Acquisitions Librarian

Washington, DC
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Salary: 70,000-80,000
Created: June 14, 2022


The Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is seeking a creative, collaborative, and experienced Acquisitions Librarian to join its Collections team. Under the supervision of the Associate Librarian for Collection Care and Development, this individual will be responsible for the management and leadership of the Acquisitions Department, which administers a robust acquisition program of both antiquarian and secondary research material, including electronic resources.

The Acquisitions Librarian (AL) will provide supervision and training for Acquisitions staff members and work closely with other units and teams. They will coordinate and monitor the activities of the Acquisitions group, act as the primary point of contact for logistics, and shape acquisition models and create workflows to efficiently acquire specialized and electronic resources. 

The AL will also ensure that the Acquisitions group has the right working tools, and identify needs for new ones. As a key member of the Collections Care and Development team, the AL will serve on local and national committees, participate in continued professional development, and be expected to develop and maintain relationships with vendors and colleagues to support the Folger’s mission through the enhancement of our collection.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has one of the world’s largest collections of materials relating to Shakespeare and his works, from the 16th century to the present day, as well as a world-renowned collection of books, manuscripts, and prints from the 1500s to the early 1700s. The collections include about 260,000 printed books; 60,000 manuscripts; 90,000 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, and other works of art; and a wealth of performance history, from a quarter of a million playbills to films, recordings, and stage costumes. 

In addition to the rare materials collection, it holds a collection of over 100,000 monographs and periodicals published between the 1830s and today, as well as electronic resources related to the understanding and interpretation of Shakespeare, his works and impact, and the early modern world.

The standard schedule for this role is Monday-Friday, 8:45am-4:45pm, which is a 35-hour workweek with an hour unpaid lunch daily. This position is currently remote and will ultimately transition to an onsite role.

Pandemic response: All staff, contractors, and visitors working or visiting onsite are required to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine and furnish proof of vaccination (unless they have received a medical or religious exemption). Masks are required in all shared and public spaces onsite. 


  • This is a monthly-paid salaried position, with a range of $70,000-$80,000.
  • Total compensation includes paid time off and an extensive benefits plan, including fully-covered health, dental, and vision insurance, and a generous 403(b) match, outlined at


  • Cultivates and maintains excellent working relations with all vendors, dealers, and donors.
  • Participates in the creation and management of the Collections budget.
  • Monitors Acquisitions expenditures, provides expenditure reports. Manages the allocation of restricted and unrestricted funds for the purchase of rare items.
  • In consultation with appropriate staff, reviews and maintains current approval plans. 
  • Coordinates subscriptions for electronic resources and their access procedures with the Acquisitions Coordinator for Electronic Resources and Secondary Research Material.
  • Reviews and negotiates new license agreements. Engages in and promotes ethical practices in purchasing, and complies with licensing terms and access agreements.
  • Supervises and reviews the processing of all new acquisitions, whether purchases or gifts of items, maintaining accurate acquisition and donor records.
  • Supervises the preparation of orders, correspondence, reports, and maintenance of office files.
  • Oversees staff in providing detailed information to Development to facilitate donor communication. Ensures all invoices are paid in a timely manner. 
  • Provides an open and supportive working environment for Acquisitions staff and fosters good working relationships with other units and divisions of Collections and the institution.
  • Works closely with the Associate Librarian for Collections Care and Development in planning and executing Acquisitions Group procedures.
  • Participates with other members of the Collections Care and Development group in developing and executing communal goals and projects.
  • Works with conservators to plan for the needs of newly ordered or acquired materials.
  • Collaborates with Advancement to successfully manage gift-in-kind arrangements.
  • Participates in the organization of fundraising events for the Acquisitions department with collaboration from appropriate sources.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to applying, promoting, and enhancing the Folger’s DEIA values within acquisitions work.
  • Participates in the management of a digital asset collection development policy. 
  • Acts as one of the Acquisitions Department representatives on staff committees and/or assists on projects for committees.
  • Maintains current awareness of trends in the management and integration of Acquisitions activities within technical and public services. Serves as an ambassador for the Folger at conferences.
  • Performs other acquisition duties as assigned.

Supervisory Duties:  

  • Supervises two full-time positions, Acquisitions Specialist and Acquisitions Coordinator for Electronic Resources. 
  • Will be required to train and supervise interns or volunteers working on departmental projects as needed. 


  • Master’s degree in Library or Information Science from an ALA-accredited program, or equivalent experience, is required.  
  • Must have demonstrated supervisory experience with a commitment to mentoring, training, and staff development.
  • Proficiency in the use of integrated library systems and spreadsheets is necessary.
  • Familiarity with MARC records or bibliographic description in general is required.
  • Bibliographic knowledge of a modern European language, preferably Italian, French, or German, is preferred.
  • Bibliographic knowledge of Latin is preferred.
  • Must be able to handle multiple priorities, meet deadlines, and work with meticulous attention to detail. 
  • Ability to work and lead collaboratively with individuals and groups is required.
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication, organization, and interpersonal skills. 


  • At least 3 years’ experience in Acquisitions, book trade, or an academic library setting (or equivalent organization) required.
  • Supervisory and office management experience required.
  • Must have experience with fund accounting, library budgeting, and acquisitions practices. Experience working with vendors and content providers, and with standards and practices used in ordering electronic resources is required.
  • Must have demonstrated experience handling multiple priorities and/or projects, and with working both independently and collaboratively with staff at all levels and of diverse backgrounds.

Physical Requirements:  

This job operates in a professional office environment, and the employee may be exposed to various components of an office environment such as florescent lighting, pollen, dust, recycled air, cooling fans, semi-enclosed areas, central heating, seasonal warmer temperatures, and office noise. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. A reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this job.     

  • Normal work week is Monday-Friday, 8:45 am to 4:45 pm. Ability to work varying and additional hours as project demands arise (including evenings and weekends as necessary).
  • Willingness and capacity to work in an office environment at a workstation, and to come and go repeatedly throughout the day as is necessary, to perform various responsibilities.
  • Capacity to communicate, in person using video, phone, or electronic communication methods, which can be understood by others.  

How to apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume on our website:

Incomplete applications cannot be accepted. No phone calls please. The Folger is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to apply


Julie C. Swierczek (SWER-check)
Associate Librarian for Collection Description and Imaging | She/her/hers
Folger Shakespeare Library | 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 |



Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 20:31 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 20:31 UTC