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Class Title:           Reference Librarian
Department:         LIBRARY                                                                                                                                              
Division:               Adult Services                                  
Union:                  Cary Memorial Library Staff Association, Local 4928, MLSA, MFT, AFT, AFL-CIO
Date:                    March 1, 2017


Reference Librarians perform a variety of professional tasks involved in providing library services to the public including staffing public service desks and collection development.  Librarians often have a specialty within the department, and are also generally assigned to key projects or initiatives within the organization.  Librarians have frequent contact with public, library employees, other town departments/boards, community organizations, library network/regional library systems, vendors, which require tact, diplomacy, negotiating skills, independent judgment, problem solving, and resourcefulness.

This position’s specialty, as Community Librarian, supports the Programming and Outreach Coordinator’s efforts to provide a full complement of programs for adults, helping to generate ideas and actively liaising with Town departments and community organizations to keep the Library engaged and involved in community efforts.  This person works with the Programming and Community Outreach Coordinator to leverage local ideas and talents, and deliver a wide array of programs to our curious, intellectual community. 


Works under the general direction of the Head of Reference and Adult Services, and with the guidance of the Programming and Outreach Coordinator.


  • May provide supervision for library staff assigned to programming efforts.
  • Helps coordinate the work of community members and volunteers involved in library programs.
  • May serve as “in charge” person, overseeing library staffing and functions in the absence of a library department head, manager or administrator. 



  • Works on the Library’s public service desks as needed.  (3-4 hours a day)
  • Is responsible for collection development and maintenance for areas of the adult collection.
  • Plans and implements adult programming.  
  • Utilizes social media to grow awareness of library services, events, and policies.
  • Surveys the library, technology, popular culture, and information landscapes with regard to how these impact library services and programs.
  • Seeks out and participates in professional development opportunities. Develops skill sets needed to implement new programs and ideas.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Public Service Desks:

  • Provides outstanding customer service to patrons at the Library’s busy public service desk in a team-oriented environment. Interprets library policies and procedures for the public and staff. Handles complaints and suggestions in a professional manner and refers them to the appropriate staff member.
  • Uses, and assists patrons and staff in use of an ever-changing variety of library equipment including telephones, computers and tablets, scan station/copiers, meeting room technologies, audiovisual equipment, assistive technology, self-checkout units, and others.
  • Assists patrons in person, by phone, and online.  Directs or escorts library users to other departments as necessary.
  • Has access to confidential information and performs duties that require constant attention to detail and accuracy.


  • Initiates, plans and implements adult programs, guiding both the program and the peripheral staff and volunteers involved.
  • Convenes staff working groups when appropriate.
  • May serve on Town or community groups.
  • Attends network, state, and national meetings and conferences.
  • Serves as “in charge” person, overseeing library staffing and functions in the absence of a library department head, manager or administrator. 



  • Under the guidance of the Programming and Outreach Coordinator, works both individually and collaboratively with community members and organizations to brainstorm, plan, present, and promote programs and activities.
  • Builds relationships with local, regional, and national authors ensuring that library users have opportunities to meet and talk with the writers they enjoy.
  • Looks for opportunities to take library programs and services out beyond the Library’s walls.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Curiosity, a willingness to try new things, and a sense of humor.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of principles of library science, particularly with regard to library programming and outreach.
  • Excellent oral, written, and virtual communications skills.
  • Ability to deal courteously and tactfully with public and staff.
  • Ability to work successfully as the leader of or a member of a team.
  • Enjoy working in a multicultural, multigenerational environment.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment.
  • Proficiency with technology including desktop applications, internet/database searching, social media, and mobile devices. Ability to operate library equipment and to instruct library users in the use of this technology.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • A minimum of two (2) years’ experience providing public library adult reference services.
  • A Master’s degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited program.
  • Knowledge of spoken and written English.
  • Second language skills a plus.


Job-related tools and equipment include, but are not limited to:

  • Library computer system and network
  • Personal technology including smart phones and tablets
  • Job-related software, including integrated library system (ILS) modules, information search and retrieval, office productivity software (word processing, spreadsheet, database), and electronic communications
  • Microfilm/microfiche reader printers
  • Assistive technology equipment
  • Audiovisual equipment, including television, CD/DVD player, camera, document scanner, overhead projector, LCD projector, electronic readers, and laminating machine
  • Other technologies as needs arise
  • Automobile


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk, or hear. The employee may be required to stand for up to four (4) consecutive hours. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with arms and hands. The employee is required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel, or crouch.

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to twenty-five (25) pounds, lift and/or move delivery book bins, book trucks, and book boxes. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus using print materials as with PC monitors and other library equipment.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is moderately noisy.


Formal application, rating of education and experience; oral interview and reference check; physical examination and drug test; job-related tests may be required.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that will be performed. The omission of specific statement of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and the employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

This is a full-time position with a 37 hours/week schedule including one evening/week and one Saturday/month.  Additional nights and weekends as needed for programs. 


Hiring range is $25.73 - $29.96 hourly, commensurate with experience, plus an excellent benefits package. Full salary range is $25.73 - $33.03 hourly. 


Priority will be given to applications received by March 22, 2017. Send a resume, letter of application, and three references to Andrea Morrison, Office Manager, Cary Memorial Library, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA  02420 (  EO/AAE