Vacancies

COLLEGE LIBRARIAN (full time)

Harris Manchester College is looking for a self-motivated and committed individual to join this friendly and welcoming college as college librarian. Upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period, the candidate may be offered a Fellowship at the discretion of the Governing Body. The Library provides a service that is central to college life.

We are looking for a collaborative colleague, with excellent communication skills, who combines experience of traditional library services (running a busy reading room, reader services, overseeing all collections and an archive and making them accessible) with digital experience and competence (including knowledge of electronic resources, publishing trends and current library technology).

The post involves overseeing all collections, including an archive especially strong in Unitarian materials, running a reading room, answering academic inquiries, managing staff and volunteers. A willingness to work with students is essential. Demonstrated experience with, and a developed interest in, the use of digital technology in support of creating library services are also key. Knowledge of the University’s cataloguing protocols and digital collections is desirable.

The post holder will hold at least a bachelor’s degree and professional library qualifications. They will ideally have experience in an academic library setting.

Salary: Grade 7 (£32,817 – £44,045) or Grade 8 (£41,526 – £54,131) on the salary scale depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits include 30 days holiday per annum, membership of a pension scheme, and free Common Table lunch when on duty.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 5th August 2020

Interviews will be held virtually towards the end of August and it is hoped that the new postholder will start as soon as possible in the new Academic Year (that starts in October 2020). All appointments to the College are made on an initial probationary period of 6 months.
Further particulars for the post can be found below.

Further Particulars

The College
Harris Manchester College is a college of the University of Oxford. Originally founded in Warrington as a dissenting academy in 1757, it came to Oxford in 1893, and became a college of the university in 1996, changing its name from Manchester College to Harris Manchester College at that time. It has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and inclusive ethos, and strives for the highest standards of academic teaching, learning, and research while also seeking to be a fully supportive community for all its members. The College is unique in that it admits only mature students over the age of 21, which gives it a special place within the University. The College has approximately 245 undergraduate and postgraduate students combined, studying a wide range of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering and Medical Sciences. There are 30 Fellows who comprise the Governing Body of the College. In addition there are further teaching and research staff, and support staff in a variety of professional, administrative, and domestic roles. Like all colleges of the university, it is a self-governing institution. See more on the college website at http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/

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The College Library
The Victorian reading room, called the Tate Library, has over 50 reading spaces on 2 floors. It is a welcoming place to study, and readers are provided with earplugs to block out noise, blankets and hot water bottles when it gets really cold, and are allowed to consume hot drinks and light snacks in the room. The ground floor space of the reading room is furnished with the original Lamb furniture from Manchester, and has hosted a range of significant speakers, including the philosopher William James and leader of the Baha’i faith, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, in the early twentieth century.

The Tate Library contains approximately 25,000 volumes and supports the main Undergraduate and Graduate teaching and learning. The undergraduate collections have been catalogued onto OLIS (the Oxford Libraries Information System), which utilises the Aleph library management software, and there is an automated RFID self-issue system in use. The library uses the Library of Congress Classification system to organise its stock. All the subjects taught at Harris Manchester College are supported by the collection, and the stock selection is carried out by the Librarian in consultation with the academic staff. Many book purchases are also made as a direct result of student suggestions, and importance is attached to speed and flexibility in this regard. The Library is open 24 hours a day for its readers and entry/exit is by electronic card.

The archive consists of manuscripts, papers and artefacts relating to the college’s history from its foundation through to the present day, as well as the papers of prominent Unitarians.

There are four special collections: (1) the antiquarian library of pre-1800 printed books (in areas such as theology and philosophy) that reflect the college’s growth out of the dissenting academies of the north of England; (2) a large tract collection, consisting of some 11,000 pamphlets from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, largely in the area of nonconformist religion; (3) a library of Protestant dissent; and (4) the Carpenter library of books on major religions, collected by J. Estlin Carpenter, Principal of the college in the early twentieth century, pioneer of the comparative study of religion. The College Librarian also oversees the college’s art collection, which includes portraits and other paintings, some fine twentieth-century ceramics, and garden sculptures.

The library staff currently comprises the Librarian, the Assistant Librarian, the part-time Antiquarian cataloguer and a volunteer trainee archivist completing their MA qualification. With such a small group of staff it is important for all members to be flexible and proactive to ensure that the library service is maintained to a high standard. Several dedicated volunteers also help out regularly.

The Post
Harris Manchester College is looking for a self-motivated and committed individual to join this friendly and welcoming academic community for mature students as college librarian. The main purpose of the role is to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the College Library. We are looking for a collaborative colleague who combines experience of traditional library services (running a busy reading room, reader services, overseeing all collections and an archive and making them accessible) with digital experience and competence (including knowledge of electronic resources, publishing trends and current library technology).

