Reference Librarian

About the Opportunity

F. W. Olin Library at Mills College at Northeastern University in Oakland seeks a public service oriented librarian to join our reference and instruction team as Reference Librarian ($62,400). Reporting to the Head of Reference and Access Services the Reference Librarian will staff the Reference Desk, plan and teach information literacy sessions, act as a liaison to academic departments, and participate in library outreach.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • 40% Reference: Managing reference activities, including staffing the reference desk and guiding students, faculty, and staff in the use of the Library’s physical and electronic collections; meeting with students and/or faculty one-on-one or in groups for research appointments and assignment planning.
  • 25% Information Literacy: Creating/maintaining LibGuides, leading information literacy instruction sessions, demonstrating how to best utilize the library’s physical and electronic collections and teaching students research strategies and ethical research concepts based on the ACRL information literacy framework and using a Critical Librarianship/Pedagogy lens.
  • 15% Collection Development: Selecting and deselecting appropriate library resources within assigned subjects to support campus curriculum and faculty research. Creating thematic displays and “Olin Recommends” booktalkers and booklists.
  • 10% Outreach: Library programming, staffing and creating handouts and mini-collections for campus events (e.g., Staff Wellness Fair, First Year Orientation, etc.), liaising to academic departments and student groups, administering and creating content for Library social media.
  • 10% General Public Services: overseeing the Circulation Desk as needed, searching for missing books, taking fines, resolving patron issues, computer/tech support, creating signage, etc.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with the Library’s course reserves and interlibrary loan efforts as needed.
  • Record and maintain statistics of Library use and service: head counts, reference transactions, information literacy sessions, and interactions with students.
  • Serve on campus and professional committees and engage with other campus departments.
  • Seek out and participate in professional development to stay abreast of changes, emerging trends, and innovations in the field.


We invite people with various skills and levels of expertise to apply to these positions. Candidates who meet some, but not all, of the requirements listed below are also encouraged to apply. We also seek colleagues who are committed to building an inclusive and diverse working environment and who have been and remain underrepresented or marginalized in the field of librarianship – including but not limited to people of color, Black and Latinx candidates in particular, first generation college graduates, and applicants who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community including transgender and gender nonconforming candidates.

  • Graduate degree in librarianship from an ALA-accredited institution.
  • 1-2 years of professional experience, preferably in an academic library.
  • Effective teaching skills, in group and individual settings.
  • Demonstrated experience using databases, other electronic resources, online catalogs, and other web-based and print resources.
  • Familiarity with an ILS, Ex Libris Alma preferred.
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to library public services.
  • Working knowledge of hardware and software used in libraries (e.g., PCs, Apple products, printers, etc.).
  • Conversant with emerging technologies and emerging pedagogies.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to follow and give clear instructions and to communicate effectively with users and students. 
  • Ability to contribute to a positive work culture that fosters excellent customer service and teamwork 
  • Strong planning, organizational and analytical skills.

Candidates must first and foremost demonstrate commitment to serving our student population and be invested in learning about and understanding their communities and backgrounds. Candidates will hold the following commitments: 

  • Providing culturally affirming support to historically marginalized groups including students of color, including Black students, first generation college students, LGBTQIA+ / transgender and gender nonconforming students, students of all abilities, and students who experience financial hardship. 
  • Ongoing anti-racism work 

Physical, Mental and Environmental Demands

  • Ability to work one weeknight evening a week and other evenings and weekends on occasion.
  • Ability to work extensive hours at the computer screen.  
  • Ability to lift 10 pounds above your head and push 50 pounds on a book truck.

About F. W. Olin Library at Northeastern University

The Northeastern University Libraries support the mission of the University by working in partnership with the University community to develop and disseminate new scholarship. The Libraries foster intellectual and professional growth, enrich the research, teaching, and learning environment, and promote the effective use of knowledge by managing and delivering information resources and services to library users.

Situated on the Oakland campus, The F. W. Olin Library at Mills College at Northeastern University serves the curricular and extracurricular needs of the largely residential campus community. The library offers a collection of 250,000 volumes, other media, and electronic resources as well as ample study space. The library is open 88.5 hours a week during the semester with reference librarians available until 7pm (Monday-Thursday) to help students organize research efforts and make the best use of library resources. 

Position TypeGeneral Administration

Additional Information

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff.  Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. 

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other  characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see