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Reference Librarian II: Health & Human Services Specialist, Boston Public Library (Boston)

Position Overview

Under direction of the Community Learning Supervisor or delegate, responsible for carrying out the Library’s programs of service to the public with emphasis on advanced and specialized reference work, and to perform professional work requiring substantial application of professional knowledge and experience in the area of health and wellness including homelessness and hunger, veteran’s services, resources for the disabled, elderly services, public health services, women’s issues, LGBT issues, and fair housing.

Reports to

Community Learning Supervisor (P4)


As assigned, professional and support staff
Participates in developing and presenting outreach and programming activities to serve users in communities, and to promote use of the Library’s collections and services in the area of health and human services.
Performs difficult and involved reference service requiring a high level of professional competence and specialized knowledge in locating materials and suggesting resources within the Library and in other libraries in the area of health and human services.
Provides general reference assistance to the public in person, on the telephone and online.
Assists patrons in the use of the library’s resources through personal consultation, instruction, programs, reading lists, and other means.
Participates in and initiates special bibliographic projects.  Assists in the compilation of annotated lists and bibliographies involving book and non-book materials.
Promotes use of the resources and collections provided by the Library by assisting in development of discovery tools and resource guides online, developing content for the web and bibliographies, preparing written descriptions, and organizing programs.
Responsible for oral presentations and written reports on assigned activities within the department, such as tours, and bibliographic instruction.
Provides instruction to the public on a variety of topics, including the use of library resources, basic computer and other information technology usage, and other personal and professional skill-building programs. Works with Community Learning Supervisor to develop and implement subject-related instruction based on user need.
Participates in the development of interactive relationships with relevant organizations and institutions to better serve communities and to stimulate use of library’s resources.
Works closely with Outreach Navigator, and other social work providers to provide consistency of services across the system.
Assists in the training of professional and support staff and in the orientation of both staff and members of the public to the services of the department.
Assists with analysis of aspects of related services, operations, and collections and recommends improvements to enhance public service.
Participates in the development and implementation of innovative online services that connect library users with departmental collections, lowers hurdles to access for researchers, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge among users
Assumes administrative responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the department in the absence of the department head or other ranking staff member.
Keeps current in the best practices of the profession by taking advantage of training and development activities, by reading professional literature, and by participating in professional activities.
Actively participates in system-wide committees, training and other professional activities.
Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.


Proficiency with MSWord, Publisher, Power Point, and Excel.
Ability to execute library policy.
Ability to plan and supervise the work of others.
Demonstrates initiative and independent decision making skills.
Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
Identifies, plans and prioritizes job responsibilities and tasks; determines and implements project timelines.
Demonstrates flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.
Collaborates with internal and external partners.
Ability to work well with staff and public.
Superior knowledge of bibliographical tools and resources.


Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university and a master's degree in library and information science from an ALA accredited library school.  Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required. In exceptional instances specialized education, training and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.


Two years of appropriate library professional experience or any equivalent combination of education, experience and training sufficient to indicate ability to do the work.


Some evening and weekend hours.  Ability to travel to off-site locations, as assigned.
Residency - Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
CORI - Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.

Full/Part Time

Full Time




Salary Min $59,666.83 Salary Max $77,960.89

Closing Date

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please visit the City of Boston Career Center portal here:


2021-06-09 |  Quick link to this job