Skip to main content
Log in / Create Account

Position Detail - Reference & Instruction Archivist

Reference & Instruction Archivist

Apply now Job no: 493469
Work type: Staff Full-time
Location: South Hadley, MA
Categories: Library Services

Position Type: Staff Full-Time 

Hours per week: 37.5   

Weeks per year: 52

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm; occasional nights and/or weekends as needed 

The annual salary range for this position is $61,700 - $62,000.

Department Summary & Job Purpose:

Mount Holyoke College’s Library, Information and Technology Services (LITS) Division empowers a diverse and inclusive learning community equipping every person to purposefully engage the world. We connect people with the information, expertise, spaces, and technologies that enhance their work and fuel scholarly endeavors.

Reporting to the Head of Archives and Special Collections (ASC), the Reference and Instruction Archivist is primarily responsible for the instruction services, reference services, and rare books collection; commits to developing user-centered, transformative approaches to archives work; and works closely with other LITS departments, the campus community, and the Five Colleges. Each member of the ASC department actively promotes the commitment of the College and LITS to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by developing and supporting diverse and inclusive collections.


Core Job Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Collaborates, develops, and engages with faculty and other campus teaching staff to deliver creative, engaging, and robust learning opportunities that integrate primary sources and rare books in the curriculum and promote hands-on engagement with archival materials for students.
  • Manages reference services. Engages with researchers through in-person appointments, email, telephone, and virtually.
  • Develops and implements reference services policies and procedures.
  • Explores and recommends new technologies for reference services to meet the research needs of students, faculty, and researchers. 
  • Identifies and promotes discoverability of the collections through LibGuides, catalog records, video tutorials, and other descriptive tools.
  • Maintain skills and knowledge of standards, technology, and best practices in instructional services, curricular development, and reference services.
  • Manages the development and preservation of the Rare Book Collection.
  • Actively works with colleagues in LITS to create a welcoming, equitable, and user-centered environment in which a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff can thrive.
  • Serves on LITS, College, and Five Colleges committees as assigned. 
  • Engages in professional development through national and regional professional associations and other service opportunities. 
  • Attends and contributes to major campus-wide or LITS-sponsored events, which may be held at night, on weekends, or on holidays, and which are part of every employee’s core responsibilities.
  • Evening and weekend work, as necessary. In some circumstances, it may be important to assist during adverse weather and emergency situations to ensure essential services and service points are covered. Majority of work is performed on-site.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


• ALA–accredited MLIS and/or advanced degree in archives administration or combination of relevant education and experience.
• Minimum of three years of professional experience working in an archives or manuscripts repository, preferably in an academic setting
• Minimum of one year of demonstrated professional experience providing instruction services using primary source materials.
• Minimum of one year of demonstrated professional experience providing reference services using primary source materials.
• Enthusiasm for and experience with instruction and faculty collaborations.
• Experience with archives and library management systems (ie. ArchivesSpace and LibApps). Knowledge of descriptive cataloging principles, metadata standards, and Encoded Archival Description (EAD).
• Commitment to the hands-on engagement of students with primary source materials and rare books, and to integrating archival materials into the College’s curriculum.
• Commitment to developing user-centered, transformative approaches to archives work.
• Evidence of service orientation and customer focus; analytical, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills; strong oral and written communication skills.
• Demonstrated commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in daily work and the workplace culture.
• Ability to build and sustain effective and key relationships with a diverse group of alums, researchers, faculty, students, staff, community, and professional colleagues.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Knowledge and experience working with primary source materials for women’s history and higher education in the United States.
• Knowledge of rare books and their use within academic communities.
• Enthusiastic service orientation with sensitivity to the needs of users at all skill levels.
• Excellent oral and written communication, project management experience, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
• Must be flexible and capable of working successfully individually and in teams in an evolving library environment.
• Enthusiastic, people-oriented individual with creativity and a passion for supporting a collaborative work environment.
• Ability to maintain a professional and tactful approach in all interactions, ensuring confidentiality and an individual’s right to privacy regarding appropriate information.
• Flexibility to accept, manage, and incorporate change and the ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously, effectively, and in a fast-paced environment.
• Involvement and active participation in professional organizations and professional development work.
• Ability to travel as needed to participate in professional meetings and events.


Compliance Requirements: 

Physical Demands: 

  • Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.
  • The employee is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; and extensive reading.
  • Hearing: Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make the discriminations in sound.
  • Sufficient clarity of speech required includes those which permit the employee to discern verbal instructions and communicate effectively in person and by telephone.

Working Conditions: 

  • Employee operates office equipment and computers to perform essential duties and responsibilities.
  • The employee is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions (such as in a typical office or administrative work).   

Background Checks:

Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment, supported by qualified employees that will allow all of its students, faculty, staff, and those associated with them to successfully carry out the mission of the college. As a condition of employment, the College will conduct appropriate background checks for all new hires. Mount Holyoke has designated the Office of Human Resources as the office responsible for ensuring that background checks (CORI, SORI, Credit History, & Driver Credential) are completed and utilized in the hiring process and Five College Office of Compliance and Risk Management as the office responsible for facilitating background checks as articulated in this policy.

Special Instructions for Applicants: 

Apply online; application materials must include:

  1. A cover letter summarizing interests and qualifications
  2. A complete resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Contact information for 3 professional references

Mount Holyoke College is a women’s college that is gender diverse. The College is committed to providing equal access and opportunity in employment and education to all employees and students. In compliance with state and federal law, Mount Holyoke College does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, genetic information, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, ancestry, veteran or military status, or any other legally protected status under federal, state or local law. The College does not discriminate on the basis of gender in the recruitment and admission of students to its graduate program.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend