Preservation and Digitization Strategist

at The Ohio State University (view profile)
Location Columbus, Ohio
Date Posted September 11, 2018
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time


Preservation and Digitization Strategist

The Ohio State University Libraries is seeking a successful leader with an orientation to systems thinking and strong skills in analysis, innovation, and collaboration to care for the rich and expansive collections its users rely on for teaching, learning, discovery, and the creation of new knowledge and art. The Preservation and Digitization Strategist provides key leadership for the life-cycle management of the Libraries’ physical and digital collections. The position directs and advances a diverse portfolio of related services encompassing conservation, preservation, and digitization of collections. The Strategist is a key partner with Collection Strategy, Special Collections, Facilities, Information Technology, and Discovery and Access in developing policy and practice affecting collection stewardship.

The position reports to the Associate Director for Content and Access and participates in the Libraries’ Management Committee. As head of the Preservation and Digitization Program Area, they manage units that include 12 staff and 6 FTE student assistants. The Preservation and Digitization Strategist will work in a highly integrated environment to create and implement innovative approaches to providing efficient stewardship of its collections. Programs and units within the program area address digitization, conservation and treatment, bindery and end-processing of additions to the collections. The Strategist is also the Chief Preservation Officer for the University Libraries.

The Ohio State University Libraries hold over seven million volumes plus a diversity of special and archival collections in a wide range of formats. Collections are housed in multiple library facilities including a high-density storage unit. Conservation activities are carried out in a state-of-the art conservation lab housed in the Libraries Tech Center. The Libraries is committed to collection retention and ongoing access through multiple shared print programs calling for new thinking about care of physical collections. Digitization is an area of ongoing development in concert with a range of investments in fostering the discovery and use of distinctive collections held by the University Libraries. Digital collections are a rapidly growing programmatic focus for the Libraries that currently spans OSU-published content, University Archives and a wide range of special collections, retrospective digitization of theses and dissertations, and distinctive materials in the circulating collections (e.g. a recent project on Ottoman Turkish materials).

Partnerships with other libraries are integral to preservation and digitization strategies for University Libraries. The Strategist will operate in an environment of active consortial engagement through the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), HathiTrust, OhioLINK, the recently launched Ohio Digital Network in the DPLA, and other cooperative programs. The Libraries are also currently lending collections for scanning to the Google Books Project with the BTAA.

The Libraries’ values include Equity with a commitment to advancing diversity, inclusivity, access, and social justice. All Libraries’ leaders are expected to actively champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, broader organization and profession, and foster a collegial, nurturing work culture.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provides vision, focus, and leadership for digitization, conservation and preservation activities within the Libraries
  • Functions as the Libraries’ chief preservation officer, serving as a preservation advocate. Leads in planning for activities such as disaster response, advises in space planning to ensure appropriate environmental conditions for housing collections in all formats, engages in environmental monitoring of collections spaces, etc.
  • Develops and implements strategy for in-house and outsourced digitization of the Libraries distinctive collections
  • Advances a robust conservation program
  • Develops policies and specifications related to preservation and digitization of Library collections
  • Manages preservation budgets and endowments and contributes to grant development related to preservation and digitization
  • Contributes to planning and leadership within the Content & Access Division and through the Libraries’ Management Committee
  • Works closely with colleagues in OSUL Information Technology Division to contribute to planning and developing digital preservation strategy for the Libraries
  • Engages with partners within the Libraries, with other campus constituencies, and with external
  • Promotes engagement with and leadership contributions to national conversations relating to preservation and digitization
  • Builds and maintains a research program and service profile related to preservation and/or digital reformatting. Presents and publishes in appropriate venues in order to raise own and Libraries’ profile

Required Qualifications:

  • An ALA-accredited master’s degree, a master’s degree with specialization in archives, a master’s degree in museum studies or a comparable graduate degree in one of the above fields from a non-U.S. university, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Strong expertise in multiple facets of professional practice relating to preserving, conserving and digitizing library, archival, or museum collections
  • Minimum of three years of relevant professional experience including progressively responsible leadership experience resulting in outstanding leadership capabilities.
  • A track record of building effective partnerships and sustaining relationships in a collaborative and complex environment.
  • Experience in evaluating workflows and successfully designing or enhancing production-oriented work processes
  • Commitment to librarianship, scholarship, and service, which are required criteria to meet University and University Libraries requirements for promotion and tenure.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Evidence of successful and creative management of staff and operations
  • Experience with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery
  • Success in obtaining grant funding for reformatting, preservation, or conservation projects
  • Familiarity with copyright issues related to reformatting collections

Discover The Ohio State University Libraries

The Ohio State University Libraries is here to support students, scholars, Buckeyes and beyond advancing research, teaching, and learning. We offer educational resources, services, and expertise that opens minds and forwards equity, inclusion, and diversity in the pursuit and sharing of knowledge. Learn about our strategic directions.

Our greatest resource is our faculty and staff. Their expertise produces value beyond the collections and their commitment to continual improvement and innovation is one of the most significant ways University Libraries meets the diverse and evolving information needs of university students, faculty, staff, alongside scholars throughout Ohio and the world.

We provide convenient, ubiquitous resources and services – accessible from your home or office, inside one of our welcoming facilities or wherever your scholarly pursuits lead you. University Libraries gives you access to deep research collections, an extensive offering of online resources, and distinctive special collections of exceptional quality. Our facilities offer work spaces designed to facilitate diverse learning styles and research methods.  Additional information about The Ohio State University Libraries is available at


This is a full-time, permanent, 12-month appointment as a tenure-track faculty member. The candidate will be required to meet university and Libraries requirements for promotion and tenure.  Salary, position type, and faculty rank are dependent on qualifications and experience.


All of the benefits available to you reflect Ohio State’s commitment to provide high-quality, affordable plans and represent a significant component of your total rewards for working at Ohio State.  The University offers competitive benefits in the form of 22 days of vacation, 15 days sick leave, 10 holidays, medical, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance at 2.5 times one’s annual salary.  State and alternative retirement choices are also available. For a summary of benefits, see:

Join Us!

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received by October 7, 2018. Please send cover letter, CV, references, and salary requirements to Kristin Gall,  Please include Preservation and Digitization Strategist in the subject field.

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

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