Technical Services Librarian - Chicago History Museum

The Technical Services Librarian provides content and technical expertise for the creation of automated and manual records of CHM’s research collection and collection items and makes this collection accessible to the broadest group of users possible.  The Technical Services Librarian takes an active role in the evaluation, organization, accessioning, and cataloging of CHM serial, book, cartography, ephemera, and related collections.  The Technical Services Librarian also helps maintain the online systems necessary to support these functions and assists researchers in utilizing these resources. The Technical Services Librarian will utilize interns to help meet departmental and institutional collection goals.


The Technical Services Librarian will facilitate use of CHM’s research holdings to meet its institutional goals, support its mission and promote the collection as CHM’s most unique and significant resource.  The Technical Services Librarian will primarily provide content and technical expertise for the creation of automated and manual records of the research collection and make it accessible to the broadest group of users possible. The Technical Services Librarian will use advanced knowledge and exercise discretion and judgment with regard to this position’s essential functions. The Technical Services Librarian will serve collection items to researchers in the Abakanowicz Research Center, providing appropriate guidance in their use


  • Organize and house CHM serial, book, cartography, ephemera, and related collection materials for processing and research use
  • Serve collection items to researchers in the Abakanowicz Research Center, providing appropriate guidance in their use
  • Provide and input descriptive, provenance, authorship, subject and other appropriate information in computerized catalog records for these materials, according to established standards and in-house policies
  • Edit and revise draft catalog records for accuracy, completeness, and form
  • Participate in developing and implementing new methods, procedures, policies, and objectives regarding the accessioning, documentation and cataloging of collection materials
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge of the scope, strengths, and weaknesses of CHM’s Library holdings, including subject matter, overall condition, and usage patterns
  • Work with Research and Access, Collections, and Curatorial Affairs staff as appropriate to articulate collection development goals for CHM’s Library holdings and assess potential additions to CHM’s Library holdings
  • Play lead role in communicating with would-be donors of Library materials, arranging for desired materials to be delivered to CHM, and coordinating the return or disposal of unwanted Library materials in accordance with established procedures, including preparing and routing all documentation necessary to track incoming and outgoing Library materials.
  • Work with other members of the Research and Access staff and the Collections Department to determine relative preservation priorities for holdings; alert Collections staff to preservation and conservation needs of the same
  • Work in collaboration with the Research and Access staff and the Collections Department to determine processing and cataloging priorities, and timetables for cataloging and processing activity
  • Stay conversant with computer-based database management, resources, and cataloging tools (e.g., OCLC, LC subject headings) and train other staff members to use these resources for cataloging purposes
  • Support the Cataloging and Metadata Librarian as backup system administrator for the Horizon database (ARCHIE)
  • Instruct researchers how to use the online catalog, microfilm equipment, and other Abakanowicz Research Center self-service equipment
  • Represent the museum in appropriate local, national, and international forums
  • Communicate verbally and in writing and deal diplomatically and effectively with members of the public 
  • Physically process accessioned Library materials, including marking and re-housing materials and placing them into their permanent storage locations
  • Work Tuesdays through Saturdays from September through May (Mondays through Fridays from June through August)
  • Ascend and descend stairs
  • Lift, carry, or otherwise move boxes or objects weighing up to 25 pounds
  • Create a team spirit and enhance communication within the Research and Access Department so that staff members will work collaboratively and in a supportive manner across departmental and functional area boundaries


  • Develop finding aids, lists, and other research guides to the CHM collections
  • Supervise interns, volunteers, and project staff.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Director of Research and Access and Chief Librarian


The Technical Services Librarian works with the Collections Department to preserve and conserve the research collection, to create online access to it, and to digitize images and other surrogates of collection items. This position also works with Curatorial Affairs to evaluate proposed donations of published materials to the collection. The Technical Services Librarian also works with the Research and Access Department to administer public service of the collection and with the External Engagement and Development Department in matters affecting the funding and support of collections.  The Technical Services Librarian serves researchers, members of the public, and other end-users of the online and conventional cataloging systems; systems administrators and others connected with cataloging utilities and databases.


  • Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.
  • Three years’ experience in processing and cataloging original source materials in a historical society, museum, research library, or archives setting 
  • A sound knowledge of cataloging principles, standards, procedures, and systems pertaining to archival and research library materials in many formats, including serials 
  • Advanced knowledge of current and emerging cataloging principles and standards, including MARC21, RDA, AACR2, etc. 
  • Experience applying and maintaining controlled vocabularies, including LCSH and local authorities 
  • General knowledge of the principles and uses of automated systems, and a working familiarity with database management and online public access systems for library and/or museum collections 
  • General knowledge of American and Chicago History
  • Demonstrated ability to work in teams, to solve technical and procedural problems creatively 
  • Above average verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to deal diplomatically and effectively with members of the public 
  • Ability to organize and package the various collections materials efficiently and in accordance with established conservation standards and in-house policies
  • Ability to ascend and descend stairs
  • Ability to lift, carry, or otherwise move boxes and objects weighing 25 pounds
  • Commitment to the mission, values, and programs of the Chicago History Museum 

CHM has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy requiring COVID-19 vaccination(s) for all employees.

This decision was made in accordance with CHM's duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is as safe as possible during these uncertain times. We believe that adopting this policy safeguards the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors, and the community at large from infectious diseases that may be reduced by vaccinations.

To Apply: 

Please submit the following as a single document: cover letter and resume. Online submissions with incomplete information may not be considered. E/O/E D/V/M/F. No Phone Calls, please.

This job description is not intended to be an express or implied contract between CHM and any employee. CHM employees are employees at will. CHM reserves the right to change or assign other duties to this position as necessary to meet changing business needs. CHM is an equal-opportunity employer.