Title: Reference Librarian

Non-Exempt Employee

General Statement of Responsibility:

Provides a range of library services including in-depth reference and reader’s guidance, collection development and maintenance,  and program and service planning, implementation and evaluation.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Uses expertise of and experience with resources, systems, strategies, and people to meet a broad variety of informational needs. Plans, develops, and evaluates aspects of agency collections and services.

Required Knowledge and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

• Library procedures and policies
• Principles and practices of library science, especially general and subject related reference and bibliographic tools.
• Major fields of learning comprising the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.
• Reader interest levels, books, and authors
• Collection development, weeding principles, and practices
• Acquisition procedures, publishers, and jobbers
• Automated library circulation systems, especially as relating to reference use
• Interlibrary loan procedures and policies
• Circulation system policies and procedures
• Computers and relevant applications
• Effective reference interview techniques

Ability to:

• Relate to public in a courteous, enthusiastic, friendly, service-oriented manner.
• Relate to all kinds and ages of people
• Communicate effectively orally and in writing
• Establish and maintain effective and harmonious working relationships with others, including the general public
• Use imagination and initiative in planning and problem solving
• Interpret library resources and services to the public
• Write reviews, annotations, and reports
• Provide or assist instruction and training in library methods or reference materials use
• Plan, organize, and direct a program of library activities
• Work independently
• Follow the portion of the budget as applied to their activities
• Compose pathfinders and compile bibliographies
• Work as a team member to accomplish department objectives, accept and adapt to new ideas, concepts and policies

Examples of Work (Illustrative only)

1. Staff person in charge when department heads and administration is absent.

2. Uses all available reference tools, collections, paper and computer files to assist patrons with reference questions.

3. Works circulation desk or children’s reference as needed.

4. Keeps abreast of new titles and suggest purchases.

5. Keeps informed of current trends and developments affecting libraries.

6. Attends professional meetings.

7. Monitors the behavior and conduct of library patrons in the department.

8. Librarians may be assigned the development and maintenance of a specific collection, service, or supervision responsibilities.

9. Reads professional journals.


Completion of a Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited library school and able to secure proper Indiana Library Certification.

Standards of Performance:

1. Make eye contact, smile, and/or speak to every person who passes b the reference desk at least 95% of the time.

2. Rise from work station when asked for help 95% of the time.

3. Process interlibrary loan requests promptly.

4. Consistently demonstrate genuine interest in patron’s information needs.

5. Exhibit knowledge of library reference sources and of the adult collection within a reasonable length of time.

6. Conduct reference interviews with professionalism, tact, warmth, and enthusiasm.

7. Follow up on patron — has he/she found information needed.