Brigham Young University (BYU), a privately owned and operated university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in Provo, Utah, invites application for the position of Curator of 21st Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts. This is a continuing faculty status track (BYU equivalent of tenure) position. BYU, an equal opportunity employer, requires all faculty to observe the university's honor code and dress and grooming standards. Preference is given to qualified candidates who are members in good standing of the affiliated church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Review of applications will commence on 21 January 2014, and the successful candidate will likely begin work in August. Consult the position posting for additional information and detailed application instructions.
The Harold B. Lee Library, an ARL Library, serves nearly 33,000 students as well as 2,000 full- and part-time faculty. The library employs 66 faculty, 101 FTE staff and professionals, and approximately 200 FTE students. An average of 10,000 patrons per day use the library's services and collections of over nine million items.
The mission of this position is to identify, appraise, acquire, catalog, and preserve manuscript materials of enduring historical value related to Utah, the Western U.S., and Mormonism following accepted professional standards and practices.
This position is responsible for Mormon manuscripts from 2000 to the present, Trans-Mississippi West manuscripts from 2000 to the present, non-Mormon and non-literary manuscripts from 2000 to the present, local Utah County history from 2000 to the present, and Southeastern Idaho Mormon materials from 2000 to the present.
This position is also responsible for the professional papers program of Brigham Young University.
Librarianship: Professional Assignment
- Exemplifies honor and integrity; adheres to the standards of personal behavior outlined in the BYU Code of Honor.
- Supports the Library and University mission, goals, and objectives.
- Observes Library and University policies.
- Promotes collegiality and harmony.
- Mentors, encourages, advises, and collaborates with colleagues.
- Serves on Library, University, and consortia committees that go beyond assigned responsibilities.
- Attends department, Library, and University meetings, including devotionals, forums, and convocations.
- Serves the scholarly/professional community through activities such as:
- Holding office or performing committee service in relevant associations;
- Organizing professional meetings and/or panels;
- Serving as a referee of scholarship;
- Editing newsletters or journals; serving on editorial boards;
- or Teaching in academic departments.
Demonstrates effectiveness in specified professional responsibilities within:
- Technology/Digital Projects
- Develop and share expertise with the department in the management of born-digital records.
- Employ emerging technologies, in cooperation with the Library Information Technology division, as appropriate in the accomplishment of responsibilities attendant to the position.
- Select appropriate materials from the 21st Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collecting area for digitization or mounting on the Internet.
- Select appropriate materials from the Brigham Young University professional papers program for digitization or mounting on the web.
Librarianship: Professional Development
- Gather data necessary to prepare finding aids, catalog records, and metadata for digital collections.
- Provide training on content standards for finding aids, catalog records, and metadata for digital collections.
- Collection Development/Collection Management
- Represent the university in acquiring collections through accession, donation, or purchase.
- Negotiate and sign contracts that require the investment of university resources.
- Establish and maintain good relationships with past, present, and prospective donors.
- Travel, as necessary, on department business.
- Create and maintain collection development policies for the 21st Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collecting area.
- Create and maintain collection development policies for the Brigham Young University professional papers program.
- Appraise collections to determine their relevance to the 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collecting area.
- Maintain good working relationships with the donors.
- Create and maintain donor files containing notes, acquisition records, preliminary inventories, correspondence, and contracts.
- Arrange collections, both physically and intellectually, according to accepted archival practice. Maintain collection case files containing research notes, inventories, cataloging data, and acquisition records.
- Properly house and store collections to ensure their long-term preservation.
- Identify and record physical locations of collections.
- Faculty Liaison/Promotion
- Work with faculty members to help them understand how to use the materials held in the 21st Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collecting area and the Brigham Young University professional papers program as part of their teaching.
- Promote the value of archival records of faculty, staff, and administrators.
- Instruction/Information Literacy
- Prepare and present class presentations on Special Collections as requested.
- In collaboration with university faculty, develop and present physical and virtual exhibits drawn from collections in the 21st Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collecting area.
- Work with the Faculty Center to present information to Brigham Young University employees on the professional papers program
- Reference/Research Support
- Respond promptly and efficiently to information requests from the administration, faculty, staff, students, and other researchers.
