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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Music & Instrument Librarian


The Merit School of Music's librarian will be an enthusiastic self-starter with excellent customer service and organizational skills. This person will be a forward-thinker who can grow the current functionality of Merit's library and design and implement future changes to support Merit's strategic plan.

Merit's librarian oversees all aspects of the Glasser-Rosenthal Library, ensuring accessibility during regularly scheduled programming hours and special events. An integral part of the Program Department, this position provides faculty, families, and staff support through the management of a large instrument fleet, an extensive catalog of resources and materials, and other administrative support. This position requires some weekend and evening hours throughout the academic year.

Organizational Overview

Merit School of Music is a community music school located in Chicago's West Loop. Our primary goals are to help young people transform their lives and experience personal growth through music by providing access to sustained participation. For more than 40 years, we have been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Our 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 3,000 students annually at our downtown location and in area schools and community centers.

Our students, who reflect Chicago's socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with virtually 100 percent of our graduates going to conservatory or college.

Merit School of Music is committed to building a world where historically underrepresented groups can attain access to quality music education. Simultaneously, Merit is continually working towards becoming an organization that is truly reflective of the demographics of the city and the students we serve. Merit is dedicated to being an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist organization and continually examining our efforts in this area.

Reporting Relationship

The librarian reports to the Associate Dean of Programs.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the librarian include, but are not limited to:

• Instrument fleet and catalog management (40%)

o Maintain instrument fleets for both on and off-site programs managing tracking, lending, and retrieving an inventory of ~1,800 instruments

o Assess and facilitate instrument repair, and appraisal needs with external vendors and process according to budget and program priority

o Maintaining circulation of Merit's catalog materials (scores, print, audio, and visual), providing accurate and timely tracking, lending, and retrieving of all inventory

o Maintain tracking and labeling conformity of catalog and instrument inventory through the use of software (Mandarin, ASAP, and auxiliary Excel reports)

o Evaluate and process instrument and music donations

• Provide exceptional customer service to families, faculty, and staff (25%)

o Hold open hours during programming to service instrument, faculty, and family needs

o Assist with all major program events throughout the year

o Train and oversee library volunteers and interns as needed

• Supply Inventory and sales (15%)

o Maintain an inventory of basic music supplies for distribution to teachers and students

o Manage the sale of basic instrument supplies (strings, rosin, reeds, etc.) to students and families

• Redesign and Implement Processes & Functionality (10%)

o Develop a long-term vision for Merit's library in conjunction with the current strategic plan

o Assess current needs and systems of the library and design future growth and functionality of the department

o Maintain current instrument and supply inventory to create a clean and functional library space

o Maintain a library handbook with policies, procedures, and frequently used forms

• Budget & Data Management (10%)

o Managing instrument and supply budgets (in collaboration with program directors and managers), including tracking invoices, payments to vendors, and credit card reconciliation

o Provide data and statistics for reporting as requested by the Development Department

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualities:

• Prior experience as a librarian, managing databases, or managing cross-departmental projects is strongly preferred

• Technology skills: Comfort tracking the library's budget and instrument fleet in Microsoft Excel is required. Prior experience with Mandarin Library Automation or ASAP or similar registration software is a plus.

• Basic instrument repair skills (e.g., restringing violins; removing stuck mouthpieces, bells, and slides, etc.) with a drive to continually develop this skillset further

• Highly organized and a self-starter: Can envision future success and design and implement systems and processes to get there. Has a strong sense of ownership over their work and department.

• Responsiveness and professionalism: Communicates promptly and follows through on commitments. Has the foresight to predict potential issues and solve them proactively.

• Belief in the importance of inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism in music education

• Proficiency in Spanish or Mandarin (in addition to English) is desired but not required

Educational Requirements

Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience required, with a degree in music, library sciences, or other arts discipline preferred.


The librarian is a full-time, overtime-exempt position, working 37.5 hours per week to begin no later than August 1, 2022. The role will require availability for some weekend and evening hours to support programmatic activity throughout the academic year, similar to:

Monday-Thursdays: 12:00 - 7:00 pm

Saturdays 9:00am - 5:00 pm

Specific working hours will be set in conjunction with the Program team to reflect the needs of the students & families. Summer hours may vary and will be developed to support Merit's summer camp and activity schedule.

We believe in work-life balance and are committed to keeping the workload aligned with hours worked. This is an in-person role.

COVID-19 Precautions

Merit School of Music requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination and booster shot against COVID-19. Please plan accordingly. Face masks are required to enter the school until May 31, 2022, after which the organization intends to shift to a masks-recommended approach. Merit invested heavily in its HVAC system to improve ventilation throughout the building. Work that can be done remotely will continue to occur virtually to maintain employee flexibility so long as the quality of in-person instruction and support is maintained.


Merit offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including the following items:

• Compensation is commensurate with experience but based on a starting salary of $50,000 annually.

• You will be eligible to participate in Merit's employee benefits package on the first of the month of employment following 30 days of employment.

• Merit offers a robust healthcare package including BCBS medical (HMO and PPO options), Delta Dental (HMO and PPO), employee-paid EyeMed vision care, and employee-paid voluntary life insurance coverage.

• One (1) day of paid time off (PTO) earned each month and seven paid holidays in addition to a paid winter break (approximately one week). This will increase to 1.5 PTO days earned per month beginning September 1, 2022

• 401(k) eligibility begins on the first day of the new calendar quarter following one year of employment

Further information on our benefits package and employee policies are available upon request.

How to Apply

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted through May 29, 2022. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF. Interviews will be provided for finalists.

ALAANA/BIPOC people, trans and gender-nonconforming people, and women are encouraged to apply.

For more information about Merit School of Music, please visit

Merit School of Music is committed to enhancing the diversity of our musical community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. The Merit community recognizes that it is responsible for creating and sustaining a learning environment where difference is valued and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL