The Boston Public Library’s Arts
Department houses hundreds of thousands of important works of art and visual
materials (prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs, and paintings), original
music and performing arts collections, sculpture, and architectural plans and
drawings. Holdings also include significant research and reference materials
relating to the arts, decoration, art history, architectural history, design,
and music theory including monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction records,
periodicals, scores, ephemera, and catalogues raisonnes.
The Manager of the Arts is responsible
for stewardship and management of the diverse collections, services, programs,
and administration of the Arts Department; promoting the use, discovery, care,
and servicing of these collections; oversight of specialized and complex
reference services; and development of these collections in support of the
library’s collecting strategy and mission.
Head of Special Collections
Professional and support staff
Scope of Responsibility
1. Plans and manages the services, operations, and
staff of the Arts Department in the Central Library. Assumes responsibility for supervising,
developing, scheduling, and evaluating staff. Actively encourages the
participation of each staff member in the ongoing commitment to serving the
public and creating a positive user experience. Builds a learning environment
in the team. Reviews and evaluates training needs for staff within the team and
assigns staff to attend trainings as needed.
2. Oversees the day-to-day operations of the Arts
3. Actively promotes and supports the use of the
Arts Department collections. Works collaboratively to provide reference, research,
outreach, interpretation, and instructional services in the Central Library
including planning and implementation of new services, and evaluation of
4. Works with the curators, Collections and Content
Discovery teams to develop and implement procedures, standards, workflows, and
best practices for making the collection accessible through collection analysis
and management, selection, organization, description, and cataloging.
5. In collaboration with the curators, Collections,
and Preservation teams, contributes to the development and implementation of
policies, procedures, standards, workflows, and best practices for
environmental controls, storage, security, housing, and handling of Arts
6. In collaboration with curators and the Content
Discovery team, establishes digitization priorities for prints and arts
collections and designs and implements project plans to address those
7. Performs very difficult and complex
reference and research services in person, by appointment, on the phone and by
correspondence by responding to requests for information and answering such
requests by using informational resources in all formats.
8. Contributes to the development of the collections
through an understanding of the collection’s strengths, their use, scholarly
trends, and the identification and pursuit of particular collecting
9. In collaboration with curators, oversees the
selection, evaluation, and maintenance of materials within established
collecting areas and in alignment with the Library’s Collection Development
Policy. This includes assisting with purchasing decisions, suggesting areas for
future growth, and reviewing donations and gift proposals. Contributes to
cultivation and stewardship of prospective donors and identification of
potential collections for acquisition.
10. Oversees acquisition budget and trust funds for
all subjects that fall within the team’s area of responsibility.
11. Contributes as appropriate to the development of
grant narratives, work plans, and budgets.
12. Participates in the development and
implementation of innovative online services that connect library users with the
Arts collections, lowers hurdles to access for researchers, and facilitates the
sharing of knowledge among users. Develops subject related content for the
13. Provides leadership in the development and
presentation of outreach and programming activities to promote use of the Arts
Department collections and services.
14. Alternates with other staff members in
supervising a public reading room in such a way as to maintain an atmosphere
conducive to research while responsibly preserving and protecting materials.
15. Provides instruction to the public on a variety
of topics, including the use of library resources that support the use of
collections and services in the Arts collections. Works with Community Learning
teams to develop and implement subject-related instruction based on user need.
16. Assumes responsibility for collecting and
analyzing data on Arts collection usage and recommending most appropriate
location based on remote storage best practices.
17. Takes a leadership role in building
library-wide collaborative approaches to meet service needs by actively
engaging in outreach with colleagues throughout the library system. Develops
and promotes cross-departmental and cross-institutional collaboration needed to
promote deeper connections and understanding of user needs, collection
strengths, and staff expertise.
18. 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
19. Represents library at local and national
20. Performs other related and comparable duties as
? Deep expertise in one or more of the Arts content
areas. Broad knowledge of best practices in library work with all formats,
including familiarity with pertinent professional literature and preservation
? Successfully demonstrated leadership experience
within a library, museum or other similar cultural heritage institution, with
substantial supervisory experience and fiscal responsibility.
? Ability to identify, plan, and prioritize job
responsibilities and tasks and determine and implement project timelines.
? Demonstrated ability to engage staff and external
constituencies in the collaborative planning, coordination, and execution of
new services or programs.
? Ability to execute library policy.
? Ability to demonstrate vision, strategic
thinking, initiative, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability; and
willingness to embrace change.
? Ability to recognize and set priorities and to
use initiative and independent decision-making skills.
? Proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Word,
PowerPoint, and Excel.
? Ability to work collaboratively and proactively
with various advisory groups and levels of staff in a team environment.
? Ability to work independently and to initiate
proposals for implementation.
? Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral
? Strong familiarity with technology and
information literacy principles, standards, and modes of teaching.
? Willingness and proven ability to work
successfully with customers both internal and external; professional demeanor.
? Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
1. Education – Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or
university and a master’s degree in library and information science from an
accredited library school. A second master’s degree in an arts related field,
or advanced coursework that would increase the knowledge of arts materials is
highly preferred. Pertinent subject knowledge and/or specialized training
required. In exceptional instances specialized education, training, and/or
experience may be substituted for a part or all of the educational
2. Experience – Seven years relevant experience from a
library, museum, or other similar cultural heritage institution. Two years
supervisory and/or management experience required.
3. Requirements–Technology skills appropriate to perform the
duties of the job. Work some evenings
and weekend hours. Excellent public
4. Residency– Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon
the first day of hire.
5. CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders
Record Information check with the City of Boston.