Reference Librarian

Mills College

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Librarians & Library Services
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

About Mills College:
Located in Oakland, California, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a liberal arts college for women and gender non-binary students, with graduate programs for all genders. Consistently ranked one of the top master's universities and one of the best value colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, Mills also has been named one of the Best Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. The Mills experience is distinguished by small, interactive classes, one-on-one attention from exceptional faculty, a culture of creative experimentation, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary learning opportunities which empower students to make a statement in their careers and communities. As one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, we have a strong record of academic success with first-generation students, students of color, Latinx students, LGBTQ students, and other underrepresented students. Mills College has recently become a Hispanic Serving Institution. Applicants with expertise and experience in supporting and promoting success for Latina/o students are encouraged to apply.

Mills College encourages diversity in hiring and particularly welcomes applications and nominations from women, gender non-binary individuals, and minorities. Mills College seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice and our desire to maintain the excellence of our faculty. In so doing, we offer our students not only the opportunity to learn about varied disciplines but to engage with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing and learning. For more information, please visit

Job Description:

Reports to: Head of Reference & Access Services Librarian

Summary of Position:
This position provides a full range of reference and instructional services. The Reference Librarian is often the front line manager while staffing the Reference Desk at the F. W. Olin Library and uses their discretion to make independent decisions and to craft and interpret guidelines and procedures. The Reference Librarian teaches information literacy sessions, one-shot and ongoing, for entry-level and more advanced classes, including an online information literacy proficiency course: College 005. The Reference Librarian will also assist with circulation functions, handle email and telephone reference inquiries, participate in collection development for several academic departments, and create and update public service documentation and Library publications such as subject guides, handouts, and the Librarys outreach channels (e.g., social media).

Essential Job Functions:

  • 40% Reference: Managing reference activities including staffing the reference desk and guiding students, faculty, and staff in the use of Librarys physical and electronic collections; meet with students and/or faculty one-on-one or in groups for research appointments and assignment planning.
  • 25% Information Literacy: Instructor/administrator for College 005, the online information literacy undergraduate graduation requirement. Creating/maintaining the librarys online Subject Guides, leading information literacy instruction sessions, demonstrating how to best utilize the librarys physical and electronic collections and teaching students research strategies and ethical research concepts based on the ACRL information literacy guidelines/framework.
  • 15% Collection Development: Selecting and deselecting appropriate library resources within assigned subjects to support Mills curriculum and faculty research. Creating thematic displays and bibliographies.
  • 10% Outreach: Library programming, staffing and creating handouts and mini-collections for campus events (e.g., Staff Wellness Fair, First Year Orientation, etc.), liaising to academic departments and student groups, administering and creating content for Library social media.
  • 10% General Public Services: overseeing the Circulation Desk as needed, searching for missing books, taking fines, resolving patron issues, computer/tech support, creating signage, etc.

    Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assisting with the Librarys course reserves and interlibrary loan efforts as needed.
  • Record and maintain statistics of Library use and service: head counts, reference transactions, information literacy sessions, and interactions with students.
  • Serve on campus and professional committees and engage with other campus departments.
  • Seek out and participate in professional development to stay abreast of changes, emerging trends, and innovations in the field.


    Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated experience using databases, other electronic resources, online catalogs, the Internet, and print resources.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Effective teaching skills, in group and individual settings.
  • Strong planning, organizational and analytical skills.
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to library public services.
  • Working knowledge of hardware and software used in libraries (e.g., PCs, Apple products, printers, etc.).
  • Conversant with emerging technologies and emerging pedagogies.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with colleagues, faculty, students, and staff.
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
  • Ability to provide excellent customer service to F. W. Olin Library patrons.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships within a diverse and multicultural environment.
  • 1-2 years of professional experience.

    Education and Training:

  • Graduate degree in librarianship from an ALA-accredited institution.

    Physical, Mental and Environmental Demands:

  • Ability to work one weeknight evening a week and other evenings and weekends on occasion.
  • Ability to lift 10 pounds above your head and push 50 pounds on a book truck.

    This position description is not intended to contain a comprehensive list of activities, duties, or responsibilities. Additional duties may be assigned based on business operational needs.

    Additional Information:

    This is a full-time, exempt position with an FTE of 1.0. Salary is $49,920.00 per year, and includes an excellent benefits package including medical/dental/vision/life/LTD insurance, 403(b) retirement plan with college-matching after 6 month qualifying period, 10 days of vacation for year one, 15 days of vacation for years 2-10, and 22 days of vacation years 10+ plus, 12 sick days and 17 paid holidays (subject to annual review). Staff members also receive free admission to campus events, use of the pool, fitness center, and tennis courts. Tuition remission is also available after an introductory period. Voluntary benefits include: pet insurance, long-term care insurance, legal-assistance insurance, cellular provider discounts and computer hardware discounts.

    Mills College does not permit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For more information on Mills non-discrimination policy, please go to

    All positions are subject to a background check. Prior to the first date of employment, an applicants background check must be cleared.

    Application Instructions:

    To apply, submit the following documents at

  • Employee Application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter and
  • Contact Information for 3 References

    Please note that you can only upload 6 "Other" documents. You can consolidate multiple pages/documents into one file upload. The file size limit for each upload is 10Mb.

    Review of applicants will begin immediately; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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  • Organization

    Working at Mills College

    Mills is an independent liberal arts college for women with graduate programs for women and men. The College educates students to think critically and communicate responsibly and effectively, to accept the challenges of their creative visions, and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to effect thoughtful changes in a global, multicultural society.

    Mills encourages openness to experimentation in the context of established academic disciplines. Programs are designed to reflect the importance of global issues, provide an understanding of the natural world, and enhance opportunities for women in their developing roles throughout society. The curriculum combines traditional liberal arts with new educational initiatives that recognize the value of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity.

    Inspired by a teaching philosophy that grows out of its longstanding dedication to women’s education, Mills provides a dynamic learning environment that encourages intellectual exploration. The faculty of nationally and internationally respected scholars and artists is dedicated to developing the strengths of every student, preparing them for lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

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