New Mexico State Library

Library Job Descriptions

Before developing job descriptions it is important to decide on their purpose. As you draft a job description remember the Americans with Disabilities Act which focuses on employment requirements and the protections that are afforded a “qualified individual with a disability.” A qualified individual is, “an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such person holds or desires.”

The ADA states that “consideration shall be given to the employer’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if an employer has prepared a written description before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, the description shall be considered evidence of the essential functions of the job.”

Thus, it is necessary to include in job descriptions “essential functions of the job.” The following sample job descriptions reflect a standard format and description. Basically there are six components in writing a job description: (1) position title and general summary, (2) essential job duties or “functions,” (3) nonessential duties, (4) supervisory authority, (5) special working conditions, and (6) minimum qualifications.

The format and descriptions on this web page are only recommended formats and descriptions. Your municipality or local government may have a standard format for job descriptions. Actual job descriptions will vary greatly from library to library. The job descriptions used by your library should be based on the library's specific needs.

Position Title: Library Director
Summary of job responsibilities
Organizes, directs, controls and promotes the activities of the City's Library system. Work varies, requiring interpretive judgment: has significant opportunity for discretion and independent action.
Job duties
Plans, organizes and manages the services of the City Library; establishes goals and measures accomplishments against recognized standards. Studies and makes plans to develop the services of the library to meet more effectively present and future community needs, including study of community and area trends and their relation to the library. Advises, consults, and confers with the Library Board, other libraries, professionals, officials (at State and local levels), citizens, and community groups. Supervises and develops procedures, policies and public information, and reference service methods used.  Recruits, selects and trains new personnel. Coordinates the continued training and development of staff members. Evaluates the performance of subordinate department heads and supervises the evaluation of other employees. Prepares speeches and Correspondence. Supervises the keeping of records and the preparation of reports. Prepares and presents library budgets. Prepares grant applications and seeks funding for operational and improvement programs. Actively seeks grants, gifts, and other new sources of non-tax funding for the library. Directs a public relations program to promote and publicize the Library in the community. Supervises the maintenance of the physical plant. Maintains current knowledge of new developments in the library field.  Initiates plans, develops and implements records and report systems and schedules. 
Supervisory authority
Directly supervises 5 FTE
Special working conditions
Duties are performed indoors in office environment. Duties require extended periods of standing, walking, sitting, and talking or hearing. Duties require occasional periods of climbing or balancing, pulling/pushing items, lifting/carrying items, keyboarding, reaching with hands and arms, stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling. Weights up to 50 pounds are encountered. Vision requirements include close vision and ability to adjust focus. Must be able to do math at the algebraic level. Reading materials and verbal instructions require complex interpretation. Hazards are considered minor and controllable, but may include exposure to human error and angry/hostile humans. The noise level is usually moderate. Must be able to transport oneself to work-related meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
Minimum qualifications
Master’s Degree in Library Science, or Library and Information Science (MLS/MLIS) from a graduate library program accredited by the American Library Association, and professional library experience, preferably in an administrative and/or managerial/supervisory capacity in a public library.

Position Title: Library Director (small library)
Summary of job responsibilities
The Library Director provides leadership and serves as the library's primary public representative. The library director is expected to represent the library within the community, develop programs, develop collections, provide budgeting information, manage volunteer, and manage the library facilities. 
Job duties
Assists patrons in the use of print materials, equipment and technologies by answering questions, offers basic technical assistance, troubleshoots computer problems, assists in navigating the Internet, locates databases in order to help patrons use library resources. Locates materials, answers questions, requests materials through ILL, refers patrons to outside resources and collections when appropriate in order to provide information services to patrons. Trains and supervises volunteers to help in these services. Develops collection in response to community’s needs, develops materials purchase procedures, purchases materials, carries out weeding, and evaluates donated materials. Initiates and coordinates programs; advises the Board on pertinent issues, and gives monthly reports on library operations, attends meetings, and participates in fundraising events.
Supervisory authority
Supervises volunteers 
Special working conditions
Work includes prolonged sitting, as well as moderate lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, pulling and pushing activities, manual dexterity, clear speech, and visual hearing acuity.
Minimum qualifications
Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of progressively responsible administrative experience, including a broad background in management, administration, operations and finance. Knowledge of public library services and operation and of library collections. Upon hiring, the library director is expected to earn Librarian Certification I.

