DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is professional library work as an advanced individual contributor providing a wide range of library services to the public as Head of Service at a branch library or performing equivalent work in a system-wide function, such as Collection Development or Virtual Services. The main purposes of the work are to provide technical expertise and leadership to lower-grade professional staff by mentoring, coaching and assigning work, to help customers locate information and information resources by leading, retrieving, and/or delivering appropriate information resource materials from the library's collection, to help lead in programming targeted to specific audiences at the branch level, to help lead in outreach at the branch level and to provide input for collection development. An employee in this class performs some nonstandard assignments, as well as the full range of standard assignments, and may specialize in Adult, Teen or Children's Services or such centralized, system-wide services as outreach to specialized populations, Collection Development, or Virtual Services. In the absence of senior staff, the employee may serve as librarian in charge of a branch or unit. Information services, programming and outreach require knowledge of library and community resources and reference services in electronic and print media, familiarity with adult and child learning theories and of customer and community wants and needs. The majority of contacts are with customers to assess needs and provide information. Service or assistance typically involves questioning customers to determine the nature of assistance that is required and deciding how to successfully deliver that assistance as well as providing instructions in the use of library reference and electronic tools. Public service also includes fostering the work of others providing, or to personally provide, programs or program modules to various groups and leading meetings with groups to explain and promote library services.
An employee in this class is responsible for using initiative in performing work independently without specific instruction and applying modern standard library principles and practices to the work. The supervisor assigns regular, recurring work in terms of objectives, priorities and deadlines. Within this framework, the employee selects methods and plans and carries out the steps, handling deviations on own according to guidelines and standard principles and practices. The supervisor typically evaluates completed work for effectiveness in customer service, quantity, quality, timeliness and adherence to accepted methods, practices and other standards, but relying on the incumbent's proficiency as a Head of Service (or the equivalent), usually does not review the approach to work; adequacy and accuracy are expected. Guidelines include regulations, policies, procedures and standards of library science, Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) and other sources, and are normally applicable to the situations that arise. The employee is expected to plan the sequence of actions and independently select and apply the right methods or procedures to the work and may have considerable latitude to exercise independent judgment in adapting or deviating from these guidelines based on knowledge of, and skills in, librarianship. The work consists of functions involving a wide range of processes and methods, including assessment of unusual circumstances, variations in approach, or incomplete or conflicting data. The complexity of this class is derived from an employee's handling of particularly complex technical and practical issues as an advanced individual contributor, including, as Head of Service, providing authoritative advice and assistance to lower-grade professionals - leading in collection maintenance, collection development, programming, etc. at the branch level. The complexity of the work is also marked by 'active listening' and thoughtful probing to help clarify customer wants/needs, by skill in accessing and using public access catalogs, the Internet and a wide range of reference databases, by skill in providing the appropriate information and sources to customers clearly, concisely and completely, making a referral to another library or otherwise providing service, such as placing reserves and recommending specific Inter Library Loan, and by skill in planning and preparing programs for children, teens or adults by considering wants/needs, content/manner of presentation and other factors to obtain and maintain audience interest and participation. Complexity of tasks may also include developing recommendations for the Library Manager concerning programming, collection development, layout and organization of space, and community outreach. Functions as the subject matter expert in area of expertise. The impact of properly performed work is realized by customers in effective information services, programming and outreach or by the effectiveness of other work (such as cataloging). All of this supports community literacy through continuous learning development opportunities. Some work on committees, projects and initiatives may result in system-wide improvements. The majority of all work performed by an employee in this class is carried out in a library to which the public has unrestricted open access, which includes potential for interpersonal conflict situations and, at times, some potential for aggressive or unpredictable behavior by customers. The work includes light physical effort, such as keyboarding, standing or staying in place for sustained periods and lifting, carrying and/or moving of book tubs, carts and library books and materials. All positions require the employee to work evenings, nights, Saturdays and Sundays based on customer service needs. This class is distinguished from the next lower level in this series by the increased level of knowledge and complexity.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Serves as Head of Service by helping set objectives for service area(s) in consultation with library management, assessing services and providing authoritative advice and assistance to lower-grade professionals.
