ITHAKA’s mission is to expand access to knowledge and education around the world. Our services — Artstor, JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R — enable people everywhere to learn, to grow, and to overcome historical barriers to education. In carrying out our mission, as employees we feel a deep responsibility to each other and our well-being, and are committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

The Role

ITHAKA is offering a 6-month position to an expert in the library special collections and archives space to investigate and illuminate stewardship and preservation workflows at a variety of academic institutions. This work will illuminate the existing structures and workflows of institutional collections, creating foundational materials which can be leveraged to inform product opportunities and strategies. This will support our ability to help with more active stewardship of primary sources and locally owned library collections. ITHAKA is exploring the possibility of engaging independent contractors for this position. Alternatively, the role may continue as a temporary fixed-term position.

The complex and dynamic landscape in this market has been well documented by Ithaka S+R. The Research Lead will work to expand on the workflows and processes currently employed by institutions, and create a robust fundamental understanding of conversion and diversion points across institutions. This position will work closely with product and strategic leadership to discover opportunities for more seamless integration of our suite of Infrastructure Services offerings into library collections stewardship and preservation workflows. 

Work Scope

Your discovery work will focus on identifying the most important “pain points” and potential “integration points” within institutional workflows in ways that communicate high level trends for strategic investment decisions and granular workflow data informing specific product opportunities. 

Robust systematic investigation of collection stewardship and preservation:

  • Engagement with a diverse selection of institutions, representing large research institutions (public and private), smaller state-supported research institutions, small private liberal arts institutions (e.g. Oberlin schools), and smaller primarily undergraduate-serving institutions. Target 15-20 institutions, depending on overall approach 
  • Contextual inquiry (or similar methodological approach) including direct engagement with library special collections/archives staff at all levels in their workspaces and work processes, both in person and using digitally mediated systems
  • Illumination of processes, journeys, goals, and pain points 
  • Identification of existing product solutions and assessment of strengths, weaknesses, pain points, and associated opportunities

Creation of foundational materials:

  • Artifacts representing existing library infrastructure including the phases, workflows, systems and processes associated with collection management
  • Representation of convergence and divergence across institutions 
  • Identification of opportunity areas within core workflows
  • Mapping and evaluation of existing product solutions and platforms to various phases, including where needs are well addressed and where there are pain points
  • Analysis of patterns across institutions, including stratification by institutional type, systems environment, and key workflow choices
  • Raw data representative of individual institutions

Collaboration with ITHAKA leadership:

  • Lead efforts to define project approach with product and strategy leadership.
  • Execute necessary site visits, sometimes alongside an ITHAKA representative.
  • Create foundational materials listed above with collaborative leadership touchpoints.
  • Collaborate with product leadership to identify the biggest opportunity spaces and new product hypotheses. 

Timeline – 6 month engagement across 3 phases 

  • Phase 1. Understanding the ITHAKA context & approach definition (1 month)
  • Phase 2. Direct inquiry & iterative artifact creation (4 months)
  • Phase 3. Collaboration on product and solution opportunities (1 month)

Experience & Skills

As Research Lead, you possess an ability to explore, distill, and communicate the staffing and structures, platforms and systems, and workflows and processes currently employed for collections stewardship with an emphasis on strategic opportunities. 

  • Expertise in Higher Education special collections/archives management, dissemination, and preservation 
  • Direct experience defining and executing special collection stewardship and preservation solutions 
  • Knowledge of services and products in the digital curation and preservation systems landscape
  • Experience in qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Ability to identify thematic trends and categories 
  • Ability to communicate complex systems and user workflows through visual and written artifacts 
  • Collaborative strategic partner, able to work generativity within an opportunity space to inform creative solutions 

Work Authorization and Sponsorship 

ITHAKA is not currently considering candidates who require any type of immigration sponsorship (additional work authorization or permanent work authorization) now or in the future to work in the United States.

Compensation and Benefits

At ITHAKA we believe in openness and equity. Part of living those values is our commitment to clarity about salary ranges, so candidates know what to expect. The starting salary for this position ranges from $41.00 – $51.00 per hour. Starting pay may vary with job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. At present, our total compensation package for benefits-eligible employees includes medical, dental, and vision plans, an employer-paid 10% retirement contribution, paid parental and caregiver leave, 22 days of paid time off, 11 paid holidays, up to 12 sick days, wellness benefits, and more. Please note that ITHAKA, at its discretion, may make changes to its benefits programs from time to time.

Work for ITHAKA 

We are committed to our organizational values of belonging, evidence, speed, teamwork,  and trust. We take inclusion seriously. Belonging is one of our core values, and it shows in our vibrant culture. People from a wide range of backgrounds work at ITHAKA, and we believe that unique perspectives help us realize new insights and build better solutions.

We want to work with people who are passionate about ideas like these and who wish to contribute their perspectives and talents to ITHAKA’s mission. We enthusiastically welcome applications from people of all underrepresented backgrounds and credentials. We want to hear your story and include your perspective in the transformative work we aim to do.

Learn more about Working at ITHAKA.

Apply Now:

Although ITHAKA has physical offices in New York and Ann Arbor, Michigan, our employees are distributed across the continental United States. At this time, we’re not considering candidates who are unable to work and reside in the continental U.S.

Candidates may apply by submitting an application online through our career site, if you have any questions about your application, please contact us at careers@ithaka.orgITHAKA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations, if there’s anything we can do to accommodate any portion of the application or hiring process, please contact us at 

We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, domestic violence victim status, veteran status, disability, history of disability or perceived disability, or other status protected by law. We invite you to read our Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement. ITHAKA cares about your privacy, learn more about our Applicant Privacy Notice.