Library Communications Specialist
Direct library communications and scholarly communications program for the Smith College Libraries (SCL). Working closely with the Dean of Libraries, the Library Leadership Team, and the communications team, develop, implement, and assess a strategic, integrated communications plan that raises the visibility and effectiveness of the libraries’ collections and services.
Oversee content and currency of the libraries’ website designed to provide an optimal user experience for students, faculty and researchers. Collaboratively develop and coordinate scholarly communication services provided through the libraries including open access and OER services. Conceptualize and develop media and materials that promote the Libraries’ services, collections and the academic and creative work by faculty, students and staff stewarded by the libraries. Work closely with College Relations on external communication. Support library efforts in creating an inclusive, collaborative library environment dedicated to user service and open access.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Lead, develop, manage, and assess communication projects: Evaluate needs, develop, and implement a range of communication projects that serve to inform and engage the Smith College Libraries’ community. Serve as a manager of communications operations, oversee short and long-term planning, maintain policies and procedures, and coordinate activities including: responding to media requests, meetings, reports, photography schedules. Manage projects including producing annual reports, tracking library outreach efforts, and designing and implementing a communications plan. Lead and facilitate the communications team to produce effective and engaging content about the libraries’ pedagogical and outreach efforts, services and collections across multiple platforms. Coordinate a new library exhibits program including collaborations with the Art Museum and Botanic Gardens exhibits programs.
Liaise with College Relations to ensure alignment of library practices with those of the College and provide current information on library activities and stories of researcher and student discoveries and academic work within the libraries. Liaise with Development, Alumnae Relations, Admissions, Student Affairs, and academic support partners in Information Technology Services, writing services, quantitative services, and others on communications-related projects and questions. Manage a communications calendar, set realistic production schedules, and work with media specialists to ensure high quality production of library promotional and informational materials. Coordinate social media outlets to increase the libraries’ exposure and engagement with users. Set and meet consistently high standards across SCL for all channels; web, print publications, and media programs.
Develop and write content for distribution across channels: Track library activities, innovations, and user experiences and write news stories, articles for the libraries’ web site and other promotional outlets. Explore possible stories with staff and users on use of collections, services, activities across SCL. Cover events in libraries such as orientation, open houses as well as courses being taught using special and general collections. Coordinate process to identify new stories, systematically consult with all library departments to identify and promote staff projects and experimentation and user experiences.
Scholarly Communication: Oversee engagement of faculty and students in scholarly communication programs and services in order to broadly share and preserve the knowledge, the scholarly record, produced at Smith. In collaboration with the scholarly communication team, develop strategic directions for scholarly communication programs including the ScholarWorks institutional repository and open access initiatives including open educational resources. Lead collaboration with library directors and managers to coordinate the scholarly communication efforts of library staff including: providing outreach and instruction to faculty and students related to intellectual property issues, encouraging participation in depositing academic research in ScholarWorks, engaging faculty to use and produce open educational resources. Advise on permissions and rights and involves general counsel as appropriate.
Oversee the SCL Website: Oversee, develop, and assess web content and review and maintain time-sensitive material to ensure that online content is current and accurate. Collaborate and coordinate with the digital library team, to contribute to the information architecture and navigational design of the SCL web site and ensure that content is appropriately structured to meet the goals for the site and the needs of users. Collaborate with College Relations and Information Technology Services to ensure that the SCL web site and other materials are in keeping with college policies ensuring that SCL’s communication plan is informed by web accessibility standards and other college parameters. Develop web site content and apply a user-oriented perspective to the process; Create original written content for web sites and other online communications media, and help develop or source content. Track use of libraries’ website and evaluate user engagement by user group. Manage external media specialists for short term library projects. Respond to user inquiries, comments and suggestions. Keep current with emerging and best practices in writing for the web, social media trends, and web usability. Train staff on communications policies and best practices.
As a member of the Dean’s Office staff, work in a team environment that supports the Smith College Libraries. May lead working groups on specific projects, serve as coordinator of projects or outreach activities, compile information and write reports for work across the libraries and other duties as assigned.
Supervision: Supervises Digital Library Services Specialist, Exhibit Designer, interns, and student employees.
Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree plus a minimum of five years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience; web design and assessment experience; marketing, public relations or communications experience in a non-profit strongly preferred. Strong user service orientation.
Skills: Web design and assessment; Drupal experience preferred. Demonstrated ability to lead and manage projects and teams in a fast-paced work environment. Excellent communication (oral and written), organizational and interpersonal skills with a diverse community. Excellent skills in writing (from journalism to marketing copy), editing and interviewing. Detail-oriented and able to work independently and manage multiple priorities. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines. Must be well-versed in use of communications style guides, Adobe Creative Suite and productivity tools.
Smith College is an EO/AA/Vet/Disability employer.