CRL/NERL Licensing Librarian


The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) seeks a Licensing Librarian to join its growing licensing team. The Licensing Librarian will serve as a licensing expert to the CRL/NERL Licensing Team and as such will review and negotiate licensing agreements for electronic resources and services, ensuring that they align with CRL policies and practices along with NERL core values of transparency, sustainability, equity, reproducibility, and flexibility. This position will also be responsible for creating and maintaining license records. 


Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Based in Chicago, IL, the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries collectively building, stewarding, and sharing a wealth of resource materials from all world regions to support inspired research and teaching. Hosted within CRL and integrated into the CRL administrative structure, NERL is a national leader in cooperatively negotiated licensing, working to maximize effective and sustainable access to content for its member and affiliate institutions. 

CRL is dedicated to advancing the values and first principles of academic librarianship, including the defense of intellectual freedom, celebration of diversity, advocacy of responsible stewardship, and promotion of social responsibility and the social good. 

As a place of work, CRL places a high value on excellence, accountability, innovation, inclusivity, and teamwork. Learn more about us and our work here.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Establishes ongoing relationships with vendors, publishers, members, and CRL colleagues as a primary point of contact to manage e-resource collections and meet community needs. 
  • Participates in the development and maintenance of guidelines for standard license terms.
  • Drafts, edits, and negotiates licensing agreements with publishers and other content providers to secure advantageous terms that meet CRL/NERL member libraries’ goals and comply with CRL/NERL policies and procedures. 
  • Assists with related functions of the licensing teams, such as collecting and analyzing usage data, producing reports or announcements for the CRL/NERL community, and participating in the life-cycle management of electronic resources, including appropriately redacting, sharing, and managing.
  • Coordinates licensing workflow for electronic resources in a complex consortial environment.
  • Contributes to workflow design, development, and integration of NERL and CRL processes.
  • Addresses a wide range of licensing issues in a consortial environment, including perpetual access, public performance rights, copyright and fair use, and open licenses, for a wide variety of licensed content that may include streaming media, data, and datasets, transformative/read-publish agreements, or other innovative agreements.
  • Conducts initial review of licenses and amendments prepared by publishers and identifies areas for negotiation.
  • In consultation and collaboration with CRL/NERL staff and institutional members, negotiates licenses and contracts based on NERL core values and Preferred Deal Elements (PDEs).
  • Coordinates and monitors shared funding arrangements.
  • Participates in a work culture that promotes diversity and anti-racism and actively works to eliminate or mitigate the effects of systemic racism and bias. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications/Education and Experience
  • Master's degree from an ALA-accredited Master's Program in Library and Information Studies. 
  • Demonstrated experience with current models, practices, and tools used by academic libraries for the licensing and acquisition of continuing resources, including experience reviewing and negotiating license terms.
  • Familiarity with CRL’s eDesiderata and ConsortiaManager sites and tools for electronic resource licensing and reviewing.  
  • Familiarity with electronic publishing and/or scholarly communication.
  • Current understanding of best practices for electronic resource licensing in academic environments.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including evidence of ability to work collegially and collaboratively within and across organizations. 

Strong Candidates Will Also Possess
  • Minimum 4 years of relevant experience required. 
  • Demonstrated successful experience with acquisitions and electronic resources licensing in a research library environment.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, permanent position with an expected starting salary of $70,000-$82,000. CRL offers competitive benefits including health, dental, life, and disability insurance, and flexible PTO including vacation, sick, personal time, 2 floating, and 12 paid holidays per year. In addition, CRL offers generous retirement benefits with a monthly 10% contribution after a year of employment (immediately vested). Employees will receive funding for professional development activities.  

Application Process

Expertise in each requirement listed above is not expected — instead, we encourage applications from those who demonstrate a mix of expertise in some areas and commitment to learning and experimentation in others. Skills and relevant experience outlined in your application may be paid or unpaid, and can include internships, volunteer work, and practicums. We understand that experience, education and learning, and creativity take many forms and expect that qualified applicants may bring additional skills to this position that we’ve not considered or listed here. If this role interests you, we encourage you to apply!  

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to Please include ‘Licensing Librarian’ in the subject line. We are keen to fill this important position on our team, and applications will be received until the position is filled. Applications received by close of business Friday, September 1, 2023, will be given priority attention. 

CRL is committed to actively promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion as key components for serving our members and advancing our global mission. As such, CRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws regarding recruitment, hiring and employment and is dedicated to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at CRL are based on organization needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. CRL will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.