The Map Librarian is part of a dynamic team that moves forward initiatives and services in the areas of Exhibitions, Education, Collections, Gallery Management, Web Initiatives, Geospatial & Digital Technologies, and Reference & Research. The team’s overall goal is to create opportunities for the public to inspire learning about and through maps, and to support education programs among K-12 schoolchildren and teachers, including implementing activities within and outside the Boston Public Library, and on leventhalmap.org.
The team includes two Map Librarians both dually reporting to the Curator of Maps (solid line) and Director of Education (dotted line). Other members of the team are a Map Metadata Librarian (reporting to the Curator of Maps) and an Education Coordinator (reporting to the Director of Education). Projects will be assigned and responsibilities rotated based on organizational priorities and team members’ skills, interests, and time availability.
1. Create and install exhibitions. Typically, the two Map Librarians will each create one of the two gallery exhibitions per year, enabling them each to spend a full year (overlapping each other) researching the topic, creating and designing the exhibition, leading the installation team, and helping to deliver programming on the exhibition’s theme.
2. Collaborate on developing and delivering associated public and K-12 programming.
3. Help develop partnerships and implement exhibitions beyond the Map Center gallery.
4. Assist with major exhibitions as needed.
5. Manage all aspects of gallery including and not limited to supervision of Gallery Attendants, physical maintenance of gallery, interfacing with Boston Public Library facilities and labor staff, visitor management, and collection and analysis of visitor feedback.
1. Create public programming, in collaboration with the Director of Education and Curator. In the past this has included expert and author talks, panels, Carto DB classes, georeferencing classes, digital collections workshops, and Boston Map Society gatherings.
2. Assist the Director of Education in creating K-12 and higher education learning opportunities for students and teachers, including hands-on teaching of workshops.
1. Manage conservation and collection management projects under Curator’s supervision.
2. Compile lists of materials that are being sent to outside conservators and Boston Public Library Digital Lab.
3. Make general assessments of conservation needs according to pre-defined categories; and arrange for the transportation of these materials to the digital lab or outside conservators.
4. Develop and oversee collections relocations, relabeling and inventory projects to be performed by Gallery Attendants and interns.
5. Advise Curator and perform research concerning potential acquisitions.
1. Serve as Map Center lead for innovative strategies for the digital collections and informational website, working in tandem with the Boston Public Library web and IT services staff, and with the Map Metadata Librarian.
2. Manage and build on ongoing web strategies, including the map portal, digital collections, and digital partners.
3. Manage social media, including curating content from others, generating content, and analyzing results.
4. Track and report on website analytics.
Geospatial & Digital Technologies
1. Lead in applying digital, geospatial and related technologies to exhibitions, educational programs, reference services, and collections.
2. Train co-op students and volunteers in georeferencing maps for use on the web, use GIS technologies to prepare custom-designed maps for exhibitions and other educational programs, manage interactive touch screen projects.
3. Coordinate the training of Leventhal Map Center staff in specialized geospatial, digital, and other technologies of the field.
Reference and Research
Map Librarians will assist the Metadata Map Librarian and Curator of Maps in providing reference and research services as needed, including:
1. Provide cartographic and geographic reference and research assistance to library patrons, using a wide variety of print and electronic resources.
2. Develop and design online Lib Guides.
3. Oversee or perform the pulling and refiling of maps and atlases for Library patrons.
4. Monitor Rare Maps Reading Room patrons while they are examining materials.
5. Collect and compile Leventhal Map Center’s reference and other use statistics including circulation and web analytics.
1. Serve as internal specialist and provide advice to staff and library administration in the topic areas of the current and past exhibitions, and in the fields of digital and geospatial map technologies.
2. Represent the Leventhal Map Center in the history, geography, geospatial, cartography, museums, and related fields through publishing papers, giving presentations, and attending conferences. Cooperate with scholars and institutions to maximize use and expand the appreciation of Leventhal Map Center resources in the greater community.
3. Maintain professional contacts, attend and present at conferences, and keep up-to-date with the field.
1. Work with and support the Board of Review and the IT Subcommittee, a group of academics, curators, collectors, and other cartographic experts from the field who advise the Leventhal Map Center.
2. Liaise with the Boston Public Library as needed, particularly exhibitions, collections, preservation, and facilities staff.
3. Coordinate and collaborate with institutional advancement efforts including engaging with prospective funders and finding opportunities to match their giving interests with the Leventhal Map Center’s work.
4. Perform other tasks and duties as assigned.
• Education: Bachelor’s degree required. Major in history or geography preferred. Master’s degree in Library Science strongly preferred.
• Education or equivalent experience: Developing and mounting exhibitions. Archival and special collections handling. Digital and geospatial technologies, including experience with digitized maps, georeferencing, cartographic software, and knowledge of digital humanities.
o Reference experience required.
o Experience using online bibliographic databases, such as WorldCat, JSTOR, OAlster, etc.
o Familiarity with searching for cartographic items using a variety of digital map collections, such as Library of Congress, Old Maps Online, David Rumsey Map Collection, and OpenGeoPortal.
o Training and experience in using georeferencing and Geographic Information System software.
o Proficiency working with digital imagery in programs such as Adobe Photoshop.
o Proficiency with Microsoft Office Programs (Word, Access, Power Point, Excel).
• Additional Requirements: Will often work with old maps and atlases that are dirty, fragile and in need of conservation treatment. Will need to be physically capable of lifting 25 lb. objects over head, handling full oversize (36” x 48”) folders, and pushing 40 lb book cart.
• Additional Information: Successful applicants will be able to recognize various map types (topographic maps, coastal charts, town plans, bird’s eye views, county landownership maps), cartographic publishing styles (woodcut, engraving, lithograph), and bibliographic elements (such as cartographer, engraver, publisher).
• Working knowledge of local (Boston and Massachusetts), United States and world history as well as geography; excellent map reading skills.
• Willingness to use and foster a variety of approaches to create enthusiasm and support for maps in widely varying constituencies.
• Interest in modern library technical services from digitization, repositories, cataloging and web services with a geospatial twist.
• Familiarity with new uses of georeferenced materials in federated collections and digital humanities applications.
• Initiative in generating new ideas and proven ability to improve existing work flows, techniques
• Flexibility and enthusiasm to work in a dynamic team-based environment.
• Effective interpersonally with the ability to work well and foster productive relationships with public of all age groups, library community, map community and partners.
• Ability to interpret and execute Boston Public Library policy, understanding and interest in the development of Library resources and services, including the ability to help define the role of the Leventhal Map Center within the Boston Public Library.
• Superior oral and written communication, proofreading, and presentation skills.
• Ability to work with various world languages (such as Latin, French, Spanish, or German) represented in the collections.
• High degree of personal integrity, professional demeanor, tact, good judgment, dependability, and a commitment to values that support the Leventhal Map Center’s mission to foster initiative, integrity and excellence in an environment of collaboration, collegiality, civility, and responsible stewardship.
We welcome qualified candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds including history, geography, historical cartography, geospatial technologies, and digital humanities to apply for the positon.
City of Boston residency is not required. The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is an equal opportunity employer.
Please submit cover letter and resume by email to email@example.com. Please begin subject line with “Map Librarian, Last name, First name”.
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
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