Job Title:

Head of Library & Archives

Reporting to:

Deputy Chief Executive – Foundation



Closing Date:

28th September 2023 

About the RDS

The RDS is a philanthropic organisation which, since its establishment in 1731, has helped Ireland to thrive culturally and economically. The RDS Library & Archives have been part of the Society since its foundation. Our collections hold a wealth of material related to the social, cultural, and economic history of Ireland. The Library Collections reflect the Societies’ areas of interest: agriculture, science, enterprise, equestrianism and the arts. The RDS Collections contain over 100,000 items including monographs and journals of Irish and general interest; the Collection has a wealth of archival material documenting the history of the Society.

About the Role

Reporting to the Deputy Chief Executive – Foundation, the Head of Library & Archives will be responsible for overseeing and managing the development of the RDS Library & Archives within the RDS. The role will involve managing the Library and Archives programmes and services, leading & managing a small team, overseeing budgets, and reviewing and updating policy. The role will oversee service quality and customer service standards, build a shared understanding of the role of the Library and Archives, development stakeholder engagement, drive strategy development, project management and impact assessment. This position requires leadership skills, an understanding of the role of history and culture and the ability to drive an increased appreciation of the importance of the RDS Library and Archives.

This role works collaboratively within the wider Foundation, Membership and across other cross-functional teams in the RDS.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy Development & Delivery: The RDS has just developed it an ambitious new strategy. The Head of the Library and Archives will play a pivotal role in the development and implementation of new programmes. This will involve stakeholder engagement, communication strategy, project planning, developing research and measurement tools to ensure meaningful impact and service quality can be tracked.

Delivery of Existing Library and Archives Programmes and Services: Lead on the resource allocation, planning, management, administration, delivery, design and evaluation of the existing Library and Archives Programmes and Services to a high standard. The programme currently includes the Library Bursary Programme, Library Speaker Service, Digitalisation project, Care and management of the printed collections, provision of a library desk service, exhibitions, and ongoing cataloguing.

Leadership & Management: Manage, direct and support the executives reporting to this position, provide leadership, clear objectives and sustain high levels of performance through feedback, coaching and creating skills development. Ensure the Library desk is operating well and identify gaps in the structure in terms of delivering on the ambitious strategy. Provide guidance, seek feedback and promote new initiatives based on best practice and guided by evidence.

Represent RDS at meetings, conferences, events, networking opportunities and seminars as required. Raise the profile of the RDS Library and Archives and serve as an ambassador nationally for the programme. Work closely with the Library and Archives Committee and any other committee as may be deemed appropriate.

Budget – identify sources of project specific funding and sponsorship and work with the fundraising team to develop proposals for funding and resource development. Ensure budgets are tightly managed and considered on an ongoing basis.

Ensure the safety and security of the Collection by reviewing on an ongoing basis the procedures such as systematic security, digitising, disaster policy, emergency response, recovery planning and annual stocktaking;

Other duties as required by your Line Manager

Person Specification

  • A recognised post-graduate qualification in Library and / or archives administration.

  • A minimum of 5-7 years experience working in a special library

  • Affiliation with the Library Association of Ireland and / or CILIP

  • A track record of achievement in posts of significant responsibility with a strong commitment to quality service delivery.

  • Excellent leadership skills and level of management and organisational skills

  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills with an ability to build effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders in both formal and informal settings

  • Highly motivated, organised and strategic with a passion for history and culture

  • Extensive experience in digitalising and analysing appropriate material, conservation, preservation in a cross-discipline environment

  • Knowledge of best practice with regards to disaster and recovery planning for archival materials.

  • Knowledge and experience to ensure that all legal issues are satisfactorily addressed with reference to agreements relating to the deposit of archival materials by their owners

  • Be able to work within a multi-disciplinary team.

  • Be capable of working on his / her own initiative

  • Ability to prioritise workload and meet tight deadlines.

  • Flexible, adaptable and personable with a willingness to take on additional duties as required.

  • Commitment to the mission and objectives of the RDS.


  • Excellent leadership, management and project management skills with strong attention to detail

  • Excellent communication skills – written, and verbal

  • Experience in developing and delivering strategy

  • Strong teamwork skills, and ability and willingness to work with different colleagues on projects as required

  • Strong Problem Solving & Analytical Skills.

  • Strong IT skills (MS Office, website & database management)


  • 5 years’ experience working within either the science, environment, economic sector

  • Hold a recognised degree preferably, Masters qualification in a subject relevant to environmental science.


  • €55,000

Application Process and Closing Date

If you are interested in applying for this position, please email your CV and Cover letter to with the subject line “Head of Library and Archives Application”. Please note that the closing date for applications is the close of business 28th September 2023. Any applications received after this date will not be considered.

Royal Dublin Society

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