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Director of Library

Director of Library

Dumbarton Oaks Job Location: Washington, D.C. Date Created: 12-10-2014

Position Title: Director of Library

Supervisor: Director of Dumbarton Oaks

Department: Library

Grade: 59. Exempt.              




Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute in Washington, D.C., affiliated with Harvard University. The Research Library (approximately 200,000 volumes) has world-class collections in the institute’s three research areas of Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian Studies. The Rare Book collection is especially strong on works of landscape architecture, botany, and horticulture, and includes botanical illustrations, manuscripts and drawings. Reflecting the research focus of Dumbarton Oaks, the collection also includes facsimiles of Byzantine and medieval manuscripts, early printed editions of Byzantine texts, and works on the art and archeology of the pre-contact peoples of Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and Andean South America.

The Director of the Library will provide strategic direction for the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, consistent with the institute’s mission and vision, while also providing leadership and mentoring to an experienced and highly competent team of library professionals. The successful candidate will bring a solid understanding of the major challenges facing academic research libraries, in areas such as collection development, preservation, technology integration, and space utilization. He or she will also have a proven track record in the use of information technology to bridge the worlds of librarians, researchers, and students. A strong team-player, the Director of the Library will collaborate with the institute’s scholarly programs, Publications, and IT to enhance learning and research, collection development, and digital projects.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees the development and preservation of library including specialized and rare books collections. 
  • Oversees the hiring, performance, and responsibilities of all library staff; provides support and mentoring through a collegial and collaborative approach, promotion of professional development, and reliance upon staff expertise. 
  • Promotes the adaptation of digital capabilities to ensure the preservation and sharing of Dumbarton Oaks collections. 
  • Prepares library budget recommendations, monitors expenses, and implements integrated procedures. 
  • Promotes the use of library resources within the Dumbarton Oaks community and to external constituencies. Coordinates and promotes outreach programs including physical and virtual exhibits. 
  • Proposes and implements an ambitious acquisitions strategy for specialized collections, including the Rare Book Collection. 
  • Establishes and maintains coordination with Harvard University Library policies and operations as appropriate. 
  • Performs related duties and special projects as required.


Required qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited MLS or MLIS degree.
  • 5 years experience in research library leadership and a successful history of staff development and team building.
  • Excellent written communication skills.
  • Knowledge of one foreign language.

Preferred/additional qualifications:

  • Additional graduate work in a scholarly field preferred.
  • Experience working with special collections, archives, or related collections.
  • Strong interest in sharing collections through digitization.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with emerging technologies in library services.
  • Subject expertise in one of the three subject areas or background in humanities, languages, history of science/medicine, and/or the history of the book.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong verbal skills are necessary. Initiative, optimism, flexibility, and follow-through.


To Apply

 The position remains open until filled. Please forward résumé and cover letter detailing relevant qualifications by clicking the link below:



Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



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