Provides information services, including reader's advisory, to meet information and reading needs of customers by performing research and answering reference questions, directing customers to specific library materials, making referrals to appropriate libraries or other external sources of information and, if possible, facilitating access to such sources.
Leads customers to appropriate information resources. Instructs them in formulating effective search strategies.
May help lead the work of lower level information staff (Librarians I and Library Associates) by passing on assignments and guiding them in their work.
Develops recommendations for the Library Manager concerning programming, collection development, layout and organization of space and community outreach.
Uses public access catalogs, Internet and other electronic databases to locate and provide services, such as placing reserves.
Prepares bibliographies, booklists, libguides and pathfinders for use by the public and staff.
Typically specializes in one or more areas, such as Adults, Teens, and Children's Services, which may require some knowledge of adult/child learning theory, early literacy, brain development, English as a Second Language (ESL), etc. Is the subject matter expert for the branch in area of assignment.
Leads in program planning for specialty area(s). This includes considering a range of factors, including own knowledge of literature and resources in one's specialty area(s), community demographics, stated wants/needs of users and user groups, contemporary interests (such as graphic novels for teens), child/adult learning theory, etc. to help establish programming goals and help others develop programs and program modules.
Performs outreach to the community and outside agencies (such as Montgomery County Public Schools) - provides information about library resources, coordinates programming and presents programs of interest to the audience at schools, senior centers, library support groups, etc.)
In leading programming/outreach as pertinent to the employee's area(s) of specialization or as needed, prepares and conducts library tours and uses broad and deep knowledge of community wants/needs or literacy and learning theory to prepare and conduct story time, summer reading club programs, conversation clubs, book discussion groups and multimedia programs for children, teens and adults, holiday, special interest or special theme displays, timely topics, and other informational, educational and promotional or commemorative activities (such as producing and distributing flyers, banners and other materials, including proposed press releases, or creating or coordinating displays and exhibits).
Serves as a member of the Leadership Team for the branch. In absence of senior staff, may be left in charge of branch for short periods.
Keeps up-to-date in own specialty area(s) and, generally, with internal, national and local news, political and cultural issues, community issues, literacy issues, learning theory, technology trends, etc.
Leads in collection maintenance by evaluating materials for currency, condition and rate of circulation, removing outdated, inaccurate, worn or non-circulating items, identifying materials for mending, etc.
Leads in collection development activities at the branch level by advising other professionals on additions and replacements based on such factors as wants/needs of customers/the community, cultural interests, contemporary interests, 'hot' topics, ease of use, etc.
Assesses new reference databases (trials) or specified parts of various collections.
Reviews books for Collection Development.
Attends professional meetings and workshops for professional development, to learn about current library issues, etc. May be a presenter at such events. Stays abreast of changes in MCPL policies and procedures, technology used by MCPL, etc.
Leads or serves on committees, projects and initiatives concerning system-wide issues.
Troubleshoots branch technology problems to meet the needs of customers, as required for effective customer service. If unable to resolve technology problems, refers them to the appropriate staff member.
Performs duties in specialty areas other than assigned area(s) to support efficient operation of the library, for professional development and other reasons. Assumes the duties and responsibilities of senior staff members in their absence, or as assigned.
Instructs co-workers, formally or informally, on the use of new materials, resources, services and equipment.
As needed, helps open or close the library following established procedures.
May train and oversee the work of volunteers and others.
May be responsible for the desk schedule of the information staff under the direction and approval of senior staff.
May compile library statistics and prepare reports.
May serve as the library's volunteer program coordinator - recruits, assesses skills/interests of, trains and otherwise coordinates the availability and work of volunteers.
Serves as a Collection Development Specialist for MCPL for one or more categories of library materials by ascertaining system needs in coordination with branches and consideration of public wants/needs and other factors, evaluating and selecting resources/materials, maintaining assigned budget, interacting with vendors, coordinating with branches, serving as a resource to branch staff, and performing related functions.
