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Community History & Digitization Specialist, Boston Public Library, Office 4, Boston, MA


Position Overview:

The position of Community History and Digitization Specialist is a two-year, grant-funded position created in partnership between the Boston Public Library and Northeastern University.

Under the provisions of a grant in support of the Northeastern University Library Boston Research Center (BRC), the Community History and Digitization Specialist will assist in cultivating and maintaining relationships with select community organizations in East Boston, Chinatown, Roxbury, and the South End in order to develop community-driven research projects using archival and other historical materials.  This potentially includes identifying and delivering historic records and data sets into proper workflows for deposit into the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth’s statewide repository system, the Northeastern University Library’s repository system, or other online platforms.  The position also will perform any and all phases of work in support of grant-related neighborhood programming and outreach services in Boston Public Library (BPL) locations and in designated neighborhood locations.

Reports to:

Boston Public Library Community History Supervisor.


As assigned, professional and support staff.


  • Assists with the implementation of the grant including research, writing, and outreach at BPL and other designated neighborhood locations.
  • Reaches out to community organizations identified by BRC and BPL staff and affiliates to schedule meetings to discuss high-level goals and procedures.
  • Identifies both historic and active collections of records, documents, images, and data sets that would support research on the history of Boston neighborhoods.
  • Works with BPL Digital Services staff to familiarize community organizations with digitization and ingest processes related to the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth.
  • Works with both BPL and BRC staff to determine and develop optimal processes for conversion of collections into rich digital objects.
  • Works with BPL staff and consultants to determine current best practices in digitization and enhancement for digital history.
  • Works with BPL staff and consultants to create data models, workflows, technical specifications, and other related documentation necessary for development of BRC-related systems.
  • Assists in initiating, developing, planning, and implementing grant-related outreach and programs at BPL branches and other designated neighborhood locations.
  • Works with appropriate staff to procure materials necessary for successful programs.
  • Facilitates program related payments and manages program funds as assigned.
  • As assigned, collaborates with community groups, city agencies, and non-profits to bring grant-related high-quality programming and services out into designated neighborhoods.
  • Works with administrators and staff to develop, deploy, and support grant-related outreach services for all ages and to identify service populations in designated neighborhoods.
  • Provides professional staff support for grant-related outreach events at BPL locations and designated neighborhood locations.
  • Works with administration and branch staff to evaluate grant-related outreach services and recommends changes in service or new services.
  • As assigned, makes oral and written reports and presentations on grant-related activities at BPL branches or other designated neighborhood locations.  As assigned, also may make presentations related to the grant at local and national conferences.
  • Actively participates in system-wide committees, training, and other professional activities.
  • Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.


  • Familiar with and interested in Boston history, neighborhood identities, and community activism.
  • Familiar with research methodologies and pedagogy relating to social history.
  • Familiar with and interested in a broad range of social networking and online collaboration tools.
  • Ability to execute BPL policy.
  • Ability to supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to plan and run meetings with minimal supervision.
  • Initiative and independent decision-making skills.
  • Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
  • Identifies, plans, and prioritizes job responsibilities and tasks; determines and implements project timelines.
  • Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.
  • Ability to collaborate with library staff, external partners and resources.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university and a master’s degree in library and information science, public history, urban policy, or other relevant field of study.  Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required.  In exceptional circumstances specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.


  • Two years of appropriate library professional experience or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training sufficient to indicate ability to do the work.  Knowledge of broad-based library programming practices, including current trends in youth and adult programs and services.  Excellent knowledge of online communications and social networking tools.


  • Some evening and weekend hours based on scheduled programs and events. 
  • Ability to travel to BPL locations, to the Boston Research Center, and to off-site locations in designated neighborhoods, as assigned.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail as required by the job.
  • Residency – Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
  • CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.


Union/Salary Plan/Grade: PSA / P / 2

Hours per week:  35

How to Apply:

Apply using the link below:*MTY5NDk3MjgxMS40Ni4xLjE2OTQ5NzM1NDUuMC4wLjA.

The City of Boston is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Therefore, qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category.

The City of Boston has played a role in causing and perpetuating the inequities in our society. To break down these barriers, we are embedding equity and inclusion into everything we do.

We define equity as ensuring every community has the resources it needs to thrive in Boston. This requires the active process of meeting individuals where they are. Inclusion is engaging every resident to build a more welcoming and supportive city. We are building a city for everyone, where diversity makes us a more empowered collective.