The Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN) is currently seeking to fill a Curator of
Books position for its research library, which holds an extensive collection
of historical materials relating to the history of electricity, magnetism, and
medicine. Similar to a "lone arranger" in a small archive setting, this
special collections professional will have responsibilities for all aspects of
the library, including onsite and offsite patron assistance, acquisitions and
cataloging, preservation, exhibits, and outreach, and should have demonstrated
knowledge and experience in a broad array of library work. This will be a
part-time, 24- hour per week position. The starting wage will be between $18
and $23 per hour, commensurate with the qualifications of the selected
individual. If you are interested in the position, please e-mail a resume or
Curriculum Vitae and cover letter to [log in to unmask] Applications
will be accepted until January 15, 2013.
The Bakken Museum is dedicated to exploring the history and science of
electricity and magnetism. Housed in a beautiful 1930s mansion on the western
side of Lake Calhoun, the museum features exhibits and activities for children
and families and an education center that offers top quality hands-on programs
for students and teachers. The Bakken's library holds one of the world's
leading research collections of books and artifacts on the history of
electricity, magnetism, and related aspects of medicine and the life sciences.
The collection includes approximately 11,000 books, journals, and manuscripts
dating from the 13th to the 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the 18th,
19th, and early-20th centuries. Subjects include early physics (natural
philosophy) anatomy, physiology and neurology; and electrotherapeutics,
electrophysiology, and their accompanying instrumentation. Significant
holdings include many of the writings of Hauksbee, Nollet, Franklin, Mesmer,
Galvani, Volta, Matteucci, Du Bois-Reymond, Marey, and Einthoven, to name some
of the most well-known, as well as extensive or complete runs of the
Philosophical Transactions and the Proceedings of the Royal Society, the
Journal de Physique, the Philosophical Magazine, the Annalen der Physik, and
other important, often scarce, early journals. The library possesses a fine
collection of primary sources in mesmerism, animal magnetism, and hypnotism,
as well as early works of parapsychology, psychical research, phrenology,
acupuncture, and medicinal herbs. Also of interest to researchers are
collections of 19th and early 20th century medical and electro-medical
ephemera (about 400 advertisements, programs, postcards, broadsides,
circulars, and pamphlets) and miscellaneous scientists' letters from the 18th-
Curator of Books
Position Summary Statement
The Curator of Books manages The Bakken library (including ephemera, journals,
AV materials, and other documents) by providing accessibility to researchers
and other patrons, establishing bibliographic controls, ensuring the security
and preservation of the collection, acquiring books and other documents, and
promoting the library to potential patrons and supporters.
Position Duties and Responsibilities
- Identifies appropriate items for acquisition in accordance with collection policies, and acquires them for the library collection. Tracks acquisitions budget and maintains timely and accurate accessions records.
- Catalogues library works in accordance with current professional library standards and procedures.
- Develops and implements policies and practices for collection security and for the physical handling of documents.
- Monitors condition of collection items and arranges for repairs and conservation work.
- Monitors environmental conditions of vault and reading room and works with other members of the collection and facilities staffs to maintain vault conditions at acceptable conservation standards. Assists exhibits staff with monitoring and maintaining condition of library items in exhibitions.
- Assists library users by acquainting them with library policy and document-handling practices; provides reference assistance and bibliographic instruction, provides copies, scans, or other materials or information when requested; pages and re-shelves vault books.
- Answers reference queries from off-site users. Handles requests for permission to publish images from the image collection and develops and updates policies on production charges and permissions fees.
- Coordinates the Visiting Research Fellowships and Research Travel Grants program.
- Approves and executes all library loans for exhibition purposes.
- Plans and executes occasional seminars, workshops, exhibits and web-exhibits of library materials, and contributes as needed to other museum exhibits.
- Manages digitization and access projects, as needed. Maintains library-specific pages on the museum website.
- Serve as an ambassador for the library within the museum, to the Board of Directors, and to external constituents. Cultivates beneficial relationships with antiquarian dealers, donors, and potential donors.
Organizational Relationships and Contacts
- Reports to Chief Curator. Member of the acquisitions and collections committees; works with exhibits team staff.
- Manages volunteers and interns working on library-specific projects.
- Maintains contact and correspondence with book dealers, library users, conservation professionals, Minitex, and other librarians and curators.
Required Professional Qualification and Experience
- B.A. (liberal arts, science, or history).
- MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA (or equivalent)-accredited program.
- Minimum one year professional experience as a librarian/curator working with rare printed materials in a research collection; cataloging experience including the application of AACR2 standards and use of network-based bibliographic utilities (preferably OCLC); knowledge of changing standards (RDA, FRBR) and new directions in cataloging and information management.
- Familiarity with one or two modern European languages, preferably French and/or German.
- Excellent reading, research, writing, and organizing skills.
- Ability to lift 20 pounds.
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