Public Service and Instruction Librarian
Established in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the largest cultural institution in the southwest and ranks nationally among the top 10 art museums in exhibition space, memberships, endowments, and attendance. The Museum is a multifaceted institution comprising two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, two art schools, and two house museums for decorative arts. Resources that can be found throughout the institution include a repertory cinema, two significant research libraries, public archives, two digital archive initiatives, and a conservation and storage facility. The encyclopedic collection numbers nearly 70,000 works of art.
The Hirsch Library is the largest library dedicated to the visual arts in the south central United States. Since the late 1920s, the Library has maintained a strong commitment to serving the Houston arts community, opening its doors to more than 5,000 patrons annually. Our collection of more than 175,000 volumes reflects the encyclopedic nature of the Museum’s holdings with particular strength in the areas of Modern and contemporary art, photography, decorative arts and design, European painting, prints and drawings, Latin American art, and American art.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Hirsch Library seeks a creative, committed, and passionate information professional to oversee our reference, research, instruction, and interlibrary loan initiatives.
This position reports to the Chief of the Library and Archives.
The primary role of the Public Service and Instruction Librarian is to oversee the reference and research services to Museum staff and external researchers. This individual is also responsible for directing the Library’s instruction program. Additionally, this position manages the Library’s interlibrary lending service, liaising with libraries and scholars to provide access to the Hirsch Library’s extensive collection of resources. The role requires a strong commitment to public service coupled with a vision for using emerging technologies, as well as a high degree of knowledge pertaining to print and electronic resources in art history and the humanities.
- In conjunction with the Chief of the Library and Archives, determines and executes public service policies and priorities; develops strategies for the provision of services
- Oversees the Library’s interlibrary lending service and trains staff members on interlibrary services procedures
- Supervises the Library Assistant for Reference position
- Trains and schedules the information services staff
- Develops classes, workshops, and training materials for Museum staff, docents, and volunteers on library research methods
- Collaborates with staff in the Learning & Interpretation department to ensure that all docents receive regular library instruction
- Trains fellow team members on class content creation, instruction, and public speaking
- Provides reference service at the information services desk on a regularly scheduled basis
- Provides research services to museum staff on demand outside of regularly scheduled periods
- Reports regularly to the Library Committee at committee meetings
- Assists with other projects as necessary
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities
- Broad knowledge of scholarly resources in art history and the humanities including print and online reference resources
- Excellent communication skills and the ability to provide high quality reference services and to make presentations to a broad range of researchers from novice to advanced
- Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish positive and productive collaborations with library colleagues and Museum staff required
- Ability to plan, manage and oversee multiple projects, meet deadlines and prioritize work in alignment with the strategic goals of the library required
- Ability to adapt to changing organizational priorities and to ever-changing technological environments required
- Strong sense of the future directions of research libraries and able to articulate this in meaningful ways to colleagues, Museum staff, and outside researchers
- Knowledge of current trends and best practices in research/reference services required
- Knowledge of digital projects in art history and the humanities and their relevance for the library researchers
- Familiarity with new and emerging models of scholarly communication preferred
- Knowledge of one foreign language: Spanish, French, German, or Italian preferred
- Ability to carry heavy books and climb ladders
Education and Experience
- ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information sciences required; M.A. in Art History or significant experience working in the humanities preferred
- Minimum of three years of instruction and reference experience in research or academic library required
- Experience or capacity for developing creative and entrepreneurial approaches to promoting and delivering reference, instruction and outreach services
- Some supervisory experience preferred
- Experience working with interlibrary loan software; WorldShare Interlibrary Loan service preferred
- Experience working with an integrated library system; WorldShare Management Services preferred
How to Apply:
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.