Job Posting: Preservation Manager – Boston Public Library (Boston, MA)


The Preservation Manager provides leadership to the development and implementation of the Boston Public Library’s preservation program in support of its world-class collections. Participates in all aspects of collection life-cycle management, including investigation of new strategies and technologies to address the library’s challenges to long-term preservation and access to collections, preparation of guidelines for the general care and handling of library material, and creation and oversight of disaster plans. Responsible for oversight of the Conservation Lab.
Reports to
Head of Special Collections
Professional and support staff
Scope of Responsibility
1. Develops and manages a preservation program for Boston Public Library’s special collections, rare books, archives, and historic art and architectural assets, including materials held in the library’s research collections and in off-site storage locations.
2. Oversees preservation of special collections materials, both in the Conservation Lab and with outside vendors. Develops and manages the programs and activities of the Conservation Lab to support a wide variety of preservation services such as preventive preservation, conservation, exhibition preparation, and book repair.
3. Works closely with Collections Strategy and Facilities Departments to routinely monitor, review, and remediate environmental conditions as they affect collections, including environmental controls, heating and cooling systems, humidity, integrated pest management, collection security, building design, stacks management, and disaster mitigation.
4. Represents the Library for capital and other projects related to the environmental improvements and space planning for collections.
5. Ensures environmental data is collected on a regular basis; analyzes data to inform short and long-term preservation strategies for collections.
6. Creates and implements a new disaster recovery plan for the Library’s collections, coordinates recovery procedures, and develops training programs for library response teams.
7. Evaluates institutional policies and procedures as they apply to preservation and recommends and implements changes as needed.
8. In collaboration with Chief Book Conservator and curators develops preservation goals for collections and sets preservation/conservation priorities.
9. Collaborates with Content Discovery and the Imaging Lab regarding standards and processes related to the preservation, storage, and handling of materials.
10. In collaboration with appropriate staff, develops and implements a staff education and training program for the proper handling of special collections materials.
11. Builds and fosters productive partnerships with peer libraries, other non-profits, and the commercial sector to address preservation challenges.
12. Initiates and maintains appropriate working relationships with staff within the Library and with other libraries, organizations, and agencies.
13. Stays abreast of emerging technologies and assists in evaluating, recommending, and incorporating information technologies and best practices for continued preservation improvements.
14. Commits to keeping current in the best practices of the profession by taking advantage of training and development activities, by reading professional literature, and by participating in professional activities.
15. Represents library at local and national conferences as assigned.
16. Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.
• Experience with a wide range of preservation principles and practices; management principles and techniques; library physical environments, programs, and procedures.
• Knowledge of current preservation strategies and standards for the care, handling and storage of special collections.
• Experience in developing, designing and carrying out condition surveys and assessments.
• Knowledge of deterioration mechanisms of media and their mitigation strategies.
• Interest in current and emerging activities in materials science and scientific research in conservation of modern media.
• Ability to work independently and collegially with a wide range of staff and in team environments.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Demonstrated experience with project management and strong analytical skills and problem solving abilities.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:
1. Education
Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university and a master’s degree in library science or an advanced degree in preservation. In exceptional instances specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for a part or all of the educational requirements.
2. Experience
Demonstrated seven years professional experience with a minimum of five years professional working experience in the preservation of archives and special collections. Two years of supervisory and/or management experience required. Knowledge of current preservation strategies and standards for the care, handling and storage of special collections. Knowledge of current developments within the rare books, archives, special collections, preservation and conservation professions.
3. Requirements

  1. May be required to work non-standard hours in emergency situations.
  2. Ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail as required by the job.
  3. Residency – Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
  4. CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.

Union/Salary Plan – Grade: PSA / P-5
Hours per week: 35

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