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Acquisitions Manager

  • Post Date:August 30, 2019
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    Employer Name Harvard University
Job Description


Harvard University

Acquisitions Manager
Harvard Library

Job Code
386058 Library Manager

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Information and Technical Services (ITS) actively supports theteaching and research mission of the Harvard Library by managingmonograph, serial and e-resource acquisitions, metadata creation,and metadata management for the Harvard Library.

As a member of the Acquisitions Section under the supervision ofthe Head of Acquisitions, and as a member of the ITS managementteam, the incumbent facilitates timely access to Harvard Librarycollections by managing the one of four units within theAcquisitions Section, a unit that performs a variety ofacquisitions and copy cataloging duties for monographs in multiplelanguages and formats. While working closely with Library Directorsand Collection Development Colleagues, the incumbent also workscollaboratively with other ITS managers to develop department-widestrategic and operational plans, policies, and best practices fortechnical services in the Harvard Library. In addition, the managerprovides the leadership and supervision necessary for successfulchange management and staff retraining.

Priorities will be set to maximize contributions to the overallgoals of the Information and Technical Services Department of theHarvard Library. Staff may be called upon to apply their skillsand/or receive additional training in order to contribute to workin other ITS units or teams as occasional, short-term needs occur.

This position is located in the Central Square area of Cambridge,MA.

Duties and Responsibilities

Management and Supervision

  • Manages one of four units within the Acquisitions Section:
  • Hires, trains, and supervises 10-12 staff; oversees division ofworkflow; establishes goals, priorities and benchmarks; and managesperformance
  • Oversees a unit that receives materials primarily from North,Central and South America, and Western Europe
  • Monitors and improves workflow; monitors productivity and qualitystandards for the unit
  • Fosters open communication within the unit by holding regular unitmeetings as well as one-on-one meetings with staff, documentingdecisions and discussions when appropriate, and sharing informationon behalf of the larger organization to foster staffengagement
  • Collaborates with the Unit’s Functional Coordinator to developroutines and communicate and implement policies andprocedures.
  • Advises the Unit’s Functional Coordinator in prioritizing work forthe unit and works closely with the Functional Coordinator toaddress unresolved issues
  • Works with members of the Metadata Management and Metadata Creationsections on vendor services such as MARC records, order loads, andEDI invoicing
  • Works closely with the Metadata Creation and Shelf Preparationmanagers to ensure streamlined procedures and optimal use of staffskills and strengths across sections
  • Partners with Collection Development colleagues to ensure effectivecommunication, negotiate shared departmental dependencies, and tomake adjustments to procedures where necessary
  • Works with members of the ITS management team to serve as a mainresource to other departments for their primary functional area andas a secondary resource for general ITS questions
  • As a member of a strong, collaborative management team, providesback-up to other managers throughout ITS with regard to staffoversight and functional information and expertise
  • Acts as a Liaison between Unit members and Senior Leadership,advocating for needs of the unit members, and passing alongrelevant information
  • Periodically participates in performing non-managerial work withinthe unit in order to evaluate workflows and to build the expertisenecessary to answer staff questions

    *See Additional Information section for a continued list of dutiesand responsibilities.

Basic Qualifications

  • MLS from ALA accredited school or equivalent education and/orprofessional work experience
  • A minimum of four years of professional experience in alibrary
  • A minimum of three years of staff supervision and performancemanagement experience
  • Knowledge of Monograph acquisitions functions within anacademic library setting
  • Working knowledge of one or more foreign languages representedwithin the processing streams of the unit

Additional Qualifications

  • Familiarity with vendor databases or tools such as Gobi highlydesirable

  • Experience with analyzing and creating procedures such asservice standards, policies, procedures and workflows

  • Ability to manage competing priorities with a positive,constructive, flexible, and cooperative manner

  • Demonstrated success in training, staff development, andperformance management

  • Experience with ExLibris’ Library services platforms, such asAleph, Alma and Primo, preferred

  • Experience with financial analysis and project managementpreferred

  • Working knowledge of additional foreign languages representedwithin the processing streams of the unit desirable

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and maintain aprofessional demeanor when assisting colleagues with problems

  • Advanced written communication and teaching skills

  • Demonstrated facility with technology, including significantexperience with integrated library systems and bibliographicutilities, and a working knowledge of Microsoft Officeapplications

  • Demonstrated commitment to maintaining a supportive workenvironment that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion forall

  • Ability to use technology in creative ways to solve problems orfacilitate workflow

  • Must have excellent organizational, interpersonal, strongproblem-solving and analytical skills, customer serviceorientation, initiative and flexibility to adapt to changing dailyand strategic priorities

  • Ability to exhibit strong initiative

  • Ability to prioritize and meet project deadlines

  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a teamenvironment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving worksituation required

  • Ability to work independently to perform complex tasks

  • Commitment to be part of a continuous learning environment,updating skills as required to perform job duties

Diversity & Inclusion at the HarvardLibrary

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diversecampus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities,experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving HarvardUniversity’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, andlearning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. Webelieve that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotesunderstanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverseworkforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences andabilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members.Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answersto intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutionsto the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we notonly reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection,experimentation, and discovery connecting users to relateddisciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Libraryengages users through curated discovery, digital collections,reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today,Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collectionsto rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Libraryprovides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-nowand in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensiveaccess to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise byvisiting us at andabout the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College& Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Additional Information

Although the position will remain posted until filled.Applications will be considered beginning, September 27,2019.

Duties and Responsibilities continued:

  • Creates an environment that supports staff professionaldevelopment, encourages staff growth and advocates for resources asneeded to position the staff for success
  • Models professional behavior in the workplace at all times throughverbal and non-verbal communication; relates to others in arespectful and collegial manner
  • Maintains the privacy of patron records and protects highrisk/confidential information contained in Universityrecords
  • Shares responsibility with other ITS managers to support a safe andhealthy work environment including communicating issues that affectthe work facility with ITS staff and operations staff

Operations and Service Delivery

  • Establishes effective, timely and standardized work processes,policies and best practices in coordination with ITS seniorleadership, ITS management peers, Shared Services and librarycolleagues, and other appropriate staff in order to providehigh-quality and responsive service to library users
  • Optimizes workflow to reduce processing time, backlogs, andmanual/local data entry whenever possible
  • Reviews and stays current with vendor service offerings andevaluates their value to the Harvard Library organization; makesproposals as appropriate for experimentation and adoption
  • Develops innovative methods to improve efficiency and productivityof the unit, introducing automation to reduce repetitive activitieswhile ensuring ongoing quality control and adherence to agreed-uponwork standards
  • Introduces ideas, plans appropriate communication and training, andensures effective documentation is in place to implement changes intechnical services policies and procedures
  • Develops and directs special projects and initiatives
  • Establishes strong relationships with the campus libraries toensure continuing relevance of services that meet their needs;collaborates with library colleagues to develop sustainableservices within achievable service expectations
  • Collects and reports data concerning unit activity

Strategic Planning and Leadership

  • Promotes and participates in campus collaborations that informtechnical services through active engagement with colleagues andinitiatives across the Harvard Library system
  • Demonstrates accountability and creativity in building strongrelationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • May represent the Harvard Library in committees and associationsbeyond Harvard to offer leadership and contributions to theresearch library community and the library profession
  • Participates in departmental and unit-level strategic planning inconsultation with other ITS managers and staff

Job Function

Sub Unit

USA – MA – Cambridge

Harvard Library – Information and Technical Services, Acquisitions

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicantswill receive consideration for employment without regard to race,color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protectedveteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy andpregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protectedby law.

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