City of Boston

Community History Supervisor

Req ID
Boston Public Library
Regular Full-Time
Salary Min
Salary Max
Posting End Date
Contact Email


The Community History Supervisor oversees the Boston Public Library’s Community History projects, including development of community-driven research projects using archival and other historical materials, identifying and delivering historic records and data sets into proper workflows for deposit into the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth’s statewide repository system, and providing educational pathways for the public to use the library’s digitized local history collections for learning and research.  The position also will oversee the work of neighborhood programming and outreach services related to local history in Boston Public Library (BPL) locations and in designated neighborhood locations.


Reports to:

Chief of Adult Library Services



Staff and interns


  • Oversees the development of the Boston Public Library’s Community History Program, including the identification of collections focused on community’s history, outreach to communities, the creation of local histories, and the education of the public in the use of digitized collections related to community history.
  • Plans and manages the services, operations, and staff of the team in the Community History program.
  • Assumes responsibility for supervising, developing and evaluating staff, actively encourages the participation of each staff member in the ongoing commitment to serving the public and creating a positive user experience, and encourages a learning environment in the team. Reviews and evaluates training needs for staff within the team and assigns staff to attend trainings as needed.
  • Works with staff to engage with community organizations to schedule meetings to discuss high-level goals and procedures.
  • Participates in outreach activities to make community connections, explore the needs of the community, provide services in remote locations, and to promote use of the team’s and the library’s collections and services.
  • Oversees the identification of both historic and active collections of records, documents, images, oral histories, and data sets that would support research on the history of local communities and neighborhoods.
  • Provides outreach to staff in libraries and cultural institutions across the state to encourage the creation of digital community history programs and about the BPL Digital Commonwealth program.
  • Works with BPL Digital Services staff to familiarize community organizations with digitization and ingest processes related to the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth.
  • Works with Digital Services 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.
  • Assists in initiating, developing, planning, and implementing grant-related outreach and programs at BPL branches and other designated neighborhood locations.
  • Acts as program manager for Boston Public Library Fund grants and manages the related budgets for the department.
  • Collaborates with community groups, city agencies, and non-profits to bring community history-related high-quality programming and services out into designated neighborhoods.
  • Participates in the development and implementation of innovative online services that connect library users with collections, lowers hurdles to access for researchers, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge among users.
  • Responsible for oral presentations and written reports on assigned activities within the area of service, such as tours, and bibliographic instruction.
  • Develops subject related content for the Library’s website.
  • Provides training of professional and support staff and provides orientation of both staff and members of the public to the services of the team.
  • Initiates and maintains appropriate working relationships with staff within the Library and with other libraries, organizations, and agencies.
  • Initiates analysis of aspects of related services, operations, and collections and recommends improvements to enhance public service.
  • Stays abreast of emerging technologies and assists in evaluating, recommending, and incorporating information technologies and best practices for continued public service improvements.
  • Represents library at local and national conferences.
  • 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.



  • Five years of appropriate library professional experience or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training sufficient to indicate ability to do the work.
  • Experience in community outreach preferred.
  • Experience supervising staff preferred.
  • Excellent knowledge of online communications and social networking tools.

*Proficiency in  language other than English desirable.



  • Some evening and weekend hours based on scheduled programs and events. 
  • Ability to travel to off-site locations across the City and State.
  • 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 - P4

Hours per week: 35


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