Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Theoretical Job Description for the Librarian with a Laptop

In my last post, I mentioned the idea of a "Librarian with a Laptop," who goes out to coffeeshops and other co-working facilities and brings library services directly to patrons. Here's a pie-in-the-sky job description for such a role, too much for one person to handle but an idea of what might be:

Job Description: Digital Outreach and Training Librarian
a.k.a. "Librarian with a laptop"

Basic Function: Under direction of [an appropriate manager], to provide online and in-person training and outreach to staff and the public in the use of online library services and emerging technologies.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Initiates, develops, plans and implements the Library's online services initiatives through personal consultations, onsite and offsite workshops, online and offline outreach, and other programs as developed.

2. Offers professional development to staff at centralized locations and at staff workplaces in emerging technologies, current databases, online outreach, and other subjects as determined by recognized need and staff surveys.

3. Trains and develops staff members to realize their potentials and use that developed potential to provide the best library service.

4. Attends public meetings around the city to present information about the library and offer tailored trainings to constituent groups (e.g., schools/PTOs, business/civic associations, cultural/immigrant organizations, etc.).

5. Maintains working relationships with educational institutions, social and community groups and businesses with regard to online library services. Facilitates cooperative efforts with these organizations to provide systematic service to larger constituent groups.

6. Writes training and promotional materials for city-wide library resources for distribution within library buildings and to promote city-wide library services in local business and organizations, including both print and online formats (blogs, RSS feeds, etc). Coordinates and encourages contributions by other staff to such publications.

7. Conducts and coordinates "Librarian Is In" sessions at local coffeeshops to reach prospective business and student patrons.

8. Travels to branch locations to provide direct training programs to the public on emerging technologies, current library resources and other subjects as determined by user surveys.

9. Recommends and/or plans changes in service and new services through the library digital portal.

10. Works with the Digital Services Manager to revise and update policy and procedural provisions affecting the delivery of online library services.

11. Responsible for oral presentations and written reports on assigned activities to senior management, trustees and other stakeholders.

12. Actively participates in system-wide committees, training and other professional activities.

13. Represents the Library on city-wide and state-wide committees, and at professional conferences.

14. Peforms other realted and/or comparable duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
1. A Bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university and an MLS from an ALA-accredited library school.

2. Five years of pertinent professional library experience.

3. Extensive knowledge of current library resources, practices and policies; substantial knowledge of library profession trends, theories and best practices; broad professional outlook.

4. Demonstrated interest in community and library work; demonstrated ability to use and teach searching via search engines and proprietary databases; demonstrated ability to work well with staff and public.

5. Demonstrated ability to assume responsibility and carry out assignments independently; proven oral and written communication skills, especially through electronic media; demonstrated knowledge of the techniques of programming and presentation; initiative, dependability, good judgment, tact and courtesy.

6. Flexibility and the willingness to learn and adapt; a commitment to professional development. Willingness to participate in professional activities and to expand on professional knowledge.

7. Proven ability to interpret and apply library policy; to analyze and solve problems; to generate new ideas; to organize and manage complex activities; and community relations.

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