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Community History and Digitization Specialist, Boston Public Library (Boston)

Position Overview:

The Community History & Digitization Specialist participates in the Boston Public Library’s Community History projects, including development of community-driven research projects using archival and other historical materials, working with underserved communities to identify and amplify their personal histories, identifying and delivering historic records and data sets into proper workflows for deposit into the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth’s statewide repository system, and providing educational pathways for the public to use the library’s digitized local history collections for learning and research.  The position also conducts the work of neighborhood programming and outreach services related to local history in Boston Public Library (BPL) locations and in designated neighborhood locations.

Reports to:

Community History Supervisor


Staff as assigned


Participates in the activities of the Boston Public Library’s Community History Program, including the identification of collections focused on community’s histories, outreach to communities, the creation of local histories, and the education of the public in the use of digitized collections related to community history.
Works with community members and organizations to develop tools to make the stories of historically underserved communities accessible through oral histories, digitized historic collections, community-supported websites, online community platforms, workshops and other methods, .
Identifies both historic and active collections of records, documents, images, and data sets that would support research on the history of Boston neighborhoods.
Works with BPL Digital Services staff to familiarize community organizations with digitization and ingest processes related to the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth.
Works with BPL staff and consultants to determine current best practices in digitization and enhancement for digital history.
Works with BPL staff and consultants to create data models, workflows, technical specifications, and other related documentation necessary for development of community-focused online systems.
Assists in initiating, developing, planning, and implementing outreach activities to make community connections, explore the needs of the community, provide services in remote locations, and to promote use of the team’s and the library’s collections and services.
Provides outreach to staff in libraries and cultural institutions across the state to encourage the creation of digital community history programs and about the BPL Digital Commonwealth program.
Works with appropriate staff to procure materials necessary for successful programs.
Facilitates program related payments and manages program funds as assigned.
As assigned, collaborates with community groups, city agencies, and non-profits to bring community-focused high-quality programming and services out into designated neighborhoods.
Works with administrators and staff to develop, deploy, and support outreach services for all ages and to identify service populations in designated neighborhoods.
Works with administration and branch staff to evaluate Community History-related outreach services and recommends changes in service or new services.
As assigned, makes oral and written reports and presentations on grant-related activities at BPL branches or other designated neighborhood locations.  As assigned, also may make presentations at local and national conferences.
Actively participates in system-wide committees, training, and other professional activities.
Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.


Union/Salary Plan/Grade: PSA / P / 2

Hours per week:  35
The City of Boston is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Therefore, qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category.

The City of Boston has played a role in causing and perpetuating the inequities in our society. To break down these barriers, we are embedding equity and inclusion into everything we do.

We define equity as ensuring every community has the resources it needs to thrive in Boston. This requires the active process of meeting individuals where they are. Inclusion is engaging every resident to build a more welcoming and supportive city. We are building a city for everyone, where diversity makes us a more empowered collective.


Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

Familiar with and interested in Boston history, neighborhood identities, and community activism.
Familiar with research methodologies and pedagogy relating to social history.
Familiar with and interested in a broad range of social networking and online collaboration tools.
Ability to execute BPL policy.
Ability to supervise the work of others.
Ability to plan and run meetings with minimal supervision.
Initiative and independent decision-making skills.
Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
Identifies, plans, and prioritizes job responsibilities and tasks; determines and implements project timelines.
Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.
Ability to collaborate with library staff, external partners and resources.
Education - Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university and a master’s degree in library and information science, public history, urban policy, or other relevant field of study.  Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required.  In exceptional circumstances specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.
Experience - Two years of appropriate library professional experience or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training sufficient to indicate ability to do the work.  Knowledge of broad-based library programming practices, including current trends in youth and adult programs and services.  Excellent knowledge of online communications and social networking tools.
Some evening and weekend hours based on scheduled programs and events. 
Ability to travel to BPL locations, to the Boston Research Center, and to off-site locations in designated neighborhoods, as assigned.
Residency – Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.    

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$63,508.52 - $82,826.30  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

Any interested who believe they are qualified can apply online at


2024-01-03 |  Quick link to this job