Boston Athenaeum

10 1/2 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108

Date Posted:
June 23, 2021

Eastern Massachusetts



Catalog Assistant



The part-time Catalog Assistant (21 hour per week) will be responsible for copy cataloging using OCLC and the Voyager integrated library system. This position will perform copy cataloging on materials for inclusion in the Athenæum’s circulating and reference collections. The Catalog Assistant will receive direction from the Chief Librarian in Charge of Technical Services.


  • Provide access to the Athenæum’s circulating and reference print materials by performing full descriptive copy cataloging and limited original cataloging of MARC 21 bibliographic records following RDA, AACR2r, and local standards using the OCLC database and the Athenæum’s Voyager library system

  • Assign Library of Congress Subject Headings and form/genre terms according to national standards and local practice

  • Construct and assign Library of Congress Classification Numbers for circulating and reference collections according to national standards and local practice

  • Track and/or solve problems resulting from retrospective conversion

  • Process monographic bindery shipments

  • Occasionally serve as a back-up supervisor in the Special Collections Reading Room

  • Provide reader assistance as needed

  • Participate in the planning and implementation of the Cataloging Department’s standards, policies and procedures, including documentation on the Technical Services Wiki

  • Collaborate with all other departments when necessary

  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chief Librarian in Charge of Technical Services



  • Submit to and pass background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment verifications and Department of Motor Vehicles (if applicable)

  • Two to four-year college degree preferable

  • Previous library and cataloging experience highly desirable

  • Proficient experience with computers and various software applications required

  • Ability to lift object up to 40 pounds required

  • Effective communication skills, including the ability to present complex concepts and ideas clearly in written or oral form required

  • Ability to carry out detailed procedures under minimal supervision; to plan and prioritize job responsibilities and tasks required

  • Attention to detail and conscientiousness required

  • Must be able to work independently and collaboratively in a highly professional manner required

  • Capacity to work collegially with other staff members and to interact respectfully with patrons required

Apply by:
July 31, 2021
About this Organization:

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is located at 10½ Beacon Street on Beacon Hill. A distinguished membership library and cultural institution with a long history at the center of intellectual life in Boston, the Athenæum hosts events nearly every week of the year and supports a dynamic exhibition program. It desires to be a place that is welcoming to all, a place that nurtures a sense of wonder and delight in sharing the joy of physical books, maps, prints, and other works of art, and a place that fosters community and civil discourse as members and guests engage in face-to-face interactions.

The Athenæum’s collections are housed within a National Historic Landmark that is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The reading rooms—crowned by the silent, barrel-vaulted fifth floor—have served as a haven and inspiration to countless writers and researchers. The library maintains over 600,000 volumes with strengths in history, biography, and literature, as well as fine and decorative arts. Notable holdings include primary materials on the American Civil War; the largest portion of President George Washington's library from Mount Vernon; a first edition copy of Audubon's The Birds of America; a 1799 set of Goya's Los caprichos; one of the most extensive collections of contemporary artists' books in the United States; and numerous artworks, including portraits of notable Americans such as Hannah Adams, John Marshall, and Alexander Hamilton, and by artists such as Gilbert Stuart, John Singer Sargent, Allan Rohan Crite, and Polly Thayer Starr. Membership is open to all, and visitors are warmly welcomed Tuesdays through Saturdays.