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Position Detail - Reference & Instruction Archivist

Reference & Instruction Archivist

Apply now Job no: 493762
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, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; occasional nights and/or weekends as needed 

Salary Range: $61,700 - $63,000

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 engage the world purposefully. 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 instruction and reference services. The position seeks someone creative with excellent collaboration, communication, and customer service skills. The role requires enthusiasm and commitment to developing user-centered, transformative approaches with teaching opportunities. The Reference and Instruction Archivist is committed to the hands-on engagement of students with primary source materials and to integrating the teaching of archival materials into the College’s curriculum. Working closely with LITS departments, faculty, campus partners, and the Five Colleges is essential to this position. Each member of the ASC department actively promotes the commitment of the College and LITS to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by developing, sharing, and supporting diverse and inclusive collections.


Core Job Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Actively collaborates with faculty 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. 
  •  Explores and develops collaborations with campus partners to integrate primary sources and rare books into offerings that support active and experiential learning. 
  •  In collaboration with the Head of ASC, creates and implements instructional and pedagogical policies and procedures, including assessment of class visits. 
  • Manages reference services and the Reading Room, including coverage schedule. Engages with researchers on-site and remotely with care and professionalism. 
  • Collaborating with the Head of ASC, creates and implements reference services policies and procedures. 
  • Identifies and promotes discoverability of the collections through LibGuides, research aids, tutorials, and other descriptive tools. 
  • Maintain skills and current knowledge of best practices, standards, and technology in instructional services, pedagogical trends, and reference services. 
  • Actively works with colleagues in LITS to create a welcoming, equitable, and user-centered environment where diverse 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 significant campus-wide or LITS-sponsored events, which may be held at night, on weekends, or on holidays, are part of every employee’s core responsibilities. 
  • Evening and weekend work, as necessary. In some circumstances, assisting during adverse weather and emergencies may be important to ensure essential services and service points are covered. The majority of work is performed on-site. This is not a remote position.
  • Perform related duties as assigned. 


• ALA–accredited MLIS and/or advanced degree in archives administration or a 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.
• Enthusiastic, people-oriented individual with creativity and a passion for supporting a collaborative work environment.
• Experience with archives and library management systems (i.e., ArchivesSpace and LibApps). Knowledge of descriptive cataloging principles, metadata standards, and EAD.
• Evidence of excellent analytical, troubleshooting, and problem-solving skills, with strong oral and written communication skills.
• Ability to build and sustain effective and key relationships with diverse alums, researchers, faculty, students, staff, community, and professional colleagues.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Knowledge and experience working with primary source materials about women’s history and higher education in the United States.
• Ability to successfully work independently and in a highly collaborative workplace.
• Ability to maintain a professional and tactful approach in all interactions, ensuring confidentiality and an individual’s right to privacy regarding appropriate information.
• 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: 

• Communicates regularly with people in person and remotely.
• Must be able to observe and assess content on computer screens and printed materials.
• Moves boxes up to 40 lbs regularly.

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 typical office or administrative work).

Background Checks:

At Mount Holyoke College, we prioritize the safety and well-being of our community members. To ensure this, we require all new hires, affiliates, and others to undergo comprehensive background checks before joining our institution. Our Office of Human Resources manages and conducts these checks, including screenings for CORI, SORI, credit history, and driver credentials. Additionally, the Five College Office of Compliance and Risk Management works to coordinate and facilitate these checks in accordance with our policies.

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 (CV)
  3. Contact information for three professional references

Mount Holyoke College is a college that prioritizes gender diversity and welcomes students of all genders. The college is devoted to ensuring that all its employees and students have equal access to opportunities in education and employment. As per state and federal law, Mount Holyoke College does not discriminate against individuals based on their 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. Furthermore, the college does not discriminate based on gender when selecting students for its graduate program.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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