Reference Librarian Job Description Template

The Reference Librarian job description template is designed to help organizations in search of experienced and skilled librarians who can provide research assistance to library patrons. It outlines the key responsibilities and requirements for this position, as well as the qualifications and skills needed to effectively carry out the job. With this template, employers can attract qualified candidates who can provide excellent reference services and support to library users.

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Job Description:

  • Assists library patrons with research needs by answering questions and assisting with search strategies
  • Evaluates and selects materials for the library collection, including books, journals, electronic databases, and other resources
  • Organizes and maintains databases for the library's collections and resources
  • Creates informational and instructional materials to assist with research and information literacy skills
  • Provides individual and group instruction on research methods and information sources
  • Assists with the development and implementation of library programs and services
  • Keeps up-to-date with developments in library science, including new technologies and information sources, and shares this knowledge with library staff and patrons


  • Master's degree in Library Science or related field
  • Strong knowledge of research methods and information sources
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Experience with library databases and technologies
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Ability to collaborate with other library staff and faculty across disciplines


One of the most critical positions within a library is that of the reference librarian. A reference librarian is an individual who provides research assistance, reference materials, and other resources to patrons. This position requires a broad knowledge of library resources and the services they offer. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you have an effective reference librarian job posting to ensure that the job description is clear and concise.

Job Title

The job title should be clear and concise, directly stating that the position being advertised is a Reference Librarian. Avoid creating complex job titles that may cause confusion to the job seeker. The job title is what attracts job seekers, so make it as distinctive as possible.

Job Description

The job description should provide a detailed description of the job's duties and responsibilities. The job description should be clear about the essential functions of the position, which may include:

  • Serving as the library's primary point of contact for research assistance and reference inquiries.
  • Managing the reference desk and all associated library functions.
  • Providing research assistance, reference materials, and other resources to patrons.
  • Developing training materials, workshops, and presentations to teach patrons how to effectively use library resources.
  • Staying current with new technologies, trends, and resources within the library field, and incorporating them into the library's collection.
  • It is important to note that these responsibilities may vary based on the library's size and focus. Therefore, create the job description according to the needs of your library.


    The qualifications section of the job posting should list the minimum educational, professional, and personal qualities required to be a successful reference librarian. It should include:

  • A Master's degree in Library Science from an accredited institution.
  • Research experience, ideally in a library or another research-intensive environment.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills, both written and verbal.
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively on a team.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and adapt to changing workloads and priorities.
  • Knowledge of relevant software and technology used in libraries, including integrated library systems, databases, and reference tools.
  • Conclusion

    A successful Reference Librarian job posting must provide a clear and concise job title, detailed job responsibilities, and qualifications criteria. You should also consider providing information on the organization's benefits, work environment, and professional development opportunities to attract top talent. Lastly, ensure that your job posting complies with your organization's diversity and equal opportunity policies.

    Frequently Asked Questions on Creating Reference Librarian Job Posting

    What is a Reference Librarian?

    A Reference Librarian is a professional who helps people find information and perform research. They assist individuals in locating and utilizing library resources, as well as provide information literacy instruction. Reference Librarians are skilled in using reference materials, database searches, and online resources to help patrons find what they need.

    What should be included in a Reference Librarian job posting?

  • Job title and salary range
  • Full job description of the position
  • Required qualifications, including education and experience
  • Skills and knowledge necessary for the role
  • Essential duties and responsibilities
  • Information about the organization (e.g., type, size, location)
  • Benefits package
  • What are the qualifications needed for a Reference Librarian?

    The required qualifications for a Reference Librarian will depend on the specific role and the employer's requirements. However, most Reference Librarian job postings will require a Master’s degree in Library Science, Information Science, or a related field from an accredited program. Some employers may request additional certifications or experience working in a specific area, such as academic or public libraries.

    How should I format my job posting?

    A job posting should be clear and concise, with easy-to-read bullet points or paragraphs. It should be formatted in a way that highlights the key skills and qualifications sought, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the position. Use headers and subheaders to organize the content and make it easier to scan for important information. Additionally, it should use inclusive language and be free of bias to attract a diverse range of candidates.

    What are some effective ways to attract qualified candidates?

  • Post the job on job boards such as Indeed or Glassdoor
  • Share the job posting on your organization's social media accounts and LinkedIn
  • Hold a virtual or in-person recruiting event to connect with potential candidates and answer questions about the position
  • Utilize your personal and professional networks to spread the word about the position
  • Craft an attention-grabbing job description that highlights the benefits of working with your organization and encourages candidates to apply
  • Should I include salary information in the job posting?

    Yes, it is recommended to include salary information in the job posting. This information can help to attract qualified candidates who are looking for a specific salary range. Additionally, transparency regarding salary can create a more inclusive hiring process, as it can reduce potential wage gaps based on gender or ethnicity.

    Can I require candidates to submit a cover letter with their application?

    Yes, an organization can require candidates to submit cover letters as part of the application process. A well-written cover letter can give employers more insight into a candidate’s motivation, qualifications, and work style. However, it is important to ensure that the cover letter requirement is not a barrier to entry or put undue burden on candidates.

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