Collections Strategist

Salary: 67,080-110,740
Created: August 18, 2021



 Collection Strategist (Lib/Arch II - SCCS- Collections)

The MIT Libraries are on an exciting journey of transformation, prioritizing a digital-first, open scholarship agenda that accelerates the progress of science, and promotes equity and inclusion across disciplines. We are exercising bold leadership to define a model for research libraries in an unpredictable future. If you are excited to be part of a team that is implementing new approaches to developing collections through an equity lens in support of the mission to bring knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges, we would love to hear from you!

The study of the arts, humanities, and social science at MIT is vibrant and interdisciplinary, and does not fit the mold of traditional research in these areas. Working in close proximity to research that pushes the boundaries of science and conventional ideas of what can, or cannot, be built, there are unique opportunities at MIT to generate ideas that cross all sorts of boundaries. The students and scholars drawn to MIT to study these areas appreciate this unique context as they investigate how cultural, political, environmental, and economic knowledge can be applied to solve the world's greatest problems, and how the arts, planning, and design can play a major role in addressing these challenges. As well as supporting this multi-dimensional community, the person in the role will be instrumental to transforming the Libraries’ thinking about physical collections and what criteria are necessary to provide meaningful access to content in the digital age.


Job summary

This position has two key, related, areas of responsibility: collection strategy for the humanities and social sciences across all formats, and strategy for the management of physical collections across all disciplines. Working collaboratively with subject selectors, the successful candidate will help transform the Libraries’ approach around collection building in art, architecture, humanities and social sciences in line with the “digital-first,” open, and computational vision articulated in the MIT Libraries’ New Urgency statement. As collection strategist for print collections, the position will be responsible for developing and implementing strategy for the essential physical core of collections that cannot be meaningfully replicated in the digital context. The position encompasses these two aspects of collection strategy since questions of access to an essential print core are of special significance to scholars in arts, humanities, architecture, and select social sciences. The successful candidate will put equity, inclusion, and social justice values at the center of this work, leveraging our spending power to increase the diversity and range of what we collect in these disciplines, amplifying the voices of marginalized scholars, and shaping the marketplace towards openness to align in these critical areas.

This position will report to the Senior Analyst and Strategist for Collections and Budget, and work with a team in Scholarly Communications and Collections Strategy (SCCS) to develop and implement holistic approaches to collection development and management that advance MIT’s aim of creating a more open and equitable scholarly communication system, and ensuring and stewarding appropriate access to MIT Libraries’ collections.


Core Responsibilities Include:

• Using collection strategy as a mechanism to transform the scholarly communications ecosystem towards equity and openness, particularly by working with societies and publishers in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences to develop and promote transformative business models.

• Providing leadership and strategic thinking related to the management of the Libraries essential print core collections, with a particular focus on collaborative collection building and shared print repositories, including developing policies for and leading projects related to off-site storage, return-from-storage, and withdrawal.

• Providing leadership and strategic thinking related to the digitization of the Libraries’ collections with a particular focus on enabling computational access to digitized collections.

• Leading and coordinating collection activities (including MIT-created content and all types and formats of acquired content) for art, architecture, humanities and social sciences, and engage with the community of subject librarians in these areas to collaboratively build the Libraries’ collections and keep them abreast of changes in the scholarly communications landscape.

• In collaboration with other collections strategists manage processes and workflows for selection of content, particularly for the arts, architecture, humanities and social sciences, including optimizing approval plans and outsourcing options, and participate in the development of sustainable systems and tools that support collections.

• Performing collections-related financial analysis, determine appropriate allocations and monitor use of funds designated for arts, architecture, humanities and social sciences.

• Gathering, organizing, and using collections data and analysis to understand, document, and improve collection development, management, and workflows. Share insight from analysis through reports, presentations, and visualizations with relevant audiences.


Required Qualifications Include:

• MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent advanced degree (other advanced degree in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience in libraries, museums, archives, or other cultural heritage research centers.)

• Minimum of three years experience in an academic/research/special library overall, with two years including collection development experience

• Demonstrated commitment to expanding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in collection building and/or scholarly communication.

• Understanding of shared print repositories and the management of physical library collections.

• Understanding of the literature and information sources used in at least one of: art, architecture, humanities, or social sciences disciplines.

• Demonstrated enthusiasm for experimentation and implementing new services, work methods, and developing new mental models to help approach challenges in collections in innovative ways.

• Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills.

• A collaborative approach to problem solving and working across organizational boundaries.

• Strong analytical skills and demonstrated ability to create and utilize data-driven collection analysis.


We expect the candidate to be stronger in some qualifications listed above than others; we are committed to helping our future colleague expand their skills, as well as learning from their areas of strength

Preferred Qualifications Include:

• Five or more years collection development experience in an academic/research/special library.

• Demonstrated experience with shared print repositories and management of physical library collections.

• Demonstrated project management experience with the digitization of library collections.

• Experience working with vendors of scholarly research products.

• Degree in one or more of the following disciplines: art, architecture, humanities, or social sciences.


Background reading:

• MIT Libraries Vision: A New Urgency

• MIT Open Access Task Force Recommendations

• MIT Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of Libraries Report

• Creating a Social Justice Mindset: Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in the Collections Directorate of the MIT Libraries

• MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts

• MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS)

• MIT School of Architecture + Planning (SAP)



This job is a pay grade 8 with the following range:




Actual salary will depend on qualifications and experience. MIT offers excellent benefits including a choice of health and retirement plans, a dental plan, tuition assistance, and fully subsidized MBTA passes for local bus and subway service. Flexible work arrangements, including flex-time and telecommuting, are considered for positions that meet established criteria. The MIT Libraries is a collegial and supportive working environment and fosters professional growth of staff with management training and travel funding for professional meetings

APPLICATION PROCESS: Apply online at: applications must include cover letter and resume. Priority will be given to applications received September 3rd, 2021; position open until filled.


The MIT Libraries support teaching, learning, and research across the Institute, with millions of resources, deep expertise, and five campus locations where our community consumes and creates knowledge. Our organization is on an exciting journey of transformation, pursuing a digital-first model for research libraries and prioritizing an open scholarship agenda. We aim to exercise bold leadership in defining a model for research libraries in the future, with innovative spaces like the newly renovated Hayden Library and a focus on supporting data-intensive and computational research and learning.

We strive to do great things, powering the MIT community to solve complex problems in the service of humankind, and each member of our 146-person staff has a role to play in pursuing that vision. We’re constantly adapting to the rhythms of a changing world, and we welcome candidates who can help us do that in thoughtful and strategic ways that center our mission and values.

MIT Libraries is an environment that welcomes any body, any mind — including all genders — and particularly encourages applications from underrepresented minorities, women, disabled applicants, and veterans. Professionals who enthusiastically embrace the empathy, courage, self-reflection, and respect of a multicultural, diverse, and inclusive workplace and who strive to incorporate those values in their work and interactions are encouraged to apply.

Last updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 15:34 UTC