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  • Special Collections Coordinator

    Northern Illinois University

  • Library/Organization Address

    Founders Library
    DeKalb, Illinois 60115
  • Employment Type


  • Hourly Wage/Salary Range

    $45,000 - $52,000

  • About the Organization

  • Job Description and Responsibilities

    The staff member in this position serves as the Special Collections Coordinator for the Special Collections and Archives (SCA) Department with a primary focus on books and other published materials within the department. The Special Collections Coordinator is supervised by the Rare Books Librarian and works with other SCA full-time staff and student employees on a variety of special collections-related tasks and projects across the department. This includes books, periodicals, and other manuscript holdings in the Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) unit and the Regional History Center and University Archives (RHCUA) unit. This position has three primary areas of responsibility: Project Management and Personnel Supervision, Public and Administrative Services, and Collections Management.

    Project Management and Personnel Supervision
    * Develops collection processing plans, estimating work hours to complete.
    * Assigns students to projects, tracks project progress, and provides regular updates to department associates.
    * Hires, trains, and evaluates student workers to help with reference services (e.g., paging items, assisting researchers) and processing archival records, manuscripts, and print materials.
    * Maintains a training and policy manual for student employees.
    * Assesses collection backlog to identify and prioritize collection projects.
    * Monitors the status of the student payroll budget and approves timesheets.

    Public and Administrative Services
    * Fulfills reference requests including answering letters, emails, and telephone inquiries pertaining to the department and its various collections.
    * Assists in-person users during research sessions, group tours, class presentations, and other onsite activities.
    * Coordinates with other department personnel on public programs, instruction, outreach, and promotional efforts.
    * Coordinates with digitization unit to fulfill user requests.
    * Compiles statistical information on productivity (including reference and digitization requests and material use statistics), project development, and inventory control. *Provides reports on the operations as needed.

    Collections Management
    * Ensures collections are in a usable and protected state by conducting regular reviews of condition, storage environment, and potential risks (e.g., fragility, infestations, water damage).
    * Performs basic conservation treatments (e.g., creates protective enclosures) for items in disrepair or deteriorating condition. Identifies and isolates items in need of more extensive treatment such as those suffering from water damage, mold, or pests.
    * Participates in Library and University-wide efforts to adopt preservation-minded digital formats and encoding practices to ensure the long-term retention of electronic records, including unique datasets and born-digital publications.
    * Serves as a liaison to the cataloging unit and coordinates with faculty and staff from other library departments on matters pertaining to metadata, technology, collection use, and digitization projects.
    * Processes items for cataloging and performs quality control checks on catalog records to ensure completeness and accuracy.
    * Collaborates with the Rare Books Librarian and other SCA staff to acquire materials. Maintain collection case files, including bibliographic searching, evaluating, working with cataloging and with colleagues in the development office and Library Administration.

    Perform Other Duties as Assigned
    * Assists with special projects and initiatives related to the research, education, and service mission of the department, library, and university.

    Northern Illinois University (NIU) strives to improve outcomes for all students by identifying and removing barriers that disproportionately hinder the academic achievement and student experience of historically and currently underserved populations. Applicants of diverse and marginalized backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have a commitment to developing core competencies for working with and serving diverse populations. The University Libraries at NIU recognizes and affirms the essential dignity of all people by honoring and celebrating diversity, fostering inclusion, and actively working toward equity and social justice for students, faculty, staff, and members of our broader community. We support NIU’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging and strive to build an anti-racist organization which acknowledges that libraries have engaged in the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as other traditionally marginalized populations, and endeavors to dismantle systems of oppression that uphold white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and ableism. For more information, visit the University Libraries' Commitment to Diversity and Anti-Racism (
  • Minimum Requirements to Apply

    * Undergraduate degree in library and information studies, English, archival studies, museum studies, public history, history, or related discipline
    * At least one year of recent experience (job, internship, etc.) working with multi-format special collections including reference, processing, preservation, and metadata creation
    * Experience with library catalog searching and other web-based applications used to manage library, archives, and special collections holdings
    * Experience with word processing, database programs, and digital technologies
  • Benefits Offered

    Health insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Life insurance, Retirement plan, Paid time off, Other

    Tuition remission

  • Position Start Date

  • How to Apply

    Apply at
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