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Librarian, Congregational Library & Archives (Boston)

The Congregational Library & Archives seeks an ambitious and curious Librarian to provide curation and management of its print collections.  
The Congregational Library & Archives (CLA) is an independent research library located in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1853, CLA is a repository for some 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts documenting the development and growth of the Congregational tradition in the United States as well as Canada and Great Britain. The rare book collections include an unusually large and rich collection of first- and second-generation Puritan works.  
CLA’s mission is to foster deeper understanding of the spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and civic dimensions of the Congregational story and its ongoing relevance in the 21st century by collecting and sharing materials and by actively engaging with, among others, scholars and the general public. To carry out this mission, CLA preserves and makes available materials pertaining to Congregationalism, the history of which has been interwoven with the development of North America and the United States since the seventeenth century. CLA’s library and archives holds a rich collection of historical materials, which have significance not only for church history, but also for social and political history and genealogy. It provides free access to the collections, including online through New England’s Hidden Histories. CLA offers educational programs, including exhibits, author talks, and book discussion groups for a broad range of audiences. 
The Librarian will focus chiefly on cataloging and other bibliographic description, conducting inventories of holdings, and the acquisition of new materials. The successful candidate will also engage with the library’s audiences through public programming and reference support. Qualified applicants will have an ALA-accredited MLIS degree, or equivalent advanced degree and experience in research librarianship. The position offers a broad range of opportunities to a librarian who is eager to make new discoveries in a historic collection and to gain experience in a range of library functions in a small independent research library. Work will be done primarily onsite in a light-filled office adjacent to the historic reading room. 
More information on the Congregational Library can be found here: 
Reporting to the CLA’s Executive Director, the Librarian is responsible for managing all aspects of the Congregational Library’s print collection. They acquire, describe, preserve, and facilitate access to the library’s 100,000 + print items, including the rare book and periodical collections. The Librarian develops and maintains policies and procedures directly related to these activities. 
Primary Responsibilities 
 - Manages all aspects of the library’s print collection including: 

- Creates and maintains original and copy-cataloged bibliographic records according to professional standards using OCLC Connexion and the library’s Online Public Access Catalog. 

- Manages the library’s ILS, Liberty5 which includes training colleagues on its effective use, maintaining permissions, creating and documenting workflows, and troubleshooting problems.  

- Identifies and purchases new materials and maintains and cultivates donor relations in accordance with the collection development policy. Manages the library’s acquisitions budget.  

- Conducts inventories for the purposes of assessment and deaccessioning. 

- Responds to reference questions and provides reference assistance when the Head of Reader Services is unavailable. Provides coverage for Reference desk as needed.  

- Educates the public about the library’s holdings by various means, including leading talks and tours of the library’s materials, presenting at conferences, researching within the collections to provide material for the library’s publications, and contributing to occasional exhibits of the library’s holdings.  
Sets short- and long-term goals for the library in alignment with the organization’s overarching goals and develops and implements strategies to reach them.  

- Works with the Executive Director and development staff to identify and pursue grant opportunities as well as to provide reports to funders. 
Supervises, hires/recruits, trains, and provides work direction for interns, staff, and volunteers as needed. 


CLA provides a generous package of benefits, including medical and dental insurance (80% and 75% employer contribution for individual and family coverage, respectively), short-term and long-term disability insurance, and 403(b) matching contributions up to 3%. Also, significant paid time off is offered, including twelve holidays, two personal days, twenty vacation days, and ten sick days. CLA provides a monthly stipend for a MBTA pass for those who live in metro Boston. Staff have access to funding for one professional development opportunity a year. 


While no candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications, experiences, and personal attributes. 
  - Masters of Library & Information Science from an American Library Association accredited program or equivalent and/or an MA in History, Religious Studies, Public History or a related field.  

- At least 1 year experience in a similar role.  

- Professional curiosity about American, Congregational, and religious history and other topics related to the collection.  

- Theoretical and practical knowledge of current cataloging standards, including MARC, RDA, AACR2, DCRM and LCSH. Demonstrated commitment to keeping up to date on new and developing standards. 

- Familiarity with cataloging web applications such as OCLC Connexion, RDAToolkit and ClassWeb, Preference for familiarity with library and archives web applications including ILS such as Liberty5. 

-Knowledge of research methodology and skill in providing research assistance. 

- Knowledge of preservation concepts, methodology, and techniques related to rare print and manuscript materials.

 - Knowledge of ethical and legal considerations related to working with special collections material. 

- Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written formats.  

- High level of proficiency with computers and desktop applications, including Microsoft Office suite (especially Word and Excel) 

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$57,000.00 - $62,000.00  / year

Closing Date

August 25, 2023

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit a resume and cover letter that describes how your qualifications and experience match CLA’s needs and mission. Please send to Kyle Roberts at and include “Librarian Posting” in the subject line. Review of applications begins on August 25, 2023, and continues until the position is filled. 
CLA encourages and welcomes diversity throughout the organization. CLA does not discriminate and protects against harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by law. CLA employs people based on ability, experience, education, and character. 
CLA’s policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, compensation and benefits, working conditions, performance evaluation, professional development, disciplinary action, and termination.  


2023-07-25 |  Quick link to this job