Job Posting: Geospatial & Cartographic Information Librarian or Assistant Curator of Digital & Participatory Geography

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The Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library seeks to hire for the position of either Geospatial & Cartographic Information Librarian or Assistant Curator of Digital and Participatory Geography. The title and balance of duties will be determined by the candidate’s prior training and expertise.

This position will play a key role in developing the LMEC’s portfolio of activities around digitized geospatial information, including both spatial data pertaining to historic collections objects in the domain of Historical GIS, and modern geospatial information in the domain of critical data literacy. As the Center continues to grow its collections of both original and derived geospatial datasets, this position will manage both the development of tools and infrastructure as well as the supervision of public-facing programs and workshops to support digital practice in mapmaking, spatial analysis, and historical investigation. They will also coordinate with staff in all other areas of the Center by providing expertise on data management and digital cartography.

Data justice and programs that promote empowerment and engagement with digital cartography are major strategic growth areas for the LMEC. Existing programs under development which will be spearheaded by the staff member in this role include the Center’s new Public Data Portal and contextual metadata schema; a suite of public instruction courses for general adult audiences around GIS data; partnerships with data-management agencies in the city and region; and maintenance and expansion of the Center’s portfolio of Historical GIS assets, including georeferencing systems and the Atlascope portal.

The Librarian or Assistant Curator will play a key role in the Center’s CIRCLE (Collections, Interpretation, Research, Community Learning, and Exhibitions) working group, and will work closely with the Cataloging & Reference Librarian as well as the Public Engagement & Interpretation Coordinator to support access to the collections from existing constituencies such as researchers and library patrons, as well as actively seeking opportunities to build interest in geospatial information and digital mapmaking amongst new constituencies.

The Librarian or Assistant Curator will also work in collaboration with the Center’s Education working group, assisting on projects involving geospatial data sets and tools for K-12 programs.

Appointments made under the title of Assistant Curator will also be expected to actively develop the Center’s collections in topic areas relating to the history of digital cartography, critical and radical cartography of the 20th and 21st centuries and born-digital cartography, as well as occasionally facilitating exhibitions on these and related topics. The Assistant Curator position also includes the expectation of maintaining an active connection with scholarly research in fields such as human geography, media studies, and digital design.

Appointments made under the title of Cartographic & Geospatial Information Librarian will also be expected to maintain an active presence in inter-institutional working groups specializing in Map & GIS library practice, and to take a leading role in developing and implementing best practice standards pertaining to spatial data and metadata.

Required qualifications and skills

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • If filled as Cartographic & Geospatial Information Librarian
    • An MLS, MLIS or equivalent degree with a specialization in GIS, cartography, digital data, or similar subject area
  • If filled as Assistant Curator of Digital & Participatory Geography
    • A PhD or equivalent degree in human geography, GIS, cartography, spatial analysis, media studies, or similar field
  • In exceptional circumstances, a candidate may demonstrate a record of leadership, organizational, and creative skills as a substitute for an advanced degree
  • Demonstrated success working with geospatial information and digital cartography in collaboration with non-expert audiences, including the general public, students of all levels, community groups, and similar audiences
  • Expertise with both proprietary and open-source GIS and cartography software environments, including the Arc suite, QGIS, web mapping tools such as Leaflet or OpenLayers

About the LMEC

The Leventhal Map & Education Center is an independent, self-governing nonprofit organization in a long-term strategic relationship with the Boston Public Library. The Center stewards a quarter million geographic objects in the Library’s collections, and works to make them freely available to the public for research, interpretation, and engagement. The Center’s collections range from fifteen century atlases to modern-day geospatial data sets. The Center creates original exhibitions hosted in its gallery space at the Central Library in Copley Square and promotes K-12 and public education on topics that explore the relationship between people and places.

As a mission-driven organization, the Center endorses the following values:

  • Commit to integrity, excellence, respect in all our relationships, and professional library ethics (including the ALA’s Code of Ethics and the ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians)
  • Listen to and include community voices, especially those who have been less represented
  • Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and our work with others
  • Work to advance a more just and equitable society
  • Keep our spaces and community services open, welcoming, and “free to all”

The Center places great value on an organizational culture in which staff members have the flexibility and openness to work with a diverse group of audiences, constituencies, and colleagues. Our work is committed to public service and to innovation that fosters positive change in the world.

Remote options and residency requirement

The Librarian or Curator will be expected to work primarily in-person at the Central Library in Copley Square, at 700 Boylston St. in Boston. After an initial transitional period, 1–2 days of remote work per week may be possible by approval from supervisors.

There is no residency requirement for this position. Leventhal Map & Education Center employees report to the independent Leventhal Map & Education Center and are not covered directly by human resource policies pertaining to the Boston Public Library or City of Boston municipality.

This position is subject to a CORI check.

To apply

Please submit the following at via this application form:

  • A cover letter of no more than two pages (PDF, DOCX, or MD format)
  • A CV or résumé
  • A list of static or interactive examples of at least 3 of the following types of materials for which you have been a primary contributor:
    • Web-based map
    • Map or other creative geographic project in print or other physical format
    • Participatory data collection effort
    • Courses or workshops on data, mapmaking, or information literacy
    • Original data sets
    • Schema or systems for organizing, describing, and presenting data
    • Data analyses or visualizations
    • Video, lecture, or other similar presentations for non-specialist audiences
  • A list of 3 professional references, including telephone numbers and email

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until filled. For full consideration, please submit application materials by June 28, 2021.

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