Employment Opportunities

HEAD OF READER SERVICES

Overview

The Library Company of Philadelphia seeks a special collections librarian with a strong service mentality to serve as Head of Reader Services in the William H. Scheide Reading Room. This position will provide leadership, coordination, and oversight in working positively and inclusively with researchers, guiding them in discovering, using, and evaluating resources. They will ensure excellent service, friendly reception, and positive research interactions for researchers of all skill levels using Library Company collections.

Stationed in the Scheide Reading Room and supported by one full-time Reading Room Assistant and a shift staff, they will:

  • Manage the reading room and its operations, including coordination of shift staff, and oversight of research appointments and circulation of materials. Coordinate with staff in the Graphic Arts Department reading room on reader services concerns. Manage budget for reading room expenses.
  • Uphold the library’s reputation for excellent reader services by guiding researchers of all levels in discovering, using, and evaluating resources, explaining techniques, policies, and procedures, and empowering them to conduct research. The library’s learning community includes postdoctoral, dissertation, and short-term research fellows, undergraduate and graduate students; and members of the general public.
  • Work individually with researchers through reference consultations including remote reference queries submitted in person or by mail, email, and phone. Lead and/or participate in outreach activities such as class visits, group presentations, and donor and membership tours.
  • Collection management. Collaborate with colleagues on the collections staff by engaging with the catalogers and curators to enhance discovery and access to collections. Work closely with conservation staff to determine and effectuate best practices for care and handling of collections in the reading room environment. Catalog collection materials.
  • Support the fellowship program by working closely with research fellows and reviewing applications.

About the Library Company of Philadelphia

The Library Company is America’s first successful lending library and oldest cultural institution. It was founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a subscription library supported by its shareholders, as it is to this day. Holdings include nearly a million rare books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and graphics documenting every aspect of American history and culture through the end of the 19th century. Its strengths include: African Americana; American science & technology, economics, art & architecture, agriculture, natural history, education, philanthropy, and medicine; art and architecture; German-Americana; gift books; the history of printing and publishing; serials, American Judaica; the history of women, domestic economy, and family life; printmaking, mapmaking, and photography in Philadelphia; music; and the libraries of James Logan and Benjamin Franklin.

Free and open to the public, our mission is to foster scholarship in and increase public understanding of American history by preserving and interpreting the valuable materials in our care. We serve a diverse constituency throughout Philadelphia and the nation, offering comprehensive reader services, an internationally renowned fellowship program, online resources, and regular exhibitions and public programs. Staff members are welcoming and generous with their deep knowledge about the collections.

Requirements

  • MLIS from ALA-accredited program; Bachelor’s degree in field relating to the LCP areas of collection subject strength. Minimum of four years’ professional experience with a focus on reader services in library special collections, including some supervisory responsibility.
  • Familiarity with cataloging standards such as MARC, AACR2, RDA, and DCRMB; familiarity with OCLC Connexion; familiarity with Koha or other integrated library system.
  • Ability to work collegially with other staff. Ability to work with researchers with varying levels of experience with patience and courtesy. Ability to write engagingly for the general public about collection materials and/or library programs. Ability to carry projects to completion in an environment with competing priorities. Ability to design and implement mission-related projects, utilizing staff and/or interns and volunteers. Ongoing commitment to job-related learning.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility, and the desire to apply that commitment to their work at the Library Company.

Job Type
Full-time, exempt

Schedule
Monday to Friday, (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.); ability to work occasional evenings and weekends for programs, events, or as needed.

Salary and Benefits
$60-$65K annually; Medical, dental, and vision insurance; 403b contribution; paid time off

To Apply
Please send a letter of interest and CV, along with the names and contact information of three professional references to Emily Guthrie, Librarian, at eguthrie@librarycompany.org by Friday, January 6, 2023.

Questions about the position may be directed to:

Emily Guthrie
Librarian
The Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust St | Philadelphia, PA 19107
eguthrie@librarycompany.org
215.546.3181 x 112
Pronouns: she/her