Librarian for the Social Sciences and Visualization

Cambridge, MA
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Created: October 21, 2014


The Harvard Libraries in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) seeks a creative, collaborative, and service oriented individual to join its unit for Maps, Media, Data and Government Information as Librarian for Social Sciences and Visualization. The successful candidate will be well versed in the emerging technologies and trends for outreach and for data visualization in the social sciences and government information. As a member of the collective unit for Maps, Media, Data and Government Information (MMDGI) including environmental research, this position engages across all of the FAS Research, Teaching and Learning (RTL) programs and the Harvard Libraries across the University.

Under the direction of the Head of MMDGI, the Librarian for the Social Sciences and Data Visualization provides leadership in aligning the library's research, teaching and learning objectives in the social sciences including government information, numeric data, and economics with Library RTL goals. The successful candidate will join a staff that values and advocates for innovation and creativity in bringing awareness, skills and instruction to undergraduate and graduate students across the curriculum.

Primary Responsibilities:
  • Promote cross-unit collaborations, build upon partnerships with Services for Academic Programs, The Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), Academic Technology Group (ATG), the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) and other research centers and builds upon coordinated work within an integrated MMDGI unit.
  • Supervise 2 librarians (Data Reference Librarian & Electronic Documents/Data Librarian) and provide strategic direction for the work of these positions in advancing Harvard Library's RTL goals and objectives.
  • Build a strong working relationship with the Bibliographer for Social Sciences and Quantitative Data and other FAS bibliographers and selectors as needed for strategic collection decisions relating to the social sciences, and as government information and as serving as a resource for subject expertise.
  • Is a leading participant in teaching and instruction that incorporate tools and concepts of digital scholarship and data visualization.
  • Develop Tools & Library Instruction that include tools and concepts of visualization and digital Scholarship.
  • Work in collaboration with Services for Academic Programs- share a knowledge of data analysis, social sciences and resources available digitally and in print from governments and from vendors.
  • Coordinate Library Liaisons working with faculty and departments in the social science areas.
  • Provide creative leadership over the U.S., U.N. and foreign documents collections by creating outreach and training opportunities across the university to our users and staff in understanding and using government information.
  • In collaboration with the FAS Research, Teaching and Learning program, designs and contributes content to Web based tools and resources for promoting and creating access to the library's collections, expertise and services.
  • Maintain effective relationship with the Harvard Library's Information and Technical Services unit for acquisition and processing of government documents and for policies and trends with electronic resources relating to government information, data and the social sciences.
  • Participate in RTL activities, programs, councils, and working groups across the FAS Libraries and Harvard Library.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Master's Degree in the Social Sciences or equivalent, MLS or equivalent experience, an advanced subject degree preferred
  • Minimum of 7-8 years of experience in an academic library
  • Basic knowledge of GIS and trends in geospatial analysis preferred and experience working in a public service environment
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience supervising staff required
  • Knowledge of current data analysis, visualization methods and trends required
  • Knowledge of statistical data software required
  • Responsible for selected government depository resources and acting as the primary government depository contact for the U.S. FDLP, Canada and the U.N. (Harvard is a selective depository for these organizations)
Additional Qualifications:
  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience as an instructor and presenter with comfort and strong interest in tools for authoring with the evolving tools for digital scholarship preferred
  • Ability to work collaboratively and participate in a team environment
  • Excellent organizational, analytical and problem solving skills
  • Knowledge of data management and curation
  • Adaptability and flexibility to succeed and thrive in an environment of constant change
  • Excellent critical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written). Ability to communicate well with faculty, staff and users at all levels and from diverse backgrounds
  • Knowledge of current research practices and experience in the effective applications of technology in research and education
Additional Information:

The Maps, Media, Data and Government Information unit consists of specialists in: GIS and cartography with a world class map collection; an emerging media program that supports multimedia authoring; a numeric data and government information service unit that is a selective depository for the U.S. FDLP and the U.N. and has a broad ranging foreign government documents collection; and a specialist librarian for environmental research. Harvard College Library's Government Documents unit in Lamont Library is the central reference and referral point for government information from the United States government, 160 foreign governments, and many international organizations.

The current landscape of the Big Data Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) disciplines has introduced workflows, challenges, and opportunities in this emerging field. As scholarship increasingly moves towards data-driven computationally-assisted exploration, new analytical mindsets are developing around whole-corpus data mining, data movement, and metadata construction. Interactive exploration, visualization, and ad-hoc hypothesis testing play key roles in this new form of analysis, placing unique requirements on the underlying data storage and computation approaches. (research

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:42 UTC