The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Vacancy: Academy Librarian

13 December 2019

The Academy is seeking applications to fill the permanent position of Academy Librarian.

About the Academy

The Royal Irish Academy is a predominantly publicly funded institution established for the promotion of learning in the sciences and humanities across the island of Ireland. The Academy was established by Royal Charter in 1785, and is governed by the Charter and a set of by-laws. However, as a body that receives the majority of its funding from the exchequer, it is also subject to the provisions of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.

The three main strands of the Academy’s role, as outlined in its latest Strategic Plan, are to:

  • Recognise and foster excellence in research to advance the public good
  • Be an independent voice on higher education and public policy
  • Represent the world of Irish scholarship internationally

Core Academy activities include:

  • Recognising academic excellence through the election of members to the Academy
  • Supporting research projects relevant to the Academy’s role
  • Awarding grants for specific purposes
  • Publication of academic books and journals
  • Engaging with stakeholders and the public through discourses, exhibitions and seminars
  • Supporting a library of international importance
  • Helping to inform policy making in Ireland and internationally.

The library is at the heart of the Academy and supports many of its core activities.

The Academy’s latest strategic plan for 2019-2023 is available here:


Reporting to the Executive Secretary, the Library and Executive Committees, and accountable to Council, the Librarian has overall responsibility for the curation, management and development of the Academy’s archival, manuscript, print and art collections. The Librarian is responsible for development of Library policies and strategic partnerships and for the implementation of strategic institutional objectives relating to the Library.  The post-holder leads a team which ensures that objectives are met and that the Library delivers an excellent, integrated service to Academy Members, staff and a wide range of third-level institutions and the public.  The Librarian is accountable for Library funding and expenditure and for sourcing external funding for project work.

The Library is integrated within the Academy’s mission and objectives, increasing the reach of library holdings via digitization, exhibitions, focussed web engagement, conferences and lecture series. The post-holder must ensure compliance with standards of curation, security, data protection and archival norms and is responsible for compiling relevant policies, other documentation, the Library annual report and for ensuring maintenance of accurate metrics.

The Librarian serves on a number of Academy working groups and committees. The Library is a constituent library of CONUL (Consortium of National & University Libraries in Ireland) and the Librarian is a board member.

Key Purpose of the Role:

Overall responsibility for the direction of Library staff, for management and security of the Academy collections and enhancement of the resource.

Key Responsiblities

Key Accountabilities are to:

  • Ensure that Library personnel deliver on a programme of work whilst providing an excellent daily service to members, staff and members of the public.
  • Manage resources (funds, collections etc.) with a view to enabling research, teaching and learning, facilitation of Academy projects, Members’ requirements and public use of the resources.
  • Be responsible for appropriate curation of the collections (including artworks) to recognised international standards; to maintain the risk register and a Disaster Response Plan ;  to ensure compliance with relevant regulations; to enable conservation for preservation purposes and digitisation for preservation and access purposes; to assess loan applications for external exhibitions and manage appropriately; to liaise with donors (of collections etc.) and funders and manage funding projects and applications, including reporting and review.
  • Integrate the Library within the Academy’s overall mission and objectives, in line with the Academy’s strategic plan.
  • Engage with national cultural and heritage agendas e.g. via Heritage Week; Culture Night; Library Ireland Week; Archives Week; Dublin Festival of History.  Organise lecture series and conferences which build upon Library collections and promote the Academy’s place in the heritage landscape; Work with Academy projects, administration and publications to enhance Academy offerings. Support internal, cross-functional and external agendas where possible.
  • Ensure compliance with Academy procedures and policies as well as internal Library procedures.
  • Increase the reach of library holdings via digitization and partnerships, e.g. Irish Script on Screen (ISOS); Beyond 2022; UCC Spectroscopy Project; collaboration with and ingestion of digital resources to DRI (Digital Repository of Ireland); collaboration with analogous digital projects or repositories.
  • Ensure that the Academy Library is well-integrated in the national library-archival network, in particular in the third-level framework, via strategic collaborations and active memberships e.g. of CONUL, the Consortium of National & University Libraries in Ireland, and has strong links with international library networks.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Primary degree in a relevant discipline and an accredited professional library qualification
  • Knowledge of the digital environment plus copyright and other applicable standards
  • Knowledge of the Academy, its strategic plan and outlook, regulations and governance principles
  • Good knowledge of the professional landscape and of the role of the Academy in the higher education environment, and an understanding of the academic and library environment in Ireland and the Irish Studies environment.
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience at senior management level in a similar organisation/institution, managing people and resources.
  • Excellent planning, reporting and presentation skills
  • Ability to represent the Academy at national level
  • Project management skills and experience.
  • Considered judgement; ability to deal with diverse constituencies and to manage expectations.
  • Ability to manage budgets and meet audit and corporate governance requirements.
  • Capacity to prioritise work and meet deadlines for self and team

Desirable Criteria:

  • Demonstrable knowledge of developments within the library sector, particularly in relation to digitisation and management of archives, electronic records and special collections.
  • Experience of fund raising through philanthropic donations, bequests, etc.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of Data Protection Policy.
  • Good working knowledge of the Irish language


Salary is on the following scale (€65,465 - €84,548).

Entry point shall be commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications and shall be in line with the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013.  The rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government pay policy.

Hours of Work

The normal hours of work are 37 hours per week as follows: -

Monday to Thursday


with one hour for lunch



with one hour for lunch

Overtime is not paid in respect of excess attendance which, should it arise, is discharged by time off in lieu at times agreed in advance with the Executive Secretary.


The annual leave entitlement is 30 days per annum, pro-rata for shorter periods. Entitlement to leave for Public Holidays is in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.  There is a requirement to take up to four days annual leave where the Academy is closed at Easter and Christmas.


Staff shall, if required, and at the expense of the Academy, submit to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the Academy and shall authorise such medical practitioner to disclose and to discuss with the Academy the results of the examination and the matters which arise from it so that the Academy can ascertain any matters that they consider might impair a staff member from properly discharging his/her duties.


Details of the appropriate pension scheme will be provided upon determination of appointee’s status.

Permanent Pension Contribution

This appointment is subject to the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) effective from the 1st of January 2019.

Application Process

Completed applications consisting of one electronic copy (with all documents contained in one-word document) must be submitted to in the order as set out below: -

  1. A brief cover letter demonstrating how you meet the qualifications and experience for the position (max.1000 words)
  2. A curriculum vitae summarising your qualifications and relevant experience (max. 4 pages)

Applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of information provided in their application. 

We are happy to consider applications from suitably qualified public servants who are in a position to avail of a secondment opportunity out of their current position.

Please note;

Failure to fulfil the application requisites will deem the application invalid.

Closing date:  Friday 3 January 2020, 12 noon. Late applications will not be considered.

The Royal Irish Academy is an equal opportunities employer




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