through the Manhattan Research Library Consortium. For the NYU Libraries Mission and Strategic Plan go to  

Knowledge Access and Resource Management Services facilitates the teaching, learning, and research endeavors of the Libraries’ user communities through processes and services in program areas that include library acquisitions, serials and electronic resource management, knowledge access design and development, archival collections management, and metadata production and management. In collaboration with our colleagues in Collections and Research Services, Public Services, Libraries IT Services, and Digital Library Technology Services, KARMS has primary leadership responsibility for knowledge access via the Libraries’ dynamic, integrated discovery and access systems. In addition to serving NYU’s central libraries, institute libraries, and global sites, KARMS provides selected services to Research Library Association of South Manhattan member libraries and other affiliated libraries.


Faculty status and attractive benefits package including tuition remission and generous time off. Salary commensurate with experience and background.

To Apply:

To ensure consideration, send resume and letter of application, including the name, address and telephone number of three references to: Enrique Yanez, Director, Human Resources, New York University Libraries, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012 or via email to

NYU’s Division of Libraries embraces diversity and is committed to attracting qualified candidates who also embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.

NYU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.