Special Collections Reference Librarian— University of Utah

Post date: Apr 12, 2021

Special Collections Reference Librarian (Assistant or Associate)-- Marriott Library Faculty Job Posting

Job Posting Link: https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/113484

Preferred consideration will be given to all applications received by May 7, 2021


The J. Willard Marriott Library seeks a Reference Librarian to oversee the research functions of its Special Collections Division. This faculty position, which reports to the Assistant Director for Special Collections, will partner with Library archivists and curators in providing resources to researchers, teaching classes, and promoting collections to students, faculty, and community groups.

The position will take a leading role in the Division’s communications within and outside the Library, and will actively participate in Special Collections programming and outreach. Depending upon educational background and expertise, the Reference Librarian will gain opportunities to serve as a liaison to University departments, and will lead classes highlighting the use of primary sources and the full range of Library collections. In addition to conducting topical presentations and providing individualized research support, the position will lead training and provide organizational oversight and quality control for reference practices across the Division.

As a member of the faculty, the Librarian will engage in their own scholarly activities and develop as a professional with support from peers, mentors, and administrators who are invested in their success. While this position focuses primarily on Special Collections, all faculty librarians serve the needs of University faculty, staff, and students along with members of the local community. The Librarian will assist with implementing the Marriott Library’s Strategic Directions, liaise with one or more academic departments, and remain professionally active through participation in appropriate professional societies and a robust research and publication program.

We seek qualified applicants who also bring perspectives and experiences that will enrich and strengthen our organization. We invite applications from candidates who may not have followed a traditional educational or professional path. All candidates should be prepared to discuss how they see themselves contributing to the University’s equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. The library serves an increasingly diverse constituency of patrons, and our employees, services, collections, and policies should honor and reflect this diversity. We are therefore interested in identifying and interviewing candidates who have experience with underserved or marginalized communities and communities of color and who are committed to advancing our mission to provide equitable access to information resources.


This position requires familiarity with primary research materials, including rare books and archival documents in various formats, and with methods for providing digital and in-person access. The Librarian will develop internal policies and procedures to increase the availability of collection materials. The position will also lead the Division's efforts to maintain personal and object security, manage the reference desk, and oversee full and part-time scheduling. Working with other Special Collections faculty, the Reference Librarian will reach out to subject faculty across campus to encourage visits, promote assignments utilizing archival resources, and support courses which incorporate collection materials.

As part of the outreach focus of the position, the Librarian will work with the Marriott Library’s Development team to document and facilitate gifts to Special Collections. The position will also oversee the development of an internship and volunteer program, and will contribute to grant writing efforts with collaborators in the Library and across campus. In addition, the Reference Librarian will evaluate and coordinate loans to cultural institutions such as the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Working in our environment requires adapting to changing needs and priorities while using interpersonal skills to maintain positive relationships, and the job focus can shift depending on the unit's immediate needs.

The duties, qualifications, and preferences listed in this posting are intended to give applicants an understanding of the role we are seeking to fill and the types of skills, experience, and education that may have prepared someone to be effective in this role. We do not expect any candidate to be a perfect match for this list or to perform all of the duties with equal proficiency on day one. In your resume and cover letter, please highlight the most relevant qualifications you would bring to this position based on the posting, and tell us how your background, perspective, and experience will help us fulfill our mission and meet our goals.



  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS or the equivalent combination of a relevant degree and experience working in an academic library

  • Evidence of potential to meet the professional requirements of a tenure-track position through research, librarianship, and service

  • Appointment at the Assistant Librarian level will require demonstrated potential for scholarly engagement and evidence of a clear research focus

  • Appointment at the Associate Librarian level will require advanced research and librarianship to qualify for tenure at time of appointment


  • Project management experience, especially with cultural heritage collections (volunteer, internship, or practicum experience included)

  • Work experience in Special Collections research and best practices in providing reference support to varied audiences

  • Knowledge or interest in the cultural history of Utah and its peoples, from Indigenous groups to other communities in the region

  • Two years of experience working in a Special Collections, Archives, Museum, or cultural heritage organization

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to work with a wide range of individuals and learning approaches

Compensation: $55,000 - $65,000 dependent on qualifications, plus excellent benefits including a 14.2% retirement contribution to TIAA-CREF/Fidelity, medical and dental coverage, and generous paid sick and vacation time.