- Develop and maintain expertise in the archival collections related to the 21st Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collecting area.
- Develop and maintain expertise in the collections related to the Brigham Young University professional papers program.
- Sets and accomplishes relevant goals within specified professional assignments.
- Participates in committees that are a direct outgrowth of assigned professional responsibilities, including the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
- Achieves appropriate quantity and quality of work in assigned professional responsibilities.
- Uses sound judgment in decision-making.
- Manages personnel and resources effectively.
Librarianship: Scholarship/Creative Work
- Stays abreast of issues and trends in archives and archival management, born digital archives, Brigham Young University history, Mormon history, and 21st century U. S. history.
- Stays abreast of scholarship in archives and archival management, born-digital archives, Brigham Young University history, Mormon history, and 21st century U. S. history and other appropriate subject areas of expertise.
- Takes courses to enhance professional assignment and/or career opportunities.
- Studies professional literature.
- Attends appropriate conferences and workshops.
- Participates in appropriate professional associations.
- Collaborates with other faculty in appropriate research endeavours.
- Presents research or innovative/unique information in the field(s) of archives and archival management, born-digital archives, Brigham Young University history, Mormon history, and 21st century U. S. History at conference, workshops, seminars, and/or other professional meetings.
- Publishes significant and original contributions relevant to archives and archival management, born-digital archives, Brigham Young University history, Mormon history, and 21st century U. S. History.
- Curates exhibits that highlight unique library materials with a unified theme and context, providing significant educational opportunities for the campus community.
- Performs other approved scholarship/creative works.
- Master's degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution with two years archival experience or equivalent Master's degree with archival training.
- Master's or PhD degree in History, preferred.
- Knowledge of strategies, such as digital forensics, and technology developed or adopted by the archival community for managing born-digital archival and manuscript material.
- Society of American Archivists' Digital Archives Specialist certification, preferred.
- Knowledge of legal and ethical issues affecting digital archival and special collections materials.
- Demonstrated disposition to evaluate the application of emerging technologies to the management of born-digital archival and manuscript material.
- Familiarity with archival collections management systems or databases.
- A demonstrated knowledge in Western U.S., Utah, and Mormon History.
- Demonstrated ability to appraise, arrange, and describe archival collections.
- Demonstrated ability with archival and library descriptive standards including Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS).
- Ability to supervise students, paraprofessionals, volunteers, and interns.
- Strong skills in communication (writing, speaking, and document editing).
- Skills in computer encoding with HTML and EAD.
- Ability to contribute to the profession through participation in professional organizations and involvement in research.
- Flexibility in adapting to changing departmental and organizational priorities and to ever-changing technological environments.
- Active participation in the archival profession through presentations, articles, committee participation and conference participation.
- Willingness to serve on departmental, library, and university committees.
Long-time readers of this blog will no doubt realize that my views regarding the moral status and the legal rights of LGBT people -- even the "practicing" ones -- differ fundamentally from those articulated by the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They may also wonder whether posting this position might be construed as tacit acceptance of employment policies that I find discriminatory. I've wrestled with this issue for a while, and I've decided to table my objections and allow readers to make their own decisions. At least one reader of this blog is well qualified for this job and might welcome the chance to work for a university that is affiliated with her church, and other readers may also be interested in this position.
Moreover, a lot of effort and care went into the crafting of this announcement, and I think that other archivists developing other job postings might find it extremely useful. I love position descriptions that stress the importance of ongoing professional development, and it's plain that Brigham Young University expects its archivists to keep abreast of and contribute to the development of innovative practices and to remain actively involved in regional and national professional associations. In addition, I find the title of one subsection -- "Librarianship: Scholarship/Creative Work" -- nothing less than delightful. I've always thought of of exhibit development as an educational endeavor, not a creative one, but on second thought I realize that I enjoy developing exhibits because of all of the creative choices available to me. The possibility that the person who takes this job might get to work on "other approved . . . creative works" is also intriguing. Finally, it's barely 2014, but Brigham Young University has the foresight -- and the resources -- needed to hire someone who will specialize exclusively in twenty-first century materials. That's pretty impressive.