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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Preservation Specialist

Boston, MA

Job Description

General Statement of Duties and Responsibilities:

Provides assistance, and develops and implements programming, to meet the needs of libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions on issues concerning collection preservation, security, disaster preparedness and response, and conservation and recovery. Coordinates with libraries, archives, preservation organizations, and other State Agencies to further develop and implement a coordinated statewide preservation program. Assists in the planning and implementation of federal grant programs. Consults with the library and archival communities and with related professionals. Oversees the Agency's special collections and archive.

This is a hybrid position with the home base at the MBLC Office in Boston.

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Supervision Received:

Reports to the Head of Library Advisory and Development, who provides general supervision, assigns work, provides guidance on policies and procedures, and reviews performance for effectiveness and compliance with the State's Employee Performance Review System.

Direct Reporting Staff:


Detailed Statement of Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides technical assistance to libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions to develop and implement local preservation and disaster preparedness programs and plans. These include: environmental monitoring, storage concerns, special collections, access to collections, and the preservation of materials for physical and/or digital collections.

  • Implements the statewide preservation agenda and subsequently develops plans and polices for preserving materials in public, academic, and special libraries, archives, manuscript repositories, and municipal offices.

  • Keeps abreast of, and informs the library and archival communities of developments in, preservation activities, digital imaging as an access and preservation tool, environmental monitoring, disaster preparedness, and best practices in archival, historical, and special collection management.

  • Oversees agency archives and special collections, including organizing and coordinating the access, storage, and preservation of print materials, digital assets, and objects.

  • Coordinates and facilitates workshops across the state, speaks and presents at local, regional, and national meetings/conferences to inform and increase awareness of the library/archival community regarding issues of preservation, security, disaster preparedness, special collections, and local history.

  • Serves on the Executive Committee of COSTEP MA (Coordinated Statewide Emergency Preparedness in Massachusetts), cooperating with other agencies and institutions to develop and implement a statewide disaster mitigation program for cultural resources, especially libraries and archives, in Massachusetts. Participates in COSTEP programming and presentations on the importance of collaboration and cooperation between the cultural heritage and emergency management communities.

  • Serves as the Agency liaison to the Digital Commonwealth, Massachusetts Archives, MEMA, FEMA, the New England Archivists, and additional appropriate archives, library and archival organizations, partners, and sources of funding.

  • Identifies funding sources to assist libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions in the areas of collection preservation, storage, reformatting, and de-acidification.

  • Answers questions on special collections and archives from a variety of institutions, from small historical societies to large public and academic libraries and museums.

  • Assist in preparation and reporting for LSTA program including:
    • Conducts workshops on LSTA grant process and application procedures, needs assessment techniques, budgeting, development of goals and objectives, and evaluation methodology.
    • Assists in development and review of grant applications and contractual processes including assessment of library needs to design specific grant programs, design and/or revision of forms, contracts, instructions, training materials, and manuals.
    • Monitors LSTA grants through in-person, telephone, or email conversations, correspondence, and on-site visits to determine sub-grantee's compliance with established schedules, project plans, and federal requirements.
    • long-range plan, annual reports, and 5-year evaluation.

  • Oversees the Agency's special collections and archive.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Qualifications Required at Hire:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of library, archival preservation, and management of special collections.
  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of library administration and management.
  • Knowledge of the components of the MBLC's statewide preservation program (i.e., Emergency Assistance Program, Environmental Monitoring Program, Disaster Preparedness and Response, Library and Archival Security, and educational offerings.)
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, and standards of digitation as a library and/or archival tool.
  • Knowledge of theory, principles, terminology, and practices of library and information science and of archives administration.
  • Knowledge of concepts of library, archives, preservation, emergency, and security planning.
  • Ability to study, analyze, and recommend solutions based on knowledge of library services, for problems related to collection management and development.
  • Ability to communicate well both orally and in writing and to lead workshops in matters relating to preservation, disaster preparedness, security, and archives.

Qualifications Acquired on Job:

  • Knowledge of the policies of the agency.
  • Knowledge of the unit's operating procedures.
  • Thorough knowledge of preservation issues in libraries and archives.
  • Knowledge of the mission and goals of public and private organizations and agencies that support the goals of the library and archival preservation.

The goals of the MBLC are to:

• maintain and strengthen the Commonwealth's free public libraries,

• provide statewide and regional programs for the improvement of library services provided by libraries of all types,

• support resource sharing, online access, and the utilization of technology by libraries, and

• provide specialized library services to blind and physically handicapped residents.


First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

Minimum Entrance Requirements:

Applicants must have at least A) four years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in a public, academic, or special library, or B) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below:

I. A Bachelor's degree with a major in library science or a related discipline from an American Library Association accredited graduate library program may be substituted for a maximum of 2 years of the required experience.

II. A Graduate degree with a major in library science or a related discipline from an American Library Association accredited graduate library program may be substituted for a maximum of 3 years of the required experience.

*education towards such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually met.

NOTE: Educational substitutions will only be permitted for a maximum of 3 years of the required experience.

Preferred Requirements:

• A Master's Degree in Library Science or Library Information Science from an American Library Association-accredited graduate program, with a concentration in Archival Studies or Preservation.

License and/or Certification Requirements:

Travel is required; Requires a valid driver's license and access to a motor vehicle for work-related travel.

Comprehensive Benefits:

When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.

Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.

Client-provided location(s): Boston, MA, USA
Job ID: Commonwealth_of_Massachusetts-240000JU
Employment Type: Full Time

Perks and Benefits

  • Health and Wellness

    • Health Insurance
    • Health Reimbursement Account
    • Dental Insurance
    • Vision Insurance
    • Life Insurance
    • Short-Term Disability
    • Long-Term Disability
    • FSA
    • HSA
    • Mental Health Benefits
  • Parental Benefits

    • Adoption Assistance Program
    • Family Support Resources
  • Work Flexibility

    • Flexible Work Hours
    • Hybrid Work Opportunities
  • Office Life and Perks

    • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Vacation and Time Off

    • Paid Vacation
    • Paid Holidays
    • Personal/Sick Days
    • Volunteer Time Off
  • Financial and Retirement

    • Pension
    • Financial Counseling
  • Professional Development

    • Promote From Within
    • Mentor Program
    • Access to Online Courses
    • Lunch and Learns
    • Internship Program
    • Leadership Training Program
    • Associate or Rotational Training Program
  • Diversity and Inclusion

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program