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Serials Acquisitions and Management Assistant, Harvard University (Cambridge)

Harvard University

Serials Acquisitions and Management Assistant
Harvard Library

Job Summary

Information and Technical Services actively supports the teaching and research mission of the Harvard Library by managing monograph, serials and e-resource acquisitions, metadata creation, and metadata management for the Harvard Library.

This position will work as part of the Serials Acquisitions and Management group, as well as the Electronic Resources group. The incumbent will provide timely access to Harvard Library collections by ordering, claiming, receiving, paying, and resolving problems for physical and electronic materials. Incumbent will work with serials acquisitions staff to manage print serials and work with electronic resources staff to manage current electronic resources subscriptions.

This position will report to the Manager of Serials Acquisitions and Management Unit. Under direction, this position performs a combination of complex duties to acquire, provide access to, and/or process library materials for specific areas within the library, requiring an understanding of library-wide procedures and a specialized knowledge in a subject area, language, or library function. Work is performed within broad parameters defined by general organizational requirements and established practices and precedents. Priorities will be set to maximize contributions to the overall goals of the Information and Technical Services Department of the Harvard Library. Due to the varied nature and volume of the work in ITS, all ITS staff may be called upon to contribute to work in any unit or team of the ITS department, as organizational needs warrant. The position will be based at 625 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square and may be required to perform duties in multiple Harvard Library locations across campus.

Position Description

  • Receipt of routine and some complex continuing resources in all formats, checking for accuracy and missing items.
  • Works on resolution of routine and some complex order, receipt, and invoice problems resulting from incorrect, incomplete, or conflicting bibliographic data; maintains, verifies and corrects entries.
  • Maintains accurate information about Harvard's electronic resources and other complex acquisitions, including holdings, title changes and renewals.
  • Initiates routine claims and takes other corrective action for problem titles as needed, entering notes in records as necessary.
  • Processes invoices in Alma for continuing resource materials received by the library.
  • Assists in the acquisitions and/or cataloging of materials within established guidelines
  • Creates and places new orders for library resources in all formats
  • Creates, reviews and edits bibliographic, subscription, holdings, and item record data for materials in all formats according to established guidelines
  • Implements and activates electronic resources in the Harvard Library's e-resource management and access systems, working with Harvard Library staff and Library Technology Services staff to enable access
  • Communicates with vendors, bibliographers, and staff to research and resolve problems with continuing resource materials in all formats.
  • May contribute to or oversee special projects, including documentation and statistics.
  • Works according to changing daily priorities, demonstrates flexibility and ability to shift between multiple tasks effectively.
  • Suggests innovations and generates ideas for improving workflows and creating efficiencies.
  • Participates in unit-wide planning and implementation of new policies and procedures.
  • Assists with developing training and procedural documentation for unit.
  • Contributes to the overall goals of the department as appropriate.
  • May assist in hiring, training, scheduling, and distributing work to other staff or student workers.
  • May contribute to other functional areas of the library, such as serving within the Harvard Library Committee Structure.

Basic Qualifications

  • Previous library work experience, including work with integrated library systems, such as Alma and online bibliographic utilities, such as OCLC Connexion.
  • High school diploma or equivalent work experience required.
  • Demonstrated facility with automated systems, including using online databases, working with spreadsheets and knowledge of file management techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience using technology to perform daily tasks.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism.
  • College degree preferred.
  • Academic library work experience highly preferred.
  • Work experience in a production-oriented and technology-enhanced environment.
  • Excellent oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent English language communication skills; familiarity with Western European languages preferred.
  • Library acquisitions, basic cataloging, and electronic resources experience strongly preferred.
  • Ability to perform repetitive work accurately with fine attention to details.
  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation.
  • Ability to work independently to perform complex tasks.
  • Ability to meet project deadlines.
  • Ability to prioritize.
  • Financial experience, such as accounting best practices or accounts payable work, a plus.
  • Ability to organize various workflows for the unit.

Physical Requirements

  • Employee must be able handle books and other library material, including moving and shifting these materials between workstations, shelves, book trucks and boxes.
  • This position involves occasionally lifting and moving loads weighing in excess of 40 pounds and requires bending, squatting, stretching, and climbing small step stools when needed to retrieve materials and shelve them.
  • Keyboarding for a least six hours a day may be required.
  • May be required to travel to multiple locations around campus on a daily basis.

Working Conditions

  • The position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA.; however, there may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.
  • There may be limited exposure to dust and dirt.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University's mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world's most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library's holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

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

Job Function

USA - MA - Cambridge

Serials Acquisition and Management and E-Resources

Time Status

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

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

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Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$46,166.00 - $52,000.00  / year

Closing Date


How to Apply

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2023-03-13 |  Quick link to this job