New York, NY: Head of Reference & User Services, Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn Historical Society

Head of Reference and User Services

The Head of Reference and User Services is responsible for supporting research at Brooklyn Historical Society for a diverse audience of users. He or she will manage in-person and on-line reference services that serve the general public, the Society’s staff, and visiting scholars; give instructional workshops for researchers; and direct the library’s post-secondary instruction program.

Brooklyn Historical Society is a world-renowned research library and archives, a museum and public programs venue, and an educational center that works with primary school students to graduate students conducting advanced academic research. Reference and user services at Brooklyn Historical Society reach a wide variety of audiences including house history researchers and genealogists; amateur and professional historians; writers and artists; students of many ages and backgrounds; and professional audiences such as reporters, policy researchers, and urban planners.

The Head of Reference and User Services reports to the Director of Library and Archives, serves as an advisor to the Director and other Senior Staff, and works in close collaboration with staff of other departments. The ideal candidate will show expertise in debates about information literacy and pedagogy; have teaching experience (in or out of the library and archives); and understand the diverse research practices of scholars of different fields, creative professionals, and the many professional and non-professional constituencies that draw on BHS’s resources.

Job Responsibilities:

· Manage public services of library and archives, including creating and implementing reading room policies, managing all undergraduate/graduate level instruction, collecting library and archives usage statistics, managing remote inquiries database, training all professional and support staff on reference and managing reference interns.

· Collaborate with Director of Library & Archives and other staff in planning and implementing goals, priorities, policies, and workflows for library and archives.

· Provide research assistance and reader services for patrons and BHS staff; answer reference requests onsite and remotely.

· Assist with grant-writing and fund-raising proposals; and sharing in the management of day-to-day operations of the Library.

· Educate BHS staff on library and archival resources as well as relevant outside sources.

· Work with the Head of Collection Management to establish effective cataloging and descriptive practices.

· Share in the management of day-to-day operations of the Library.

· Serve on the Library reference desk during the library’s open hours as needed, including one (1) Saturday per month.

· Other duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications:

· Masters in Library and Information Science.

· Additional academic study or graduate degree in history or other relevant disciplines.

· Substantial knowledge of U. S. history, with focus on Brooklyn or New York City history.

· Teaching or instruction experience in or out of library and archives

· Five (5) or more years of progressively responsible experience in a library, archive, and/or special collections

· Experience with managing reference services, including bibliographic instruction, in-person and on-line reference, and assessment of service quality.

· Demonstrated understanding of principles of archival arrangement and description, library cataloging systems, and metadata standards.

· Effective oral and written communication skills.

· Ability to work as both independently and as part of a team.

· Strong organization and time-management skills; attention to accuracy and detail is essential.

· Supervisory experience, including both professional staff and interns.

· Experience in care and handling of rare materials.

· Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 lbs repeatedly, including handling these materials while standing on rolling ladders and stepstools.

· 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:

· Previous cataloging and/or archival processing and description experience, including an understanding of pragmatic and efficient processing procedures.

· Classroom teaching or other pedagogical experience.


Salary: Competitive and based on experience. Salary Requirements should be specified in cover letter. Position includes full health benefits and paid vacation.

How to Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume to: Subject line of the email should read: Head of Reference and User Services Application [your last name]. Applications will be reviewed immediately. No phone calls please.

Position Available June 1, 2014

Brooklyn Historical Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
The 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.

Posted May 1, 2014


Thanks to Elizabeth C. for this one!

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