Catalogs materials (adds, edits, transfers and deletes electronic records) system-wide using Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2), Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) bibliographic standards, Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) standards, MCPL cataloging practices and other guides.
Serves as a Virtual Services Specialist for MCPL by testing (including staff trials and surveys), evaluating, selecting and resources for MCPL, and in maintaining content of the MCPL webpage, and performing related functions.
As needed, opens or closes the library, as scheduled, following procedures that apply to opening and closing, such as unlocking doors, etc.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Three (3) years of experience as a librarian in a public library system
comparable to Montgomery County's system.
Education: Master's degree in library science from a college or university
accredited by the American Library Association.
License/Certification: Employees will be responsible for maintaining appropriate level of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to sustain licensing.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of the principles, practices and standards of library science, including the American Library Association (ALA) Code of Ethics, of functions and methods of information classification systems using bibliographic records, of the primary reference databases of MCPL and other databases, of the collection(s) of the library of assignment, of research methods and search strategies to identify information sources and locate needed information, of the Integrated Library System (especially the functions covering customer accounts and retrieving, delivering and reserving or cataloging library materials) and of MCPL policies and procedures (including quality service standards), of specialized MCPL guidelines pertinent to area(s) of assignment (such as the Children's Core Competencies), of the branch work plan, and of deep or wide-ranging aspects of key bodies of information needed for robust programming ((such as unusual or esoteric aspects of the wants and needs of the customer base, early childhood learning and literacy and adult literacy), all to lead, advise on or provide information, programming and/or outreach services and perform other functions.
Knowledge of the library's computers, printers, copiers and other electronic equipment to assist customers. This includes staying abreast of technological changes.
Knowledge of departmental graphic standards to design or approve compliant signs, handouts, exhibits, displays and informational, educational and promotional materials.
Knowledge of bodies of information applying to the assigned program area(s), such as:
Knowledge of collection development and maintenance requirements and processes system-wide for assigned area, such as electronic resources or children's materials, to evaluate, select and de-select resources/materials, maintain assigned budget, interact with vendors, coordinate with branches and perform related functions.
Knowledge of governmental requirements and related information applying to public library services for people with disabilities to lead system-wide training, select materials and provide day-to-day services.
Knowledge of electronic databases to evaluate and select electronic databases for MCPL by considering wants, balancing needs, staying within budget, ensuring sufficiency but avoiding duplication across databases, understanding content, features and licensing, assessing user-friendliness, etc.
Knowledge of html and other web and image creation tools to develop content for the library web page, mount and troubleshoot electronic resources, and of instant messaging and other social networking tools.
Skill in problem solving to select, organize and logically process relevant information (verbal, numerical or abstract) to solve a problem. Examples include skill in assessing the needs of the community or communities served to help set service objectives and evaluate programs (including some final decisions on programming and outreach) at the branch level.
Skill in written communication to understand written information (including facts, assertions and arguments), and to express information in writing so that others will understand. This includes but is not limited to skill in syntax, grammar, punctuation and spelling to prepare informational, educational and promotional materials, in reviewing books, and in reading and understanding policies, procedures and standards applying to assignments.
Skill in oral communication to understand verbal information (including facts, assertions and arguments) and to express such information verbally so that others will understand and, at times be convinced or persuaded. This includes skill in encouraging effective oral communication by others, such as customers seeking information services, in listening actively during the reference interview, and in speaking to groups and in programs.
Interpersonal skills to interact effectively with personal contacts in customer service- oriented, businesslike manner. This includes ability to deal courteously, tactfully and effectively with customers, including, at times, irritated, aggressive or unpredictable people.
Skill in using a computer, software (including specialized databases) and peripherals for various tasks.
Ability and willingness to maintain technical and non-technical currency in a fast-changing environment.
Ability to perform light physical effort.
Ability to work effectively and calmly under pressure.
The probationary period must be 6 months for a full-time or part-time employee appointed to a merit system position, and 6 months for a promoted employee, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: December, 1969
Revised: November, 1969
April, 1992 (M)
September, 2000 (M)
May, 2011 (M)