Position Title: Library Assistant/Clerk
Summary of job responsibilities
Performs a wide variety of general library work in technical and/or public services to assist patrons with daily operational needs of the Library, such as copy cataloging, processing, circulation and shelving library materials; performs related duties as assigned.
Job duties
Provides service at the circulation desk including: prepares library for opening; checks materials in and out using computer terminal; greets and directs patrons to various locations or locates materials; answers the phone; registers new patrons on library computer system; uses computer terminal to provide information to the public or explains how to use the library's computer system; receives and resolves complaints or refers public to a director; collects and records fines and fees; assists supervisors with special projects. Works in library technical service area and provides services including: searching bibliographic utility as a source for MARC records, copy cataloging, updating holdings information, data entry and maintenance of the community resources database; assists supervisors with special projects. May train part-time employees and volunteers on computer system operation and library policies and procedures; participates in staff meetings to discuss and resolve problems, discuss ideas for improvement, and keep updated on library plans and activities; maintains library public area in clean and orderly fashion by maintaining displays, cleaning computer terminals and other general cleaning and/or organizing tasks; performs other related duties as required. Supervisory authority
Supervises volunteers
Special working conditions
Work is performed primarily in a library environment while sitting at a desk or computer terminal or while standing at a counter for extended periods of time. Physical exertion may be required to lift office supplies and library materials from overhead and from the floor. Sufficient vision or other powers of observation are essential to permit the employee to read, sort and shelve library materials and maintain patron and cataloging records. Often times, the employee must move, shelve and retrieve library materials from high and low settings.
Minimum qualifications One year of work experience dealing with the public; or substituting successful completion of course work or training in office or library practices and principles for up to six months of the experience; or any equivalent combination of experience and training.

 

Position Title: Assistant Library Director
Summary of job responsibilities
Works under the general direction of the Library Director, performs professional administrative duties that include supervising and daily operation of the library.
Job duties
Participates in the preparation of the library annual budget and manages all non-personal expenditures including library and custodial supplies and equipment and services for building repairs. Oversees all contractual services for cleaning, lawn care and snow removal operations and inspects building and grounds for contract compliance. Recommends the hiring, disciplining and firing of employees. Manages library operations in the absence of the Director. Reviews and approves recommendations by library staff and/or revisions to library policies or programs; submits recommendations to the Director for final approval. Participates in formulating policies on book selection, service programs, publicity and public relations. Participates in conducting staff conferences regarding library policies, procedures and techniques. Performs other duties as assigned or as the situation dictates within the scope of this classification.
Supervisory authority
Supervises 5 FTE
Special working conditions
Work is performed amid normal conditions of dust, odors, fumes, and noises.
Minimum qualifications
Six years experience in professional library work, three years of which must have been in a supervisory and administrative capacity. Master's degree in library science from an accredited (ALA) school of library science.

Position Title: Reference Librarian
 Summary of job responsibilities
Organizes and supervises the services and activities at the reference department, including providing reference service to patrons, community outreach programs, provides automated reference services; and performs professional library services in assisting library patrons in the selection and use of library materials.
 Job duties
Provides reference service to patrons in person, on the phone, and via email. Develops reading, reference, and research materials through selection and purchase of books, materials, and equipment. Promotes interest in library as a community resource by visiting and speaking to school, civic, cultural, and social organizations. Plans and organizes special programs involving the use of library resources. Interacts with community resources to enhance reference collection and patron information opportunities. Participates in the updating of automated reference systems and related technology. Provides training and supervision to volunteer staff. 
Supervisory authority
Reference staff
Special working conditions
Must have the ability to operate a personal computer and keyboard, printers, telephone, facsimile, typewriter, and other office equipment A reliable means of travel is required to attend meetings and conferences. Manual dexterity to handle books, software, and a variety of media formats is necessary
Minimum qualifications
Ability to apply principles of library science to solve practical problems in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to supervise. A working knowledge of supervisory methods, including work delegation, scheduling, evaluating performance and maintaining morale. A working knowledge of computer applications for library services. Ability to work effectively with library staff and patrons.

Position Title: Youth Service Librarian
Summary of job responsibilities
Works to provide library services to children and young adults; including reference, reader’s advisory, programming, community activities, and collection development; works with staff to monitor and evaluate services to youth; promotes and publicizes the youth services program in the schools and the community.
Job duties
Book selection, collection development, children and youth program planning, and readers advisory.
Supervisory authority
None
Special working conditions
Work includes prolonged sitting, as well as moderate lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, pulling and pushing activities, manual dexterity, clear speech, and visual hearing acuity.
Minimum qualifications
Equivalent to the completion of a four-year degree and five years of progressively responsible library experience. Working knowledge of library procedures and practices, word processing and graphic skills, and a demonstrated knowledge of children’s literature, story telling, children’s programming and activities.

Position Title: Technical Services Coordinator
Summary of job responsibilities
Under general direction, plans, organizes and directs the ordering, cataloging, and processing of library materials and the automated functions of the library system. Work involves placing orders for library materials and receiving and checking shipments from publishers, cataloging materials, and making materials shelf-ready and maintaining the library's automated system.
Job duties
Catalogs library materials. Establishes, monitors and evaluates overall program of service for Technical Services division. Develops, implements and evaluates policies and procedures for Technical Services. Develops and maintains the library automation system and automated administrative functions. Cleans and repairs library materials. Maintains an awareness of current library issues and trends affecting all library departments; reads professional literature and attends workshops. Performs related work as required.
Supervisory authority
Supervises 1 FTE and technical service volunteers.
Special working conditions
Work in a library environment; sustained posture in a standing or seated position for prolonged periods of time; perform lifting, crouching and pushing; may travel to other locations.
Minimum qualifications
Master's of Library Science degree from an ALA accredited college or university with an emphasis in cataloging or any equivalent combination of education and/or training that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities as approved by the Director.


For more sample job descriptions visit:

Library Jobs: Descriptions, Classifications, Evaluations

Employee Job Descriptions

Librarian Career and Job Description