Princeton University Library is seeking an individual with strengths in public service and leadership for the position of Reference Services Coordinator in Special Collections Firestone. Reporting to the Assistant University Librarian for Special Collections Public Services, the Reference Services Coordinator oversees the day-to-day management of the reference services in a busy Special Collections branch of an academic library with a focus on creating welcoming spaces and broad access to the collections. Additional responsibilities include updating the content on the Special Collections portion of the library website and collecting and analyzing reference statistics. The Coordinator in Firestone will work closely with their counterpart in Special Collections Mudd Library to develop a consistent, positive researcher experience.
The Special Collections Department welcomes researchers from across the Princeton University community as well as independent researchers from around the world. Special Collections Firestone is home to most of the library’s rare book and manuscript collections, and is located within the campus’s main library building.
Reading Room Management:
Manage the reading room, creating a welcoming, consistent and supportive experience for all, while ensuring procedures are followed for the care of the collections
Work reading room and front desk shifts
Set the reference shift schedule and determine coverage needs on a daily basis
Handle any issues or concerns that may arise with researchers
Work with supervisor to develop, adjust and implement guidelines and procedures for the reading room
Ensure reading room guidelines are being followed by researchers and appropriately enforced by staff
Train new staff and offer refresher training to current staff on reading room and front desk procedures
Remote Reference Management
Oversee remote reference service, handling any issues or concerns that may arise with researchers
Answer in-depth reference questions using the library’s unique and rare collections
Work with colleagues to ensure that researchers are receiving appropriate responses to their inquiries and that standardized language is used when possible.
Update Special Collections website content, working with SC colleagues to ensure information across the department is included
Work collaboratively with Library Communications and IT Teams to ensure that web content is accurate and following set guidelines
Oversee LibGuide maintenance
Support colleagues who are working on reference, instruction, digitization, and other special projects
Ensure that any needed updates to workflows are documented and shared out to staff as appropriate
Collect and analyze reference statistics for Special Collections
The Reference Services Coordinator will have the opportunity to represent the needs of the Public Services team through working groups and committees within Special Collections and throughout the library. The Coordinator is expected to participate in and contribute to a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Minimum master’s degree in Library and Information Science, or related advanced degree and relevant experience
Three years’ experience at a library, historical society or similar institution, including experience working directly with visitors
Demonstrated experience leading a project or daily operations including training, guiding and motivating colleagues
Understanding of research use of rare books, manuscripts, archives, and special collections
Understanding of best practices to maintain a welcoming and supportive environment for researchers while balancing appropriate care and handling of collection materials
Ability to respond effectively, orally and in writing, to sophisticated research questions
Familiarity with discovery tools
Ability to learn how to use new software quickly and effectively
Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to handle in-person interactions with care and equanimity
Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse range of scholars, students, and independent researchers with varying levels of experience
Commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment
Demonstrated attention to detail and experience maintaining accurate records, managing tasks, and planning and organizing work to meet developing priorities
Ability to exercise independent judgment and take initiative
Applications received by close of business on Friday, November 17, 2023, will receive first consideration.
We are currently seeking candidates for a similar position that will be based in Special Collections Mudd Library. You are welcome to apply to one or both as we are conducting two separate searches for these positions.
Princeton University Library is committed to recruiting a diverse workforce and advancing the University's commitment to racial equity within our community and in the world. We encourage candidates from all diverse backgrounds and life experiences to apply for our positions. To find out more about PUL’s work towards greater inclusivity, equity, and diversity, please see PUL’s “About” page.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
The Princeton University Library is one of the world’s leading research libraries, serving a diverse community of 5,200 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students, 853 faculty, and many visiting scholars. Its holdings include more than 7,000,000 printed volumes, 5,000,000 manuscripts, 2,000,000 non-print items, and extensive collections of digital text, data, and images. The Library employs a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of more than 300 professional and support staff housed in a large central library, 9 specialized branches, and 3 storage facilities.