Reference and Instruction Librarian


Wednesday, February 16, 2022


Valencia, California

Sponsor Organization



The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Library seeks an enthusiastic, service-oriented, and collaborative librarian to provide innovative reference, instruction, and outreach services as the Head of Reference and Instruction. The Reference and Instruction Librarian will join a team of outward-facing, forward-thinking librarians and library staff who work directly with students, faculty, and staff across the Institute as well as artists, theorists, researchers, and other practitioners at local, national, and international levels.

CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through six (6) schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. The Institute encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the arts. CalArts is supported by a distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its students with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist’s growth. Founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts, CalArts is proud of its diverse student body and is deeply committed to supporting the cultural and artistic aspirations of all its students.

The CalArts Library enables artists, scholars, and other library users to develop the skills necessary for creative exploration, critical reflection and lifelong learning, in an environment that supports and promotes the diversity of voices that encompass the CalArts community. The Library offers a full range of academic reference and instruction services, and contains a collection of over 200,000 physical items in all formats and approximately 300,000 electronic resources, as well as a unique archival and rare-book collection.

We seek to employ faculty who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking. We welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities, perspectives, social identities and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.  


Public Service (75%) 

  • Serves as the Head of Reference and Instruction services for the CalArts Library; provides instructional services for the School of Critical Studies and (as needed) for all other Schools / métiers (majors), including teaching a credit-bearing information literacy class and conducting course-integrated library instruction

  • Plans, develops, and assesses with the School of Critical Studies an information literacy curriculum for BFA students

  • Provides reference services for all library patrons, both in person and via email, chat, videoconferencing, and phone

  • Plans, develops, and assesses the CalArts Library’s reference program

  • Provides innovative user-centered outreach services

  • Serves as lead for CalArts Library orientation sessions for students, faculty, and staff; plans, organizes, develops, and conducts Library orientation sessions, in collaboration with other CalArts Library faculty and staff as well as other departments and offices such as Student Experience and Faculty Affairs

  • Creates, develops, and maintains instructional materials, including web-based resource guides using LibGuides

  • Participates in evaluation of library services, including reference and instruction

  • Compiles annual statistics for reference and instruction

Collection Development and Management (25%) 

  • Primary selector for reference materials. Works with subject librarians to develop reference collections, with a focus on decolonizing these collections to better reflect more comprehensive histories and to represent a broader, more inclusive range of authorships and perspectives.

  • Selector for School of Critical Studies materials, including general education subject areas as well as for the MFA Creative Writing and the MA Aesthetics and Politics Programs. Works closely with faculty in the School of Critical Studies, maintaining in-depth knowledge of course offerings and curricula

  • Manages submissions of masters’ theses and work samples from graduate students across the Institute

  • Works with librarians and library staff to perform collection maintenance (including weeding) for reference, other materials specific to Critical Studies, and the general collection

  • Makes recommendations for electronic database subscriptions and other online products for reference and general education subject areas

  • Collaborates with CalArts librarians and library staff to develop strategic Acquisitions practices and procedures which support an antiracist praxis and help diversify the collections as a whole



  • A Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (or equivalent) from an ALA-accredited institution

  • Demonstrated experience in providing reference services as well as library instruction

  • Demonstrated experience with concepts, practices, and tools used for information literacy instruction within an academic library setting, including knowledge and incorporation of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

  • Demonstrated commitment to culturally responsive pedagogy and antiracist and inclusive information work, with knowledge of, and interest in, applying critical librarianship, critical information literacy, critical race theory, or other critical studies to professional practice 

  • A strong commitment to excellence in public service and the ability to work effectively in a collaborative and culturally diverse environment

  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills


  • At least two (2) years of professional experience working in an academic or arts library

  • Undergraduate or advanced degree in the arts, humanities, or other creative field

  • Direct experience with creative practices, for example contemporary and experimental performing or visual arts, critical or creative writing, or other forms of creative self-expression.


  • Work comfortably and equally well in both independent and collaborative situations

  • Work with students from a wide range of cultural, linguistic, academic, and artistic backgrounds

  • Foster and reinforce a mutually supportive work environment within the Library and across the entire Library team

  • Work with CalArts Library faculty (librarians) and staff to provide high-quality, customer-oriented public services

  • Plan, organize, schedule work, set priorities, and meet deadlines

In Person