Instructional & Research Librarian

Walla Walla, Washington State
Jul 12, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


The Instructional & Research Librarian (IRL) provides research assistance to the faculty, students, and staff of Whitman College by helping them to evaluate their scholarly information needs and to find, access, and use the relevant print, digital, and web collections provided through Penrose Library.  The IRL will be responsible for

  • designing, delivering, and assessing information literacy classes;
  • contributing knowledge of current instructional and digital learning technologies;
  • serving as liaison to academic programs or departments;
  • participating in library planning and policy-making in a shared decision-making environment.  


Provide Instructional Services

  1. Design, teach, assess, and revise curricula in conjunction with the Head of Instructional & Research Services.
  2. Provide multi-tiered instruction, including individual meetings and class-related instruction based upon the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education.
  3. Contribute to the ongoing evaluation and adoption of print and digital resources.

Provide Research Assistance

  1. Interview patrons to identify their information needs.
  2. Provide consultations in person, by telephone, or through electronic means.
  3. Select and search appropriate library resources.

Serve as Liaison

  1. Develop an awareness of faculty needs for teaching and research.
  2. Initiate library collaboration with faculty, programs, or departments.
  3. Promote the use of existing library collections, resources, and services.
  4. Enhance library collections, resources, and services.

Perform Outreach

  1. Lead tours and library orientation sessions.
  2. Promote services, collections, databases, and other resources to library patrons.
  3. Compose and edit the library newsletter.
  4. Use social media and other technologies to promote the educational mission of the library.

Professional Development

  1. Develop specific interests in the profession, and serve as a resource person for those areas.
  2. Attend professional meetings or conferences, and become involved in regional networks.




Individuals must be able to explain and/or demonstrate that they possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to safely perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

  1. MLS or comparable degree from an ALA accredited graduate program.
  2. Ability to work effectively with faculty, students, staff, and administrators in a liberal arts college setting.
  3. Ability to develop research guides and appropriate pedagogical materials to support effective instruction at different achievement levels.
  4. Strong oral and written communication skills necessary to diplomatically relate to other campus departments, individuals, and outside constituencies.  Must be able to deal with problems while maintaining friendly and cooperative relationships.
  5. Knowledge of current issues and trends in instruction facing academic libraries.
  6. Ability to exploit digital learning technologies to further library programs and initiatives.
  7. Technical skills and a willingness to develop new competencies.
  8. Possess the time-management skills necessary to meet deadlines and set priorities while maintaining flexibility in a changing work environment and a high attention to detail.
  9. Ability to lift and move boxes, books and supplies weighing up to 30 (thirty) pounds; ability to operate book and hand trucks loaded with more than 50 (fifty) pounds; ability to lift objects above the shoulders or over the head, climb up and down ladders or stairs; ability to sit, stand, kneel, squat, or bend for extended periods.
  10. Additional professional duties as required.


MLS or comparable degree from an ALA accredited graduate program. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills required is a high level of attention to detail.  Experience in library instruction or in other educational instruction is preferred. The ability to work positively and effectively with students, faculty, staff and administrators in a liberal arts college is vital, as is the ability to be flexible in a changing work environment. Ability to safely perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodations.