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GIS & Public Service Intern, Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

Position Description:
The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center is seeking a paid GIS & Public Service intern, beginning September, 2019.


Those who hold these internships will oversee and maintain all public-facing spaces of the Map Center, which is located inside the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library (BPL). Interns will focus their attention on enriching the visitor experience for a full array of audiences - from exhibition-viewers, to researchers, students and educators, the Leventhal Map & Education Center (LMEC) tallies an average of approximately 350 visitors per day.


Those who hold these internships will also contribute to a digital initiative funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) designed to open access to historical urban atlases of Boston and surrounding towns. Interns will use a combination of commercial and open-source GIS tools and softwares to make these heavily-requested cartographic resources more widely available.

In the role as the primary point-person to the public, those in this internship will use their knowledge of the Leventhal Map & Education Center and the Boston Public Library's numerous digital access points to assist with requests for primary source materials located at the Map Center. They will directly support Map Center librarians by fielding, recording, organizing, and garnering insights from reference requests. Interns will also
promote, gather, organize, and periodically report on various other feedback mechanisms designed to better understand public impressions of various library services, including exhibitions, research services, and public programming.

During downtime, interns will work on a variety of projects designed to open access to and foster discovery of the Map Center's historical map collections. These projects will take on the form of finding aids, library guides, websites, blog and social media content, web maps and occasionally the opportunity to hone presentation skills by developing and leading public-facing tours, talks, and workshops on a variety of topics, all related to the increased discoverability of the Map Center's primary source materials.

The duration of the internship is not limited to a specific semester or time period. Each intern will be compensated hourly for between fifteen and twenty-five hours per week. The hourly pay is $12 an hour. Scheduling is flexible, and will be determined by interns educational schedules and other responsibilities, as well as Map Center gallery coverage needs. Each intern will work approximately three days a week, and should have at least one day available on the weekend for coverage. This position is subject to a CORI check.


Public Service Responsibilities (~70%):

  • Serve as the first face of the Map Center, greeting guests, enthusing with them about maps, exhibitions, and the library
  • Maintain visual appearance of gallery and learning center by dusting, refilling brochure racks, reshelving atlases, monitoring visitors' behavior, and having a keen eye for detail
  • Provide reference to visitors; use familiarity with digital collections to answer questions and make people feel comfortable learning more about digital offerings
  • Field reference requests requiring access to rare materials and direct to appropriate staff
  • Lead weekly gallery tours and occasional talks or workshops
  • Research historical items in the collection to contribute to growing knowledge of materials, and generate content for social media posts and presentations
  • Support communications efforts of the map center by creating newsletters and other graphic design-centered tasks
  • Create digital library materials such as finding aids and library guides designed to open access to Map Center collections
  • Collect data on gallery attendance, reference and map reproduction requests and general visitors questions and impressions
  • Perform general administrative and library tasks
  • Adhere to Intern Expectations and the policies of the Leventhal Map & Education Center and the Boston Public Library.


GIS Responsibilities (~30%):

  • Contribute geographic metadata to a collection of urban atlases spanning from 1861-1965
  • Communicate with GIS Team to ensure data description and processing workflow is standardized and efficient
  • Support statistical and geospatial data services offered by LMEC and BPL librarians via the acquisition and description of local data
  • Support reference and instruction via the creation of library guides, workshops and tutorials describing LMEC geospatial services
  • Perform general administrative and library tasks


Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in any of the following disciplines: history, geography, urban planning, architecture, archaeology, political science, environmental science, computer science, education, library science or museum studies
  • Ability to perform routine tasks on a Windows PC and Microsoft Office
  • Ability to complete detailed work with a high degree of consistency and accuracy
  • Able to respectfully and effectively work with diverse visitors and staff
  • Ability to solve problems independently as well as collaboratively
  • Interest in and ability to learn unfamiliar tools, software, and hardware


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Intermediate or advanced experience with commercial or open-source GIS software (in any discipline)
  • Intermediate or advanced understanding of geoprocessing with Pytho
  • Interest in UI & UX design, data visualization, or digital humanities
  • Intermediate or advanced experience with web development, especially that related to digital cartography and GIS for web
  • Experience with principles of design and basic familiarity with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Proficiency in language(s) other than English


To Apply:

Applications submitted without a cover letter will not be considered. The applicant's cover letter should speak to how their particular set of interests and skills will contribute to the goals and responsibilities described in this listing, and to the Leventhal Map Center mission at large. Send applications to info@leventhalmap.org.


About the Map Center:
The Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library develops programs which inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues.

  • We are an independent nonprofit organization in a long-term strategic partnership with the Boston Public Library to advance a shared mission of education and engagement, and to steward the Library's cartographic collection in concert with its policies.
  • We make resources freely accessible and engaging to the public through our exhibitions, publications, lectures, workshops, classes, family programs, and website.
  • We teach students of all levels, develop and disseminate K-12 lesson plans, and train teachers to use maps effectively and creatively in the classroom.
  • We build, preserve, and digitize the cartographic collections of the Boston Public Library, Norman B. Leventhal, and the Map & Education Center, which date from the 15th century to the present.
  • We supplement the collections with digital material of historical and educational importance from partner institutions and private collections.
  • We promote the use of the collections for academic and public research.

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