Preservation Librarian

Chicago, Illinois
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Salary: $60,000-$70,000
Created: March 25, 2022


The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) seeks a Preservation Librarian to take ownership of the organization’s physical preservation practices and policies, which prolong the existence of and accessibility to collections for the communities CRL serves. As a Member of the Access Initiatives and Collections Care team, the Preservation Librarian will lead the organization’s stacks management program, identify day-to-day preservation needs of circulating material, and develop and implement preservation workflows. Working 100% on site at our facility in the Woodlawn neighborhood. 

This position is part of the Development & Member Engagement Directorate. The Preservation Librarian is part of a team whose functional responsibility includes collections care, facility management, and resource sharing. A key member of the Directorate, the Preservation Librarian works with colleagues who share a commitment to providing access and preservation for rarely held library materials. 

Based in Chicago, Illinois, CRL is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries which holds and lends over five million newspapers, journals, books, pamphlets, dissertations, archives, and government publications that support original research and teaching. CRL commits to the cultivation of open and equitable access to knowledge on a global level, and works against historic, systemic inequities by: advancing open knowledge policy, infrastructure, and analytics; engaging in collections work grounded in anti-racist and post-custodial frameworks that support communities historically under-engaged by the organization; supporting collections as data development that enables expanded forms of engagement with the scholarly record; and by committing to the responsible operationalization of technology. Learn more about us and our work here. 


Reporting to the Head of Access Initiatives and Collections Care, the Preservation Librarian will: 

  • Approach internal and external work with a commitment to CRL’s First Principles: diversity, equity, and inclusion; intellectual freedom; public good; and responsible stewardship 
  • Identify and address ongoing preservation needs for general collection materials through short-term and long-range planning for collections maintenance 
  • Actively maintain, update, develop and apply policies related to preservation measures, pest and environmental control, and disaster response 
  • Develop, implement, and maintain preservation workflows and project plans based on available resources 
  • Continually monitor and gather data on the allocation of space within the CRL facility and provide strategic guidance on how CRL might best use its storage imprint to empower and support innovation and collaboration in the shared collections ecosystem 
  • Participate in grant writing and related efforts to secure additional project funding 
  • Present, write, and share about their work in the larger cultural heritage and library communities 
  • Value collaboration and new ideas, and seek feedback 
  • Supervise and develop a team of 1-2 FTE and up to 9 PT team members in an organization that foregrounds and celebrates continuous staff learning, collaborative growth, and team-based success

Education and experience: 

A Master’s Degree in Library Science is required for this role, with job experience in preservation or conservation.  Strong candidates will also: 

  • Have no less than two years of experience working with analog material, including paper-based holdings (monographs, serials and newspapers), and a wide array of microformats. 
  • Familiarity with library workflows related to off-site storage facilities. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of best and emerging practices related to the preservation of library materials, including experience working with preservation treatments and interventions. 
  • Ability to manage a variety of tasks and projects, from scoping to delivery; ability to set goals, meet deadlines and stay on budget. 
  • Experience with Library technology, especially Management Systems (Folio, Alma, Sierra). 
  • Communicate effectively verbally and in writing with internal and external stakeholders, and can demonstrate ability to explain complex concepts to a range of audiences 
  • Contribute to and advance the larger cultural heritage and library communities through presentations, publications, training, grants, and / or committee work 

Compensation and benefits: 

This is a full-time, permanent position with an expected starting salary of $60,000-$70,000. CRL employees enjoy competitive benefits including health, dental, life and disability insurance, and flexible PTO including vacation, sick, personal time, 2 floating holidays and 12 paid holidays per year. In addition, CRL offers generous retirement benefits with a monthly 10% contribution after a year of employment (immediately vested). Employees will receive funding for professional development activities. 

Application process: 

Expertise in each requirement listed above is not expected — instead, we encourage applications from those who demonstrate a mix of expertise in some areas, and commitment to learning and experimentation in others. Skills and relevant experience outlined in your application may be paid or unpaid, and can include internships, volunteer work, and practicums. We understand that experience, education and learning, and creativity take many forms, and expect that qualified applicants may bring additional skills to this position that we’ve not considered or listed here. If this role interests you, we encourage you to apply! 

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to by April 22, 2022. Please include ‘Preservation Librarian’ in the subject line. Questions about this role should be sent to Marie Waltz, Head of Access Initiatives and Collections Care, at

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity   

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. CRL is 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 enthusiastically embraces empathy, courage, self-reflection and respect of a multi-cultural, diverse, and inclusive workplace, and those who strive to incorporate those values in their work and interact. CRL complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding recruitment, hiring and employment and is dedicated to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at CRL 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 will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.   

How to apply


Published: Friday, March 25, 2022 15:47 UTC

Last updated: Friday, March 25, 2022 15:47 UTC