The Reference Librarian facilitates access to and provides reference services for research collections, and collaborates internally to support successful outcomes of the institution’s goals and projects, under the general direction of the Director of Library and Archives.
• Provide basic bibliographic instruction and guide researchers in the use of specific collections, including safe handling.
• Develop and participate in public programming to increase engagement with the CHS Collection.
• Research and respond to general inquiries from the public via e-mail, telephone, letter, and in-person for materials from the Research Collections or about topics related to California history.
• Contribute to the improvement of registration and reference systems.
• Register researchers and provide instruction in Reading Room policies.
• Monitor Reading Room and researchers during public access hours.
• Train and supervise library assistant(s), student interns, and volunteers.
• Maintain registration records and use statistics.
• Oversee day-to-day operations in the Reading Room
• Assist as needed with paging, re-shelving, filling photocopy and reproduction orders, and permissions requests.
• Participate in professional organizations, and keep abreast of current theory, practice, and innovations in the field.
• MS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution.
• Minimum four years of work experience providing reference services in a special collections library.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
• Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of patrons, both in person and in writing.
• Fluent in written and spoken English, with excellent written and verbal skills.
• Knowledge of standards, systems, and tools used to describe and provide access to special collections.
• Ability to learn complex, idiosyncratic classification systems.
• Familiarity with copyright and intellectual property law.
• Ability to administer complex access and reproduction policies.
• Competency with standard office software (Microsoft Office).
• Knowledge of California history.
• Ability to handle multiple priorities and work calmly and capably under pressure.
• Ability to work successfully in a multicultural, collaborative team environment.
• Ability to lift and carry up to 40 lbs.
• Ability to work independently, exercise discretion and sound judgment, and provide guidance to others.
• Ability to perform detailed work with accuracy and high quality
• Familiarity with the CHS Collection.
• Fluency in one or more non-English language(s).
• Experience developing and participating in public programming related to special collections or California history.
• Experience implementing or working with an automated registration system.
• Academic or professional background in public history.
Things you should know:
• 20 hour per week, core hours Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 12:30 –5:30 p.m.
• Occasional overnight travel may be required.
The California Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity among its staff. Additional information available online.