Sample Positions in Academic Libraries

Keep in mind that job titles are fluid, positions often merge with those with similar responsibilities, and all academic librarians need management skills, as they will be expected to manage projects, departments, and community relationships. In addition, most academic librarians will be expected to provide some information literacy instruction, assist with research, serve on committees, provide collection management, conduct outreach to faculty and students, and form partnerships/collaborate with university and community groups. At large research institutions and often at community colleges or anywhere librarians are given faculty status, librarians will often be expected to conduct their own research for publication.

Use this chart and job descriptions to think about how your career goals and current skill set match up. Once you see what you need, consider choosing courses, internships, and volunteer experiences that will help you develop new skills and increase your desirability as a job candidate.

Sample Academic Librarian Positions (as of 8/2014; click on position title for full job posting)

Position Duties Listed Qualifications Required Salary
Adjunct Librarian


Provide library & reference services to students; provide students/patrons with assignment-related assistance; walk-in one-to-one research assistance; classroom library information presentation MLIS; experience in urban education, with diverse student population varies
Cataloging and Metadata Librarian


Process materials so that they are accessible to the public through OPACs and Discovery Systems; add metadata to digitized collections and electronic resources MLIS; academic library cataloging experience and metadata creation; experience using cataloging standards and tools Starting at $55,330
Data Services Librarian


Implement programs and procedures for data collection, management, and curation; Dataset and statistical analysis. Conducts data and statistics reference training MLIS; experience with numeric data services support in an academic setting; proficient with social sciences statistical packages and software, such as SPSS, STATA, SAS Minimum $47,722
Digital Initiatives Librarian


Implement new technologies in the library; work with teams spanning multiple departments such as IT, Special Collections and Cataloging; outreach to students and faculty via latest social applications MLIS; experience in an academic or research library; web design and digital content creation experience. not stated
Health/Nursing Subject Specialist


Work with departmental representatives to select materials for the library collections; provide in-depth research support within upper division courses MLIS; experience or education in nursing/closely related field or nursing/health library; demonstrated teaching skills Starting at $55,330
Instruction Librarian


Library instruction; web content management; research services; planning & assessment; service to library team and college MLIS; Experience with reference service & managing web content in a content management system (CMS) $40,000
Integrated Library Systems (ILS) Specialist


Manage ILS of the College; train the appropriate staff in using the updates to the ILS system; identify appropriate security level of the access to the ILS system; other typical librarian duties MLIS with a specialty in cataloging and working with ILS, preferably SirsiDynix; knowledge of information, public and circulation services procedures; academic library experience preferred not stated


Provide evening library services; specialized professional work involving library operations and library resource development and access; reference and research; responsible for coordination of assigned staff MLIS; three years experience and/or training in reference services, bibliographic instruction, library information systems, library operations; grant and newsletter writing experience a plus $52,564
Librarian II


Provide reference and information services; assist with the evaluation and selection of information resources; edit and maintain library web pages and resource guides; supervise part-time staff MLIS with one year of experience; strong knowledge of and experience at providing effective customer service $48,000
Life Sciences & Scholarly Communication Librarian


Provide subject-based reference, collection development, & scholarly communications outreach; teach information literacy course; assist with open access, data management, copyright, fair use, and author rights for the campus community MLIS. Preferred qualifications: reference or collection development experience in life sciences and/or coursework in a life sciences discipline or related field. Bachelor's degree or second advanced degree in a science discipline. Minimum $45,360
Instructional Librarian


Work directly with patrons in helping them develop a strategy for their research needs; teach users how to evaluate sources, access materials, and use information ethically MLIS; experience teaching in an academic library or higher education setting; Familiarity with information literacy theory, practice, or assessment Starting at $48,000
Reference Librarian


Provide reference; teach courses; collection development; outreach; supervise library staff; and much more MLIS; experience as a librarian at a post-secondary school; demonstrated teaching ability; cataloging and classification; etc. $54,302
Special Collections and Archives Librarian


Evaluate and collect materials for the university special collections; arrange and preserve collections; fundraising and grant writing MLIS; graduate degree in conservation, or completion of a conservation apprenticeship, or verifiable certification of advanced training and education. $50,000
Systems Librarian


Manage behind-the-scenes network operations MLIS; two years of relevant experience in a library; experience with ILS and resource discovery tools; experience with web standards and scripting not stated