Richard F. French Librarian of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library – Harvard University – Cambridge, MA

Richard F. French Librarian of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Harvard College Library

Job Summary
Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on January 3, 2022.

Harvard University seeks a dynamic, progressive, user-centered, inclusive, and innovative librarian to provide leadership for the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, one of the leading libraries in the world for the study of a wide variety of disciplines, including historical musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, performance, and more. Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections and Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library, the Librarian leads and manages the staff, budget, operations, and programs that support a diverse array of research and teaching activities centered in the Music Library’s collection of books, scores, recordings, periodicals, special collections, and other materials. The Librarian represents the Music Library to individuals and groups of faculty, students, researchers, donors, the music community, the media, and other external constituents.

The Librarian will have an extraordinary opportunity to lead the collections, services, and programs of the library in a moment that features a dynamic new curriculum in the Department of Music, deeper collaborations with libraries on campus and within consortia, and new and emerging methods of scholarship and the presentation of library collections for discovery and access. The successful incumbent will possess wide-ranging knowledge of the study and practice of music, broadly conceived; deep understanding of the administration of libraries and archives; enthusiasm for working with faculty and students; proclivity for adopting new technologies that will improve access to and use of Music Library holdings; ability to lead change on the strategic, operational, and cultural levels; and a collaborative, compassionate, and collegial outlook and spirit.

Job Code
386059 Library Manager

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Leads and manages the Music Library by developing, articulating, and implementing strategic vision and directions, overseeing day-to-day operations and special projects, establishing priorities, and coordinating work with units in the Harvard Library and other groups on campus.
  • Supervises and develops a staff of seven professional librarians and library assistants, as well as project staff, interns, and students dedicated to Music Library activities. Partners closely with Harvard Library Access Services and Information and Technical Services staff who are embedded in and/or directly support the Music Library.
  • Establishes and fosters strong relationships with faculty and students to learn about and engage with evolving approaches to research and teaching and to align acquisition of library materials and resources, services, and programs of the Music Library with current academic priorities.
  • Manages the Library operating budget (ca. $2 million).
  • Collaborates with managers and staff in Harvard Library Archives and Special Collections and several other Harvard Library departments including Access Services; Administration; Communications; Digital Strategies and Innovation, Facilities; Financial Planning and Analysis; Information and Technical Services; and Preservation Services.
  • Develops, coordinates, implements, and regularly updates an evolving and forward-looking strategy for collection development of library materials that encompasses a wide range of materials and formats, advances an intentional approach for unique and distinctive materials, and works in coordination with other libraries, networks, and organizations such as Ivy Plus and HathiTrust.
  • Provides leadership for the teaching, library, and information management objectives of the University and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including open access, online education, and business models that minimize barriers to students’ and scholars’ access to information.
  • Stays abreast of trends in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, contemporary composition, and performance, including the specific tools and initiatives that support creative discovery and use of all forms of musical creation. Embraces new technologies that support these efforts.
  • Participates in standing committees, councils, working groups, and other activities in the library and on campus.
  • Participates in fundraising and development efforts on behalf of the Music Library.
  • Builds and maintains an active professional and scholarly profile through participation in professional organizations on the regional, national and international level and through research, publication, and/or other activities

Basic Qualifications

  • Advanced degree(s) in Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Information and Library Science, and/or another subject area relevant to the collections of the Music Library.
  • Seven or more years of professional experience with increasing responsibility in research or academic music libraries.
  • Demonstrated experience with supervising employees and supporting their efforts in order to build and foster a diverse, productive, and engaging workplace and professional community.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • PhD and/or MLS preferred.
  • Commitment to supporting efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in library, university, and professional contexts.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of traditional and emerging approaches to research and teaching in music and related disciplines.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the selection and acquisition of music library materials.
  • Demonstrated experience implementing innovative approaches to provide access to collections and to facilitate their use in research and teaching.
  • Knowledge of trends and techniques related to preservation, cataloging, reference, and instruction in a music library context.
  • Knowledge of trends in music publishing and scholarly communications, with a commitment to principles of open access.
  • Experience working with special collections and archives.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty, students, library users, and library colleagues.
  • Evidence of a strong service orientation.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property issues related to music library collections and services.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse library users and colleagues.
  • Strong technology skills and an enthusiasm for adopting new technologies and systems that help advance the mission of the library.
  • Capacity to thrive in a changing working environment.
  • Record of engagement with professional groups and activities and/or contributions to professional or scholarly literature.

Additional Information

About the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library

The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, located within the Music Building, is the primary repository for musical materials at Harvard. The Library’s general and special collections and associated services support research and teaching programs in the Department of Music as well as the musical interests and activities of the broader University community and the research needs of an international scholarly constituency. General collections include about 95,000 books, 147,000 musical scores, 87,000 sound recordings and video formats, 1,080 periodical titles, and a significant suite of online resources, that support research in a wide variety of musical disciplines including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, historically informed performance practice. Rare editions, manuscripts, and archival materials are held within two special collections units within the Music Library: the Isham Memorial Library, a special adjunct library dedicated to research with primary sources, (holding over 8000 rare books and scores and 31,200 microforms); and the Archive of World Music, which contains archival field recordings of music world-wide as well as commercial audiovisual materials of ethnomusicological interest.


Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function
Sub Unit
USA – MA – Cambridge
Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Time Status
00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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About Melody Rood

Student Success & Open Education Librarian / Assistant Professor at UNC-Greensboro