Thursday, September 13, 2012

Library of Virginia seeks a State Records Archivist

If have experience describing archival records, are comfortable working with both paper and electronic records, are knowledgeable about Virginia history and politics, and live or would like to live in a Southern city that has ample quantities of history and culture, the Library of Virginia may have a job for you:
Job Description
The Library of Virginia, the archival agency for the Commonwealth of Virginia, is seeking a State Records Archivist for the State Records Program in the Description Services Branch. The State Records Program is responsible for acquiring, accessioning, arranging, describing and preserving permanent state government records that are transferred to the Library of Virginia.

Major responsibilities of the state records archivist position include processing collections and preparing finding aids in EAD; the creation of MARC catalogue records; processing and preserving born digital records; providing access to electronic records and other digital collections; evaluating the physical condition of records; collaborating with records management staff and consulting with state agencies; and conducting research. 

Minimum Qualifications
  • Formal training and/or experience in archives required. 
  • Working knowledge of archival standards, theory, and practice. 
  • Working knowledge of archival automation, using EAD for finding aids and online cataloging using MARC format, and applying DACS to both. 
  • Working knowledge of state government records. 
  • Working knowledge of records management theory and practice. 
  • Working knowledge of Virginia legal processes and state and local history. 
  • Working knowledge of archival conservation and preservation guidelines. 
  • Working knowledge of electronic records preservation and processing. 
  • Demonstrated ability to examine, analyze, arrange, and describe collections accurately. 
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work as an effective member of a team. 
  • Ability to work with accuracy and within expected time frames. 
  • Demonstrated ability to use appropriate online databases and tools, such as Aleph and Infolinx.
  • Demonstrated research skills.   
Preferred Qualifications
Master's degree from an accredited institution in U.S. History, Library Science, or a related field preferred, but not required.
For more information and detailed application instructions, consult the position descriptionN.B.:  The deadline for applying for this position is 19 September 2012.

The minimum salary for this position is $31,979 . . . which I initially found a bit shocking.  Even though this position is open to candidates who don't have master's degrees in Library/Information Science, Archival Studies, history, or a related discipline, I'm willing to bet that all of the strongest candidates will have at least one master's degree and at least a couple of years of work experience.  Even in this job market, $31,979 is a lowball figure.

However, I took a look at the Web site of the Commonwealth of Virginia's  Department of Human Resource Management and was pleased to discover that the minimum salary is just that.  The department assigns each job title a salary "band" that defines the minimum and maximum salary, and this position falls into salary band 4.  According to the slightly outdated salary schedule on the department's Web site, as of 2007 the minimum salary for band 4 jobs was $31, 352 and the maximum salary was $64,347.  (FYI, the Web site also contains information about fringe benefits.)

Bottom line:  if you're interested in this job, be prepared to negotiate for a salary that does justice to your education and work experience.  I'm sure that the hiring committee doesn't expect that the successful candidate will passively accept the $31,979 minimum.  

If the mere thought of negotiating makes you queasy, be sure to check out Lynne Thomas's excellent advice about how to broach the subject in a cheerfully assertive way.

(None of the above should be taken as a criticism of the Library of Virginia, which isn't responsible for setting the Commonwealth of Virginia's employee salary bands or the overall format of the Commonwealth's job postings, which don't include salary maximums.  Every Library of Virginia staffer I've ever encountered has been kind, dedicated, and incredibly talented, and I've consistently gotten the sense that the Library of Virginia is an energetic, supportive employer -- so don't let the prospect of salary negotiations scare you out of applying for this job.)

No comments: