Part-time Library & Visitor Services Assistant (Temporary)
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) seeks a part-time temporary library and visitor services assistant (up to 21 hours per week) to greet visitors and provide services to researchers who make use of the Society’s collections in the MHS library. This position is funded through June 2022 with the possibility of extension.
The MHS is an independent research library that collects, preserves, and makes accessible manuscripts and other materials that promote the study of the history of our nation—a mission that has remained constant since 1791. The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.
The library is currently staffed Monday–Friday 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM. The visitor services desk is staffed Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. We hope to resume providing services on Tuesday evenings (to 7:45 PM) and Saturday (10:00 AM-4:00 PM) in the near future. The successful candidate must have Friday and Saturday availability.
Duties: The library assistant works as part of the reference team and reports to the Reference Librarian. Duties include monitoring the reading room, paging materials from the closed stacks, responding to reference questions via e-mail, telephone, and online chat, and assisting the reference staff with various library tasks. The majority of the library assistant’s time is spent interacting directly with the public. This position is essential in promoting the Society’s public image and in maintaining the security of the collection.
All library assistants are cross-trained on Visitor Services functions and are called on to cover the Society’s reception desk. The Visitor Services position entails greeting, authorizing, and directing all visitors entering the Society; including explaining MHS library policies and procedures; and directing incoming telephone calls for the MHS as a whole. This position will staff the reception desk on Fridays and potentially Saturdays.
Requirements: The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree; possess a demonstrated interest in American history, with strong interest in Early American or Massachusetts/New England history; and have experience working with a diverse public in a customer service or similar position; be proficient with Microsoft Office applications; have strong research skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and strong planning and organization skills; and possess the ability to work well in a team environment.
Completion of some coursework in Library and Information Science, American history, American studies, public history, or an archives program strongly preferred; familiarity with user-end functions of an integrated library system (Voyager), Aeon or similar circulation module, and providing reference assistance, as well as previous experience working with archival materials in a library, museum, or other historical organization are preferred.
This position requires the ability to lift boxes weighing up to fifty pounds and to transport materials loaded onto wheeled carts.
Application procedure: Please send an application by email (preferred) or postal mail, including a cover letter, brief resume, and list of three references to Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
Applications received before January 3, 2022 will be given preference; open until filled.
Undergraduate Library Residency
Call for Applicants
Do you collect stories about your family’s history? Have you ever wondered about the evolution of your neighborhood over time? Did you participate in National History Day in middle or high school? Have you enjoyed helping your kids with social studies assignments for school? Do you enjoy historical documentaries, television series set in the past, or reading historical fiction? Have you ever wondered about the historical roots of present-day injustice? A career in public history might be for you!
The Massachusetts Historical Society seeks applicants for the inaugural year of its Undergraduate Library Residency program. Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is one of the oldest independent research libraries in the nation. We collect, preserve, and make available for research materials that help to tell the stories of our past. Free and open to the public, we offer access to our resources through the research library, exhibitions, public programs, and more. This new residency program is designed to offer undergraduate students with an interest in pursuing a career in public history an introduction to the field and entry-level work experience. No previous experience in public history or library work is required.
Two undergraduate students will be hired for the 2022-2023 academic year. During the two-semester residency they will provide services to researchers who make use of the Society’s collections; complete at least one special project designed in collaboration with MHS staff; and gain a broad understanding of the public history field through background reading, site visits, and professional development opportunities.
Applicants from minoritized communities – including students who are Black, indigenous, and other people of color, first generation college students, nontraditional students, English language learners, low-income students, LGBTQ+ students, and disabled students – are strongly encouraged to apply.
Hours: 10-14 hours per week; up to a total of 336 hours during the residency period.
Wages: $18.00 per hour; up to a total of $6,048.00 during the residency period.
Requirements: Applicants must have completed the equivalent of one year of undergraduate coursework and be currently enrolled full- or part-time in an accredited undergraduate program during the residency period. Some experience in customer service work, such as food service or retail, preferred. Some experience in doing history, such as a high school or college course, preferred.
Application Deadline: March 15, 2022.
Learn more and apply at www.masshist.org/library/residency.
Contact the residency coordinator Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Senior Reference Librarian at email@example.com.
The Society is an equal opportunity employer.
We aim to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We are committed to creating a work place free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law (also known as membership in a "protected class"). We offer a competitive benefits package and salary commensurate with experience.