Librarian – Letterform Archive – San Francisco, CA

Employment Opportunity
Librarian, Letterform Archive
San Francisco, CA, USA

Letterform Archive ( serves existing and
potential students, practitioners, and admirers of the lettering
arts—typography, calligraphy, graphic design, the history of written
communication, and adjacent fields. Through our collection of 25,000+
physical and digital artifacts in a variety of formats (books,
periodicals, posters, artist’s books, typefoundry ephemera); our large
and vibrant open-stacks reading room; and a growing program of
lectures, workshops, exhibitions, continuing education courses,
digitization, and publications, we are a venue for inspiration,
education, research, and community formation.

The Archive is located in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill district, and
is open to all, free of charge.

Letterform Archive seeks an energetic, innovative, conscientious, and
knowledgeable professional to be its Librarian. This position offers
an excellent opportunity for an individual with strong technical,
project management, analytical, and organizational skills to
contribute to the success and sustainability of a dynamic new

Given our ambitions and fast growth, in addition to her/his principal
responsibilities (described below), the Librarian will be
unapologetically counted on to roll up her/his sleeves and pitch in on
other ongoing initiatives: in other words, to contribute to the
overall success of the organization’s vision, assets, staff, outreach,
and/or programs.

Occasional weekend and evening work may be necessary.

*Principal Responsibilities*
Reporting to the Executive Director, and in strategic consultation
with the Curator, the Librarian will implement and oversee all aspects
of Letterform Archive’s collections management and description
systems, and enable the discovery of our materials by local and global
audiences. Utilizing professional best practices and standards, she/he
is responsible for:
– Establishing goals and standards for cataloguing and digital
archiving of the collection, working with the Archive’s Web team as
– Implementing tools and workflows based on these standards, working
with the Archive’s Web team as necessary
– Processing and cataloguing our physical collection, including by
copy and original cataloguing, creating finding aids, and/or resource
description as appropriate
– Sustaining our relationship with the Internet Archive, which will
host and serve our digital assets to a global audience
– Hiring and supervising interns/volunteers to support processing and
cataloguing activity
– Working with our Collections Associate to prioritize and execute
preservation tasks

*Other Duties*
Additional team-wide tasks or projects may include, but are not limited to:
– Strategy and planning initiatives
– Collaborating on website, marketing, crowdfunding, or publications
copy, or on social media content about the collection and Archive
– Helping with workshop setup, student services, liaising with instructors, etc.
– Hosting/attending occasional evening or weekend events
– Building awareness and evangelism

Depending on the Librarian’s level of interest/expertise in our areas
of collecting strength, her/his duties could expand to include
involvement with our public services work (hosting visitors, giving
public tours of the Archive, providing reference and instruction
services, and/or overseeing the fulfillment of reproductions requests)
and with our publications program.

*Ideal Minimum Qualifications*
– Master’s degree in Library or Information Science from an
ALA-accredited program, or from a master’s-level program in library
and information studies accredited or recognized by the appropriate
national body of another country
– 3+ years of increasing responsibility working in libraries/archives
(creating finding aids, evaluating materials for historical value,
describing, arranging and preserving materials)
– Demonstrated command of current cataloguing principles and
procedures, such as RDA, DCRM, AACR2, DACS, MARC standards, and
subject classification; experience with OCLC
– Experience with collection & digital asset management systems and/or databases
– Ability to learn, analyze, utilize, and/or innovate upon standards,
workflows, and best practices related to metadata, description,
digitization, and preservation
– Experience with common web content management systems

*Preferred Qualifications*
– Experience providing reference services in an archives or special
collections repository
– Experience with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign
– Graduate degree in or involvement with an area of specialization
appropriate to our collections (e.g., graphic design, book arts, book
history, etc.)

*Desired Characteristics*
We seek candidates whose skills and experience have prepared them to
relate to and uphold our core values of design sensitivity,
collaboration, excellence, hospitality, humility, nimbleness, and
forming connections among the diverse communities we serve.

We also value highly:
– The ability to contribute, champion, and debate new ideas
– Excellent written and oral communication skills
– Excellent organizational and time management skills
– Flexibility; the ability to work independently as well as in a team;
comfort in a rapidly changing environment
– Meticulous detail orientation; focus on accuracy
– Ability to see projects from inception to completion
– Curiosity, enthusiasm, positivity, and the desire to constantly
acquire new knowledge

*Compensation and Benefits*
This is a full-time, exempt (salaried) position. Salary is
commensurate with credentials and experience; minimum $52,000.

Letterform Archive pays 100% of employee medical, dental and vision
insurance premiums. All employees receive 10 days’ paid vacation plus
10 paid national holidays annually, and accumulate sick-leave days
according to San Francisco regulations.

*To Apply*
Please email the following to, attn Simran Thadani:
– a cover letter in which you address: your interest in this position;
your knowledge of and previous experience with the lettering arts; the
skills you hope to cultivate and the areas in which you hope to grow
in this position; and the ways in which this position would help you
meet your longer-term professional goals
– a résumé with three references
– a professional writing sample of at least 1,000 words, illustrative
of your skills and experience with library science, the lettering
arts, or an adjacent field

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until position
is filled.

Letterform Archive is committed to equal opportunity employment. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to
race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or
protected veteran status.