New Staff Coming Soon

Scott Britton describes the eight positions that the library plans to fill in the coming months.

Following a year-long strategic and organizational planning process that coincided with retirements in several areas, the Boston College Libraries will be filling eight positions this spring and summer. While we always redefine positions before posting them, this unusually high number of simultaneous vacancies allowed us to think creatively and broadly before determining what the new positions would be. We are excited about hiring so many new people onto our staff and are equally excited by the new services they will provide. For several of these candidates, we are fortunate to have the assistance of faculty members who will participate in the interview process and provide valuable feedback to help us select a candidate who is the perfect fit for the Boston College community. Below is a brief description of the new positions.

The Head of Special Collections Technical Services (Burns Library) will direct and manage a broad array of functions pertaining to the description and preservation of rare books and special collections, and lead the team that catalogs, conserves, and maintains the storage of Burns Library collections.

The Head of Digital Scholarship will lead a team and colleagues across BC to envision, plan and deliver innovative and sustainable digital research. Through exploration of new technologies and engagement with digital scholarship and digital library practices, standards and systems, this individual will provide strong leadership, coordination, and project management for the team, as well as a technical expertise.

The Digital Scholarship Librarian / Bibliographer (2 positions: Liaison to English or History) will advance digital scholarship by providing research services, technical support, and project management assistance for members of the BC community engaged in technology-rich scholarly projects. Both librarians will maintain deep knowledge and practical expertise in an evolving interdisciplinary landscape of digital scholarship tools and methods, including but not limited to textual and spatial analysis, statistical computation, and data visualization. Each position will also serve as Bibliographer / Liaison for either English or History.

The Collection Development Librarian (and Social Sciences Bibliographer) will provide leadership and stewardship of Library collections across all subjects, with an emphasis on the social sciences. This person will also provide research services and instruction for either the Lynch School of Education, or the Political Science Department and the interdisciplinary programs of Asian and Asian American Studies, Islamic Civilization and Societies, Jewish Studies, and International Studies.

The Reference Librarian/ Bibliographer (Social Sciences) will provide research services and instruction for either the Lynch School of Education, or the Political Science Department and the interdisciplinary programs of Asian and Asian American Studies, Islamic Civilization and Societies, Jewish Studies, and International Studies. This person will develop collections which support the research, teaching, curriculum and educational needs within the assigned subject areas.

The Discovery Services Librarian will provide access to scholarly resources and services by managing, developing, and supporting public-facing discovery and access applications (e.g. Primo, ILLiad, Rapid, NRE, OJS, Islandora).

Scott Britton
Associate University Librarian
for Public Services

Seven Year Reflection

Tom Wall reflects on his seven years at Boston College Libraries.

Every responsible organization needs to reflect and reconsider its place in its community every five to seven years. So too with University Libraries. The pace of change in libraries has been meteoric over the past decade and those that fail to innovate tend to be left in the proverbial dust. It is the role of the University Librarian to facilitate innovation and create a culture open to creativity, service excellence, and continuous improvement. As it turns out, this past March marked my seventh anniversary at Boston College, providing a timely opportunity for reflection and reconsideration.

Working with dedicated staff in the Libraries and across the University has been the best part of my experience so far. We are fully supported by the BC Administration and have benefitted from collaboration in all areas, including and, in fact, especially our collaborations with students. But talk is cheap, so over the past few months several of my library colleagues and I have put together a document that tells part of the story of the past seven years and outlines key areas of growth for the Libraries. The document is the product of the collaborative work of many intelligent individuals who understand that what is good for Boston College is good for them, not the other way around, and that “good is the enemy of great.”

Although the document highlights many areas, it is critical to recognize that not all the work within the Libraries can be easily seen, but it has all been essential for the successes we have experienced together over the last several years. Our Library Story (PDF) includes many unsung heroes, and to them, I am extremely grateful.

I hope you enjoy Our Library Story and continue to provide feedback and suggestions to help us in our quest to better serve all facets of the Boston College community. It’s been a wonderful seven years, and I am excited about the future of Boston College and the ways the Libraries can help us all work together in our quest of “Ever to Excel”.

Wishing you great success,

Tom Wall, Ph.D.
University Librarian

Graham Greene at the Burns Library

Amy Braitsch details efforts to improve research access to the Graham Greene papers and personal library held at Burns Library.

Greene's passport photo Did you know that the John J. Burns Library holds a sizable collection of British author Graham Greene’s correspondence, literary manuscripts, papers, and even his personal library? We do and we are excited to announce that it is once again open to researchers! The Graham Greene papers and personal library were first acquired by the Burns Library in 1995, and we worked quickly to make the content available for use as soon as possible. Over the years, we acquired more material and hastily provided access, but the collections became unruly to use and the indexes (“finding aids”) weren’t available online. Recently, we set to work to make things better.

The first step was to discontinue researcher access while we gathered together our Greene holdings and analyzed them. Next, we did lots of archival work: we used new folders and boxes to promote long-term preservation; conserved maps that had been folded and stained; researched correspondents and chose standard name formats; and wrote a new streamlined finding aid. The collection is open again and you can now learn about all our Greene archival holdings through one record in the library catalog, which is linked to a single finding aid (PDF). This significant improvement is the result of the work of many throughout the Boston College Libraries.

A collection of Greene's belongings, such as his passport, Scrabble game, and books

Because archival collections are naturally interdisciplinary, anyone could approach any collection through any academic lens and learn something new; the Graham Greene papers have a lot to offer researchers in many fields. Greene was an author who wrote popular fiction and nonfiction and worked on screenplays and films. He was a spy(!). He was a Catholic who struggled with his faith. He traveled and was drawn, through work and personal interest, to areas in political turmoil. He lived in a time of old-school correspondence on paper and exchanged letters with many interesting and influential people on a wide array of topics. The collection is modern with the bulk of material dating between 1940 and 1989 and includes many formats, including correspondence and literary drafts, proofs, and reviews, as well as art, clippings, ephemera, legal documents, maps, objects, passports, photographs, postcards, posters, playbills, programs, research material, and scrapbooks.

A collection of Greeene's letters

We are excited to support your research use of this collection. Please plan to come in and take a look. To use the Graham Greene papers, consult the finding aid (PDF), identify boxes of interest, and then come to the reading room to see the material. We will retrieve as much material as you’d like to see. To use Graham Greene’s personal library, conduct an advance search for Local Collection Name contains phrase “Greene’s Library” and browse or filter the results. Greene annotated his books; the annotations can be interesting when juxtaposed with correspondence in the collection. Again, we are happy to retrieve books for you to use in the reading room. Anyone interested in learning about the fascinating life of the writer of Our Man in Havana, The End of the Affair, and the classic film The Third Man can delve into primary research and make their own discoveries.

Amy Braitsch
Head of Archives
John J. Burns Library

Aside Test

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Test Post Third

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Test Post 02

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Test Post 01

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