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    This is the position of Supervisory Librarian of the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). The incumbent reports to the Director of the CfA. The Supervisory  Librarian provides strategic leadership and oversees day-to-day management of the John G. Wolbach Library. 

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    The Supervisory Librarian assists in the formulation of policies, program goals, budgets and financial operations, and objectives that include the development of short and long-range plans to accomplish the library department’s goals. The incumbent is responsible for a broad range of library services, including administration, collection development, collection management, information systems, reference services, interlibrary loans, document delivery, digital curation, preservation of digital objects, and the management of the library’s physical space.


    1. Compose policies, program goals, budgets and financial procedures, and objectives on an as-needed basis.
    2. Create short and long-range plans to accomplish the library department’s goals on a quarterly basis.
    3. Oversee all section activities including administration, collection development (acquisitions and cataloging), collection management (circulation, binding, de-accession, preservation, conservation, digitization, and security), information systems, reference services, interlibrary loans, document delivery, digital curation, preservation of digital objects (research software, datasets), and the management of the library’s physical space.
    4. Work together with vendors, publishers, societies, archives, government agencies and other institutions worldwide.
    5. Plan, coordinate and supervise the department’s work: copy cataloging in all subjects, languages and physical formats; receiving and processing materials and records through vendor-supplied services; project management involving collaboration with contract and collections staff; and maintenance of the Libraries’ Collection records in SIRIS.
    6. Lead and train staff to resolve complex copy cataloging and post-cataloging data problems. Troubleshoots and resolves data integrity issues and errors.
    7. Manage the supply and use of vendor-supplied bibliographic records, including working with vendors to provide catalog records that meet national and international standards. Develop and implement changes and improvements to cross-departmental workflow.
    1. Supervise approximately 5 employees both exempt and non-exempt professional and support staff, including both Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) employees. Assign projects and tasks; prepare performance plans and perform performance appraisals; approve work schedules, leave, and overtime; resolve conflicts and take disciplinary action when required; nominate staff for awards to reward exceptional performance; give advice, counsel, or instruction to staff on both technical and administrative matters; determine training needs and arrange training as appropriate; and interview and hire new staff when vacancies occur.
    1. Communicate and present library goals, objectives, plans, and the status of individual projects to CfA administrators, university administrators, and all relevant library stakeholders.
    2. Participate in institutional committees and working groups (e.g. Harvard Library Stewardship Standing Committee, Science Libraries Council, CfA Scientific Computation Advisory Committee) and participates in institution-wide policy development regarding the stewardship of research artifacts.
    3. Present original research and projects at both astronomy and library-related conferences. Publish research in the scholarly literature.
    4. Solicit external funding to support original research and library services. Keep abreast of and responds to trends in national service models and changes in research and curricular environments.
    5. Develop, establish, and maintain professional relationships with librarians, curators, and facilities staff to share resources and information to coordinate workflow, project planning and policy development in the Library.
    6. As a consultant for CfA to provide technical recommendations on the conservation and/or preservation of Library materials.
    7. Fulfill other duties as assigned by the Director.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    1410 Librarian

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Pre and Post appointment background check
    • Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer required for salary payment
    • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period

    Applicants must meet the basic qualification requirements as described in the Office of Personnel Management's Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions. These standards may be viewed at the following address on the web at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1400/librarian-series-1410/


    Basic Requirements:

    A. Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate study in library science in an accredited college or university, in addition to completion of all work required for a bachelor's degree; OR

    B.   A total of at least 5 years of a combination of college-level education, training, and experience. To qualify on this basis, the applicant must establish conclusively that the education, training, and experience provided a knowledge and understanding of the theories, principles, and techniques of professional librarianship; knowledge of literature resources; and the knowledge and abilities essential for providing effective library and information services.

    Additional Requirements:

    Grade 13: 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the Grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation. Examples of specialized experience may include but are not limited to: professional knowledge of the theories, principles, practices and techniques of librarianship in combination with the supervisory and managerial training and experience needed to direct a major research library; applying standard practices of other disciplines as they relate to the librarian profession; and locating information, often of a specialized or technical nature, from a wide variety of published and unpublished sources and electronic data bases; and managing a library providing the full range of services; supervising employees, determining training needs, preparing performance plans and appraisals, interviewing and hiring new staff.

    Additional Information:The Center for Astrophysics is managed jointly by Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The Head Librarian will hold a half-time appointment at Harvard and a half-time appointment at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and will receive those benefits that accrue on each appointment. Position vacancy announcements will be issued by both Harvard and the Smithsonian, and candidates who apply to either position vacancy announcement will be considered.

    The John G. Wolbach Library, comprising the library collections of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, is one of the world’s preeminent astronomical collections, with more than 70,000 volumes, including significant historical collections. The Library includes a main facility at the Harvard College Observatory and ancillary facilities elsewhere in Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard, Mass.; and Amado, Ariz.


    Additional information

    The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses. The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (www.si.edu/oeema).

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. Further you will be evaluated:

    Professional knowledge of the theories, objectives, principles, practices and techniques of librarianship in combination with managerial experience to direct the functions of the CfA library.

    Ability to provide strong leadership, management, vision, and strategic direction in a complex organization.

    Ability and skill in utilizing information and technology systems.

    Ability to identify and solve a broad range of problems with creativity and diplomacy.

    Knowledge of scientific research process and the uses of scientific literature and data in scientific research and the ability to interpret research methodologies /results to faculty, staff and students.

    Ability to lead and perform in supervisory and management role.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Drug test required


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    Required Documents

    Detailed resume.
    School transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or you are using education to qualify for the position.
    Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page.
    Please Note:

    • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button.
    • Clicking the "DONE" tab does not submit your application. The "DONE" tab allows you to exit the system and save your information for completion at a later time. To submit your application, click the "FINISH" tab.
    • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

    Agency contact information

    Angel Flewelling








    Human Resources
    60 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138
    Mail Stop 17
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
    United States
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You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/509895900. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.