Harvard University

Job Title

Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library


Harvard-Yenching Library


Opening Date: 09/23/2021
Closing Date:  12/23/2021

Job Description

Harvard University seeks a collaborative, future-oriented leader for the position of Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library. Harvard-Yenching Library is the preeminent academic research library focusing on East Asia in the western world and the third-largest repository in the Harvard Library system.

The Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library will nurture a new appreciation for and a reimagining of the Library's unparalleled special collections and lead an expansion of its digital collections and expertise in digital scholarship. Reporting to the Assistant University Librarian for Content Strategies and Associate Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library provides leadership and oversight for the Library's staff, budget, operations, and programs that support a diverse array of collection development, research support, teaching and learning, digital scholarship, and community and international engagement activities centered on the library's expertise in Asian and East Asian studies. The Librarian actively seeks out and builds cooperative approaches in the development of services.

The successful candidate will possess a wide-ranging knowledge of Asian and East Asian studies; an understanding of the needs of the Asian and East Asian studies community both nationally and internationally; the ability to find balance among the needs and use of print and digital materials; and a commitment to adopting new technologies and standards that will improve access to and use of Harvard-Yenching Library holdings.

Equally importantly, the successful candidate will have the ability to inspire and appreciatively lead the Library's valued staff; a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism; a user-driven orientation; and a collegial outlook and spirit. Modeling Harvard Library's value of deep collaboration, and recognizing the multidisciplinary nature of Asian and East Asian studies, the Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library works in partnership with other libraries and library departments across the Harvard Library system to the benefit of researchers whose starting place is the Harvard-Yenching Library as well as the entire Harvard community.

Externally, the Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library will take an active role in collaborative collection development projects within the ReCAP consortium and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation. The Harvard-Yenching Library has a long history of support from and collaboration with the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library plays a primary role in nurturing and maintaining this relationship. The Librarian of the Harvard-Yenching Library works closely and communicates broadly with faculty and senior administrators and serves on university and library committees as well as representing Harvard-Yenching Library in professional organizations and to other external constituencies.

Job Duties

Job Responsibilities:

  • Oversees all facets of the Harvard-Yenching Library: collection development; research, teaching, and learning; management, staffing, fiscal control.
  • The incumbent directly supervises five professional librarians, one curatorial assistant, and one administrative coordinator within the Harvard-Yenching Library. [N.B.: Technical services and access services are provided centrally by Harvard Library]
  • Management
    • In collaboration with library leadership in Harvard Library, direct the strategic planning process for Harvard-Yenching Library.
    • Maintain administrative oversight of Harvard-Yenching Library.
    • Plan, develop, administer and evaluate library services to faculty, staff and students.
    • Prepare and recommend annual budget; monitor budget expenditures; assist with grant preparation and writing.
    • Prioritize and lead multiple projects while meeting deadlines and budget targets.
    • Recruit, hire, manage, and evaluate staff.
    • Promote staff development activities.
    • Work collegially with peers and colleagues across the Harvard Library in a variety of committees and working groups.
    • Maintain awareness of national trends and developments in Asian and East Asian librarianship.
    • Contribute to professional organizations at the national and international level, recognize library trends and opportunities, and use this knowledge to enrich local programs and strategic planning.
    • With Library Building Operations and FAS Building Operations, manage the Harvard-Yenching Library facilities
  • Research and Instruction
    • Collaborate with faculty and colleagues across the library system to ensure continuing excellence in Asian and East Asian research and instruction programs.
    • Collaborate with colleagues to develop effective strategies to meet user needs.
    • Plan and implement a program of library services that meet the teaching and research needs of diverse departments by developing relationships within and among departments to ensure librarians have a working rapport with faculty.
    • Supervise and evaluate outreach efforts to the various academic departments and programs.
    • Promote collections and services to graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Collection Management
    • Coordinate the management of the collections for Asian and East Asian studies to ensure the selection and maintenance of well-balanced collections to support the teaching and research programs at Harvard.
    • Assess, create, oversee, and leverage innovative collections. Monitor vendor relationships.
    • Promote cooperative planning for collections, services, and preservation of materials, especially with ReCAP and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation.
  • External Collaboration
    • Participate actively in pertinent professional organizations.
    • Maintain collaborative programs with area institutions.


Basic Qualifications
  • ALA-accredited MLS or equivalent experience in academic library administration.
  • A minimum of ten years of professional experience.
  • 6 or more years of management experience.
  • Knowledge of a minimum of one East Asian language.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in East Asian languages, culture, history, and civilization.
  • Demonstrated record of collaboration at intra- and interinstitutional levels.
  • Demonstrated knowledge or experience with print and digital publishing in East Asian countries

Supplementation Information

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of the day on November 15, 2021.

How to Apply