Reference & Instruction Support Specialist  

Academic Services is comprised of College Librarians, Data & GIS Services, Scholarly and Digital Publishing, Reference Services, and Instruction. The breadth of talent in this unit focuses on the creation, delivery, and support of services, resources, and programs that serve the academic needs of the Cal Poly community.  Under the general supervision of the Coordinator of Reference, this position contributes to the functions of this unit, in addition to contributing to the overall services and programs of Academic Services and Kennedy Library.

Primary activities of this position include staffing the Research Help Desk and/or providing basic reference assistance to patrons in person, over the telephone, or on-line; providing basic information about, and general instruction in, using reference tools and databases, referring patrons to a librarian for more in-depth or specialized subject instruction in database use and advising on search strategies and techniques; and working with library student employees who staff the Research Help Desk to help them expand their expertise in providing service.  This position also critically supports library instruction by coordinating calendaring of GE A1-A3 instruction, leading instruction workshops, and supporting Librarian mentorship and training of LibRAT student assistants as needed.

Incumbents at the LSS III level perform more complex and/or specialized technical and paraprofessional library duties to support daily library operations and/or programs. Incumbents often are responsible for overseeing daily operations of a library unit(s), including providing lead work direction to other library and clerical staff, as well as student workers, and may assist in supporting the unit’s budgetary and/or other administrative activities.

Required qualifications

  • Teaching and interpretative skills necessary to plan, organize and deliver instruction to a variety of constituencies and knowledge of instructional methods and ability to instruct users.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform technical aspects of work assignments including a strong ability to interpret overall library policies and procedures, and operations, standards, ethics, and best practices as they pertain to Reference and Instruction and individual work, as well as demonstrated experience evaluating procedures and recommending changes.
  • Working knowledge or understanding of library collection and its organization, as well as classification schemes.
  • Thorough knowledge of external on-line databases, system and resources, including the ability to perform complex on-line searches.
  • Thorough knowledge of or ability to quickly learn institution’s and library’s policies and practices associated with the ethical use of and access to library and on-line resources.
  • Working knowledge of national standards pertaining to library operations, including a thorough knowledge of institutional standards pertaining to copyright and intellectual property protection and the ability to source, apply, explain, and escalate issues with such policies and standards to avoid potential violations.
  • Demonstrated expertise or knowledge of automated academic library (and functional area specific) programs, online resources, databases, and systems, to perform assigned duties, technical work and/or assist patrons.
  • Ability to investigate and research more complex problems, including analyzing and interpreting information.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills to be able to prepare and compile information in an organized manner as well as prepare and present library reports on library resources to library patrons, faculty, staff, students.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, establish, and foster communication and teamwork by maintaining a positive, cooperative, productive work atmosphere in and outside the University with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within a diverse population and with those from various cultural backgrounds.
  • Excellent computer skills and demonstrated ability to use a variety of standard computer applications including word-processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation, on-line systems, Internet, and online calendaring and email to perform technical work or assist patrons.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to set own priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Thorough knowledge of English grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Strong communication and interpretive skills to be able to interview patrons regarding their information needs and guide them in the use of more complex library and on-line resources.
  • Working knowledge of or ability to quickly learn University infrastructure, policies and procedures.

Preferred qualifications

  • Associate level degree or equivalent education.
  • Prior academic library experience providing reference and instruction.
  • Experience with Alma and Primo discovery library management systems (ExLibris software).
  • Demonstrated skills in an institutional/educational environment utilizing a customer-orientated and service centered attitude.
  • Prior experience supervising students and/or other staff.

How to apply

To apply, visit WWW.CALPOLYJOBS.ORG to complete the required online staff application and apply to requisition #104693. Applicants will have the option of attaching a Cover Letter, Resume and three Letters of Recommendation via the online employment system. Applicants needing computer/internet access may contact Cal Poly Human Resources at: (805) 756-2236, for information on available resources.
At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer/minorities/females/vet/disability.

About Kennedy Library

The Robert E. Kennedy Library is nationally recognized for its distinction in engaging the students and faculty of the Cal Poly university community. While integrating traditional library resources and services with digital tools and platforms, the library continuously experiments to adapt its services, programs, and spaces to meet the evolving academic programs, research interests, and needs of the university community. Annual visits exceed 1.4 million. Kennedy Library’s ten librarians, 35 staff, and over 120 student assistants work with campus partners to deliver services focused on Cal Poly’s commitments to research, learning, collaboration and innovation. The library is customer-driven, whether in providing high-quality information resources, supporting faculty teaching and research, developing digital user interfaces, or redesigning spaces that encourage creative work, collaboration, and focused study. Its innovative peer-to-peer learning and reference programs and active student think-tank (Student Library Advisory Council) were among the programs that led Kennedy Library to become the state’s first university library to receive the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries award in 2014.

About Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally ranked comprehensive public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. With more than 18,000 undergraduates and approximately 1000 graduate students, Cal Poly fosters teaching, scholarship, and service in a learn-by-doing environment where students and faculty are partners in discovery. As a polytechnic university, Cal Poly promotes the application of theory to practice. As a comprehensive institution, Cal Poly provides a balanced education in the arts, sciences, and technology, while encouraging cross-disciplinary and co-curricular experiences. As an academic community, Cal Poly values free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

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About SLO

Cal Poly’s location in San Luis Obispo makes it one of the best places to visit. It’s a quintessential coastal California town with some 43,000 residents. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and just minutes from beaches, state parks, landmarks and premium wine regions, it’s also a popular vacation spot. Sunset Magazine has called it the most Californian place in all of California.

The city of San Luis Obispo offers a historic, restored downtown full of restaurants, theatres, art galleries and shops centered around San Luis Obispo Creek, Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission Plaza. San Luis Obispo’s Thursday night Farmer’s Market on Higuera Street has become a model for cities around the state. It’s a mix of fresh produce and flowers, baked goods, restaurant fare and free music all within strolling distance.

San Luis Obispo is just minutes from some of California’s best beaches and original beach cities: Avila Beach (10 miles), Pismo Beach (12 miles), Morro Bay (17 miles), Montaña de Oro State Park (18 miles), Cayucos (18 miles), the Pismo Dunes (28 miles) and world-famous Hearst Castle ( 45 miles).