The Library provides a service that is central to College life, and the reading room is one of the hubs of college, albeit a quiet one. The post holder will have excellent communication and people skills to liaise with readers and enquirers: college students, Fellows and staff; colleagues throughout Oxford and beyond; and members of the public. They will ensure the reading room continues to be a welcoming and user-friendly space while also keeping the library up to date in technological advances as appropriate for its collections and users.
The main Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

1. Planning, strategy, finance, and development
a. Develop and maintain the modern library collections in support of undergraduate and postgraduate learning in consultation with academic staff and students
b. Managing the Library budget and monitoring expenditure, including working with the college Bursar and Finance Office to maintain accurate budget forecasts and identifying necessary changes.
c. Identifying and strategically developing digital and digitisation projects and technological advances for the collections as a whole, and in relation to the needs of readers, academic researchers and other users
d. Establishing and documenting long term goals and priorities, in relation to the college’s overall strategy, including collaboration with the Development Office for funding opportunities – e.g. writing grant applications for exhibitions and special projects
e. Identifying repairs and improvements to the Library space and fabric and liaising with the Bursar and college maintenance team with regard to these
f. Representing the College on the Committee of College Librarians and wider Oxford Library committees and bodies as necessary

2. Reader Services
a. Overseeing all aspects of reader services, including inductions, tours and user education, and the development of services for disabled readers
b. Ensuring that circulation policies are monitored, reviewed and changed to best meet readers needs
c. Setting, communicating and enforcing library rules and dealing with complaints and feedback
d. Managing the 24/7 Library space including overall security and technology, and also ensuring it remains an inviting and user-friendly space
e. Maintaining the technology behind the automated circulation systems (ALEPH, D-Tech currently)

3. Technical services
a. Taking initiative in areas of technological and digital innovation, and identifying ways in which the library can remain up to date in its digital development.
b. Cataloguing (RDA and AARC2) and classification
c. Monitoring and maintaining records to ensure they meet Bodleian standards
d. Acquisitions, including use of ALEPH module
e. Identifying material for purchase from reading lists, requests, catalogues and missing lists including monographs, serials, standing orders
f. Stock management including moves, withdrawals
g. Use of new ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online) system

4. Staff management
a. Ensuring appropriate staffing of the Library in consultation with the Bursar
b. Line management of library staff and volunteers
c. Maintain health and safety awareness, risk assessments, equality and diversity awareness within the team

5. Special collections
a. Overseeing the day to day use of the rare books collections, ensuring best practices are used, especially in regard to security and environmental and conservation concerns
b. Developing a broad knowledge of the collections and their significance and promoting them inside and outside of Oxford through conferences, talks, exhibitions (online and offline) and events. In particular, finding creative and innovative ways to use the library collections to tell the story of the college.
c. Engaging and working with researchers from Harris Manchester College, Oxford and the wider scholarly community, including responding to requests for loans and imaging
d. Working proactively with the Development Director to identify and apply to trust funds that will support the work of preserving and digitising the collections.

6. Other responsibilities
a. College copyright officer
b. Working with the Conference and Development Offices on internal requests for events in the library, and be prepared to work outside normal working hours on such events.
c. Co-directing the college’s week-long Summer Research Institute for 20 – 30 visiting academics

Person Specification
Qualifications
• A good undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject and postgraduate/professional qualifications in librarian/information studies.

Knowledge and Experience

• Good library experience, preferably in an academic (or similar) library, including overseeing a busy reading room and working with collections of manuscripts, artefacts and early printed books.
• Demonstrated experience of, and developed interest in, the use of digital technologies in support of creating and managing library services that support teaching & learning and academic research.
• Experience and knowledge of library systems: cataloguing, acquisitions, circulation, serials, and digital preservation and maintenance of archives.
• Proven experience of managing a small team and/or line management
• Proven experience of acquisitions, budget and stock control

Personal Characteristics

• Friendly and approachable manner and positive ‘can-do’ attitude, with a genuine enthusiasm for the ‘customer service’ element of running a library
• Collaborative and flexible, and used to working in a team
• Self-motivated and committed, with a strong sense of initiative
• An appetite for using the library collections and archives in creative ways to tell the college’s story, and a passion for enabling and enhancing academic research in these areas
• Excellent written and verbal skills, and IT skills
• Ability and willingness to learn new skills and enhance existing skills

Salary: Grade 7 (£32,817 – £44,045) or Grade 8 (£41,526 – £54,131) on the salary scale, depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits include 30 days holiday per annum, membership of a pension scheme, and a free Common Table lunch when on duty.

To apply
Please include in your application:
• a letter of application demonstrating your suitability for the post
• a full c.v.
• the names and contact details of three referees

Applications should be sent to: kate.wilson@hmc.ox.ac.uk to arrive no later than 5:00pm on Monday 10th August 2020.

Interviews will be held virtually towards the end of August. It is expected that the appointed candidate will start as soon as possible in the new Academic Year (that starts in October 2020). All appointments to the College are made on an initial probationary period of 6 months.