The J. Paul Getty Trust : Reference Librarian IV

Full time position.

Job Summary

The Research Library of the Getty Research Institute seeks a Head of Reference & User Engagement to maintain the high level of services that the GRI is renowned for while developing more effective and efficient methods of working, seeking synergies among colleagues and services wherever possible. Reporting to the Head, Research Services, the Head of Reference & User Engagement supervises the activities of 2 Reference Librarians and 3 Library Assistants, and oversees the reference services desk and various activities related to onsite and virtual users of the library’s collections and services, working closely with all of the librarians and assistants within the Research Services department and beyond.  Responsibilities include managing and scheduling the reference desk team including staff from other areas of the library in addition to direct reports; managing the reader program; overseeing the reference email accounts and ensuring a timely and equitable distribution and response to all requests;  working closely with the Head of Permissions to coordinate the activities of reference staff having Rights & Reproductions responsibility.     Takes a leading role in developing outreach activities for the library in coordination with the Head of Research Services, the Chief Librarian, reference librarians, catalogers, and curators as appropriate, including but not limited to social media, Libguides, special events, etc.

Major Job Responsibilities


  • Manages the staff and the activities of the section and functional team, developing and overseeing policies and procedures, ensuring quality service, analyzing workflows to improve efficiencies, and providing guidance on best practices
  • Provides specialized collection overviews, tours, workshops, and high level assistance to outside collaborators and instructors teaching within the collections
  • Collaborates with colleagues to devise and/or revise policies and procedures for reference services
  • Applies creative solutions while assisting in developing or improving practices and procedures which use current and emerging technologies
  • May lead and/or participate in working groups and committees related to activities within the section or to area of expertise
  • Consults with library users and provides guidance for advanced research. May conduct highly specialized research for expertise- related requests
  • Staffs reference services desk. Provides in-person and phone reference and instruction assistance to library users and the general public both who are on-site and off-site
  • Maintains and shares expert knowledge of professional activities and trends; mentors staff
  • Keeps current on technological advances and incorporates knowledge into primary activities
  • May advise and participate as the Research Library representative in wider GRI or Trust-level working groups and/or research projects
  • Represents the GRI externally in field of expertise as appropriate
  • May publish, present, and/or participate in research projects and/or exhibitions related to area of expertise
  • May participate in library and GRI management teams



    • Bachelor’s degree in Art History or related discipline; MLIS, graduate work or equivalent research experience in Art History; advanced degree in Art History strongly preferred
    • Minimum 7 years of experience working in an advanced research library or academic Library in reference services, with at least 3-5 years experience working with collection materials
    • May require supervisory experience
    • Project Management skills

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Ability to be highly flexible, service-oriented, and to lead as well as to collaborate and work collegially in teams
  • Knowledge of art history, reference techniques and research strategies
  • Reading knowledge of 2 foreign languages; speaking ability in at least one preferred; familiarity with other languages
  • Excellent verbal, written, interpersonal and organizational skills to work effectively with a wide range of staff and patrons
  • High level of knowledge and understanding of library standards, best-practices, library applications, computer systems, online databases, and digital imaging technology
  • Advanced knowledge of history, theory, and professional practices associated with materials found in special collections, including rare books, manuscripts, and graphic materials
  • May require advanced knowledge of intellectual property rights, copyright, rights management, and donor and user privacy issues


To apply, visit:


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