NERL Program Manager

Salary: $70,000.00-$80,000.00/yr
Created: October 27, 2021



About NERL

Hosted within the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and integrated into the CRL administrative structure, NERL is a national leader in cooperatively negotiated licensing, working to maximize effective and sustainable access to content for its member institutions. NERL accomplishes this by building and supporting alliances between higher education and the information industry while serving as an advocate for the collective power and influence of academic libraries and their parent institutions. NERL serves as a unified force for change in the scholarly communications landscape, and stimulates and incubates innovative and transformational approaches to facilitate the global dissemination of knowledge. CRL and NERL are committed to actively promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as key components for serving our members and advancing our global mission.


NERL’s membership consists of 30 core members from leading academic research libraries in the United States, as well as over 100 affiliated academic libraries. ​​NERL provides a forum for collaboration and professional exchange of ideas and NERL members work together to move their campuses towards collective action in scholarly communication and collections management using deliberate, shared strategies and activities in e-resource licensing. In addition to advocating its core values in group negotiations, NERL seeks to use data-driven decision-making to yield a more informed, diverse, inclusive, and equitable academic publishing landscape. NERL aims to leverage the collective input of members to co-create with publishers in building sustainable business models that keep pace with both current and new forms of knowledge production.

The Role

CRL seeks a NERL Program Manager to oversee and lead operational efforts to ensure that the objectives of NERL members and affiliates are met in an efficient and effective manner. The Program Manager supports NERL in its quest to transform the scholarly information landscape by serving as a key negotiation strategist, seeking beneficial terms and advantageous pricing for journal packages; databases; e-book collections; and related materials.


The scope of work includes sustaining and enhancing member and affiliate participation, coordination, and engagement in the NERL program -- including vendor negotiations; monitoring of program payables and receivables; as well as planning and coordinating the goals and activities of the NERL staff. The Program Manager will participate in other activities such as data analysis, advocacy, or collection development projects to leverage program results and demonstrate value or program outcomes. The individual in the position embraces the organizational values of commitment to excellence, accountability, and promotion of diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Program Coordination and Communication

●     Consults with members and affiliates to identify and consider the pursuit of new scholarly resource licenses and agreements

●     Solicits feedback from membership and maintains strong communication channels with NERL oversight bodies

●     Serves in an advisory capacity to the CRL Collections and Services Policy Committee

●     Recruits, supervises and evaluates assigned project and program personnel

●     Ensures NERL website and internal information systems are kept updated. Works with CRL systems group to communicate awareness of NERL programs and develop tools to optimize member and affiliates' access to NERL information and resources via the Web


Negotiation and Tracking

●     Acts as primary point of contact for publisher and vendor communications, initiates contacts with vendors and tracks and sustains vendor relations and progress through the life cycle of the acquisition or licensing of a given resource

●     Works with NERL Licensing Teams throughout the negotiation lifecycle and ensure that the core values from the NERL Demands a Better Deal are upheld

●     Negotiates and interprets terms for subscriptions and purchases for members and affiliates; and ensures that those terms and conditions are clearly communicated to NERL members and affiliates


Assessment and Analysis

●     Seeks data-informed methods of interpreting and clarifying the value of program outcomes

●     Promotes visibility and awareness of the NERL program among academic libraries and other targeted member groups


Technical and Financial Oversight

●     Develops written policies concerning permitted use of electronic resources and intellectual property rights

●     Establishes specifications and develops/documents processes consistent with CRL's Systems and Accounting policies and procedures to facilitate and monitor NERL billing, payables and receivables

●     Prepares annual budgets for NERL program activities and monitors NERL costs, spending and revenues on a continuous basis

●     Ensures access and works as needed with member and affiliate libraries to resolve access issues



●     Plans own work schedule; schedules work to be performed by others and coordinates work across internal and external task groups; and monitors results to make sure that results achieved are consistent with objectives, deadlines and quality standards.

●     Stays current with the latest technologies in electronic resource management, and with access and licensing issues and maintains awareness of issues pertaining to electronic resources in academic libraries

●     Other duties as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position supervises 1.6 FTE program staff.


Please note that while the strongest candidates will meet all of the required and many of the preferred requirements listed below, NERL seeks applications that broadly include equivalent expertise and show a commitment to learning and experimentation in less-developed areas. Skills and relevant experience outlined in your application may be paid or unpaid, and can include internships, volunteer work, and practicums. NERL understands and appreciates that experience, education and learning, and creativity take many forms, and expect that qualified applicants may bring additional skills to this position that NERL has not considered or listed here.

Required Qualifications

·         ALA-accredited Master's Degree in library science (M.L.S.), or equivalent combination of education and experience

·         3 years professional library or related publishing experience

·         1 year of management and supervisory experience

·         Experience managing stakeholder communications and relationships

·         Superior oral and written communication skills that include demonstrated ability to effectively plan and coordinate among internal and external constituencies to accomplish work and reach consensus across and beyond organizational boundaries

·         Experience developing requirements, conceptualizing and implementing work flow processes, and creating reports for multiple audiences

·         Strong negotiation and facilitation skills and ability to articulate organizational positions in licensing and intellectual property management discussions

·         Knowledge of current and emerging information technologies in the context of publishing, authentication, and library electronic resources


Preferred Qualifications

·         Extensive experience with e-resource licensing and negotiation

·         Demonstrated capacity for building and leading teams

·         Experience with data analysis in the context of electronic resources, such as proxy logs, COUNTER, and other vendor-supplied usage data

·         Understanding of basic accounting and financial principles

·         Knowledge of commercial publishing practices, business models, and licensing provisions

·         Familiarity with U.S. Federal laws and regulations as they pertain to intellectual property and copyright in an academic setting

·         Demonstrated ability to communicate complex legal and policy concepts

·         Familiarity with content management systems and software workflow tools such as Drupal and ConsortiaManager

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

CRL and NERL are committed to actively promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as key components for serving our members and advancing our global mission. As such, CRL and NERL are Equal Opportunity Employers and comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding recruitment, hiring and employment and are dedicated to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at CRL and NERL are based on organization needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. CRL and NERL will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.

Physical Demands & Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative but not definitive of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform this job. Work performed is primarily general office/administrative with frequent use of computer keyboard and telephone; requires sitting the majority of the working day. Constant communication using both spoken and written means.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to moderate noise levels within the general office setting.


Work Location

NERL’s offices are located in Chicago, Illinois. While working from the Chicago area is preferred, remote work location is possible with expected regular travel to Chicago. Regardless of primary work location, flexible work arrangements, including flextime and telecommuting, are possible.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, permanent position with an anticipated hiring salary of $70,000-$80,000 annually, depending on experience. Through its affiliation with CRL, NERL offers excellent benefits, including health and retirement plans.

Application Process

To be considered for the position, please submit a cover letter and CV to, no later than November 30, 2021. Please include the “NERL Program Manager” in the subject line of your application email.


How to apply


Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 17:34 UTC

Last updated: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 17:34 UTC