The Art Institute of Chicago shares its singular collections with our city and the world. We collect, care for, and interpret works of art across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, centering the vision of artists and makers. We recognize that all art is made in a particular context, demanding continual, dynamic reconsideration in the present. We are a place of gathering; we foster the exchange of ideas and inspire an expansive, inclusive understanding of human creativity.
MISSION: The Art Institute of Chicago shares its singular collections with our city and the world. We collect, care for, and interpret works of art across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, centering the vision of artists and makers. We recognize that all art is made in a particular context, demanding continual, dynamic reconsideration in the present. We are a place of gathering; we foster the exchange of ideas and inspire an expansive, inclusive understanding of human creativity.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT: A hub for scholarship and training, the Art Institute Research Center brings together the museum’s Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, the Art Institute of Chicago Archives, and the department of Academic Engagement and Research with the aim of fostering engagement and access to the Art Institute of Chicago’s rich educational and research offerings.
The historic Ryerson and Burnham Libraries are among the preeminent art research libraries in the United States. The collection holds more than 600,000 print titles, 100,000 auction catalogs, 200 current serial subscriptions, and extensive digital resources. The Libraries support the museum’s eleven curatorial departments, representing myriad research fields spanning the globe and all time periods. The Libraries are a vital resource for the art research community, faculty and students, artists and architects, as well as scholars and inquisitive public visitors from around the world.
ABOUT THE POSITION: Reporting to the Director and working closely with the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries team, the Associate Library Director, Technical Services, is responsible for planning, organization and management of all technical services functions: acquisitions, cataloging, and bibliographic maintenance. The position directs formation of policy and procedures for Technical Services and oversees the Technical Services team, including hiring, supervision, training and evaluation.
Facilitates Access: Provides patron access to library materials through maintenance of online catalog. Ensures integrity of the catalog (and thus its usefulness) by reviewing cataloging, checking for accuracy, and troubleshooting. Monitors evolving data standards and advises on implementation. Interprets cataloging standards to staff and assures consistency of application. Provides original cataloging of materials in a variety of formats using several different classification systems.
Collection Management: With the Director, manages monograph and serials selection, budget, and vendor relations; approves and posts payments on the library’s ILS. Collaborates with other professional librarians, vendors and curatorial departments on collection development. Maintains authority files for subject and name forms and advises staff on reference sources to establish name forms and syndetic structures. Coordinates the Libraries’ contributions to NACO, a national name authority cooperative project. Keeps up to date with new and emerging descriptive practices and tools.
Team Management: Supervises and evaluates the performance of the Technical Services staff, assigns and directs the work of these staff, using discretion to organize and monitor work processes, resolve operational issues, and implement new procedures. Trains staff to apply cataloging rules and issued rule interpretations. Trains staff to use the bibliographic utility networks and the library’s ILS, proper tagging of data elements, effective searching of the database, etc. Communicates workflow changes to staff, and assesses actions or resources helpful to resolve staff concerns. Reviews applicant materials to fill positions and participates in search committees and interviews for roles in the Libraries and Research Center. Participates actively in the library management team.
Departmental support: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve Research Center goals and manage fundamental on-site operations. Prepares manuals and interpretive memoranda for procedures; collects statistics for reports and planning. Answers patron inquiries, and advises colleagues of cataloging procedures and changes. Maintains clear communication with Research Center leadership about ongoing priorities, goals, and projects. Participates in Research Center and museum-wide committees and task forces.
MLS from an accredited library school, required; experience in special collections or museum library preferred
Demonstrated knowledge of integrated library systems and bibliographic utilities (OCLC, etc.) and cataloging codes (RDA, LCSH, etc.), required
Working, bibliographic knowledge of one or more foreign languages (e.g. French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, or others)
Knowledge of collection development and budget planning
Demonstrated supervisory experience
Strong communication skills and the ability to successfully engage a broad range of internal and external colleagues and stakeholders
Knowledge of art and art history, desirable
The successful candidate should:
be highly detail-oriented and organized,
have the ability to multitask,
have excellent interpersonal communication skills, and
embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution.
Capacity with physical labor minimally required. Handling collection materials comprises approximately 50% of the role, but most of this work is completed at a desk.
Most of the day consists of sitting at a desk and working on a computer; must be able to remain in a stationary position 75% of the time.
Often moves about inside the office, stacks and across various museum spaces to access storage areas, receive and move collection materials, and other related tasks.
Capable of stooping, bending, stretching, lifting up to 50 pounds, and pushing book carts weighing up to 150 pounds in order to receive, process, and perform essential maintenance for physical collection materials.
Often operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as scanners and printers.
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, ability to adjust focus, and the ability to sustain prolonged visual concentration.
We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package:
5+ weeks of paid time off
Paid holidays (up to 14 days)
Medical, dental, and vision insurance
Generous parental, caregiver, and medical leave benefits
Competitive retirement plan (up to 9% matching contribution)
Tuition remission and Tuition Exchange Program
Great employee discounts
Complimentary general admission to participating cultural institutions
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Becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important contribution we as individuals can make to ensure our own safety and the safety of our museum and school community. All employees must complete an attestation and provide proof of their vaccination status, or request a medical or religious exemption within the first week of employment.
The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace. We believe in a staff culture that benefits from a wide range of experience, backgrounds, and career paths, and we encourage nontraditional candidates to apply.
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