Physics & Mathematics Librarian for the Cabot Science Library & Birkhoff Mathematical Library

Physics & Mathematics Librarian for the Cabot Science Library & Birkhoff Mathematical Library

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 2/18/2024
Laboratory and Research
Full Time


Physics & Mathematics Librarian for the Cabot Science Library & Birkhoff Mathematical Library

Harvard College Library


Job Summary

Join Harvard Library as part of a dynamic team working to enhance integrated liaison work with the Department of Physics and the Department of Mathematics as the Physics & Mathematics Librarian for the Cabot Science Library & Birkhoff Mathematical Library (Physics-Math Librarian) and be an active member of the Science Libraries Council.

The Library seeks an energetic, flexible, and innovative physics and mathematics subject liaison to support the faculty, students, and staff of the Department of Physics and the Department of Mathematics, home of the Birkhoff Mathematical Library. Working collaboratively as part of Harvard Library’s Science and Engineering Services team, the Physics-Math Librarian will advance visionary improvements to user services and outreach to the departments and share them with the library community through active participation and presentation in professional organizations and meetings.

The Physics-Math Librarian provides specialized and individualized reference and research consultation for undergraduate and graduate students, and works proactively with faculty to improve STEM instruction and research efforts. With the Sciences and Engineering Services team, shares in responsibility for providing innovative services such as instructional design and delivery, scholarly communication, collection development & collection management (both print & e-content), and management of intellectual property and copyright. 

Reporting to the Associate Director of Research, Instruction and Collection Resources, the Physics-Math Librarian will hold office hours in the Cabot Science Library, manage physical collections in the Birkhoff Mathematical Library, consult, and present workshops onsite and in library spaces, and build a network of strong relationships throughout the two departments, ultimately leading to opportunities and services yet to be envisioned. The Physics-Math Librarian will also manage a small, physical book collection (non-circulating) in the Department of Physics (“Physics Reading Room”). The librarian supports services and collections for all branches of physics as well as theoretical mathematics.   

Position Description

Collection Development & Management

  • Select bibliographic/database, visual, monographic and serial materials in all formats essential to the collection, consulting faculty, students and researchers, and/or the library director as necessary.
  • Choose vendors and monitor performance. 
  • Manage the regular review of serial & database subscriptions.
  • Work closely with ITS staff for ordering, review of and payment for collections.
  • Manage funds & track order records in Alma.
  • Manage physical materials held in the Birkhoff Mathematical Library and the Physics Department Reading Room; this can include binding of mathematical serials.
  • Work with Access Services staff for the procurement & support of Course Reserves materials.
  • Oversee the organization of the stacks (primarily in the Birkhoff Library) and recommend shifting and collection management projects as needed.

Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL)

  • Build relationships with faculty, students, and staff to support teaching, learning, and research.
  • Advise users of appropriate research strategies and available resources (at Harvard and beyond), and provide technical training as needed.
  • Serve as a resource regarding copyright, fair use and related services.
  • Serve as a resource for scholarly communications, including metrics, identification (e.g. Orchid ID), Open Access options, and specialized formatting options (e.g. LaTeX).
  • Oversee library research services and provide in-person and virtual reference and research consultation services including specialized research for in-depth inquiries.


  • Represent the Cabot Science Library in internal and external committees and organizations.
  • Collect statistics and report on library use.
  • Contribute to library strategic planning, policy, and procedure discussions.
  • Support and enforce all library security protocols.
  • Participate in special projects.
  • May be required to assist with disaster recovery efforts and integrated pest management program.

Basic Qualifications

  • MLS from an ALA-accredited school or equivalent education and/or professional work experience.
  • Five plus years of work experience relevant to the position

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Undergraduate degree in a science-related field preferred.
  • Advanced degree in a physical sciences STEM discipline is desirable.
  • Proven ability to analyze existing systems and implement improvements.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong organizational skills, ability to work independently and collegially within a team, and to handle complex, multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • A commitment to diversity and to serving the needs of a diverse population.
  • Ability to conduct instruction with active learning pedagogical techniques.
  • Demonstrated skills in accessing, retrieving, authenticating, and interpreting computer database content and assessing journal quality for the sciences.
  • Experience with ExLibris’ ALMA.
  • Teaching experience with physics & mathematics. 

Working Conditions

  • The position is based on onsite in Cambridge, MA. There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.
  • Interacting with collections that may contain dust, mold, or other contaminants.

Additional Information

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

386057 Library Professional

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Science and Engineering

Annual Salary Range

$74,200 to $126,200


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support.  Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at http://library.harvard.edu and about the Harvard University community at http://hr.harvard.edu/why-harvard.

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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