Reference Librarian - Brooklyn Historical Society

Job Information


Job Description: Reference Librarian

Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library and Archives in Brooklyn, NY seeks an energetic, user-oriented candidate to serve as Reference Librarian reporting to the Managing Director of the Library & Archives.


The ideal candidate is detail-oriented, highly organized, and has an eye for improving efficiencies. He/she communicates clearly and effectively with a wide range of users (from internal museum staff and advanced scholars to local genealogists) and prioritizes comprehensive research services through effective user experiences.  The candidate should have formal experience with instruction in a research library or other setting.

Job Responsibilities
The Reference Librarian will provide high-quality reference services to library users, BHS staff, and faculty in nearby colleges and universities via the library reading room, email, telephone, and post. The Reference Librarian will also support a library instruction program including curriculum development and planning, bibliographic instruction, and interactive research support using primary sources. He/she will supervise the part-time Reference Associate and the Reference and oversee the User Services Internship program, a small cadre of interns in the summer and the academic year.  The Reference Librarian will facilitate day-to-day operations of the reading room, collect and analyze assessment data, and promote the library through outreach efforts such as tours, public programs, speaking engagements, and conference presentations while contributing to a range of public services projects (such as improving wayfinding or enhancing discovery tools) in collaboration with the Managing Director of Library and Archives.

Required Qualifications
* Masters of Library and Information Science or equivalent degree with 1-3 years practical experience in a professional reference capacity.

* Demonstrated experience providing reference services in a research library (ideally, in an archives and special collections setting).

* Demonstrated experience providing instruction, training, and/or public presentations in an applicable setting.

* Demonstrated experience properly caring for and handling rare materials.

* Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 lbs.

* Supervisory experience, either within an archive or another work setting.

* Ability to work in library stacks in cold temperatures (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to an eight-hour workday, five days a week.


Preferred Qualifications

* Experience promoting library collections and services through effective outreach initiatives.

* Experience or knowledge of user experience assessment and improvement.

* Familiarity with ILS systems and Archivists’ Toolkit or ArchivesSpace and with the use and application of standardized vocabularies.

* Previous archival processing and description experience, and an understanding of pragmatic and efficient processing procedures.

* A working knowledge of U. S. history and knowledge of Brooklyn or New York history is preferred.


Compensation and Schedule

Salary is commensurate with experience.  Required work schedule is 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday and 1 Saturday reference shift per month.


To Apply

Please prepare a writing sample in the form of a reference question response or brief historical essay along with a cover letter and resume to The subject line of the email should read: [last name] –Reference Librarian

Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of any mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.