Visual Arts Librarian

at Smith Libraries (view profile)
Published November 2, 2022
Location Northampton, Massachusetts
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $59,000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $92,000
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade H


Job Summary


As a member of a blended department of librarians, educational technologists, and spatial analysis specialists within Smith College Libraries, support academic departments and the arts community through Hillyer Art Library. Facilitate the adoption of new models of scholarship at Smith by promoting methodologies and tools of the visual arts for research, teaching, and learning. Engage the arts community in learning about library services, collections, facilities, and technologies. As the librarian for Hillyer Art Library, ensure that Smith faculty, students, and staff have access to a suite of robust, effective, and innovative library services and collections serving the visual arts.
Essential Functions


Teaching/Outreach/Reference (40%):


Plan and implement research, instruction and reference support in the visual arts for faculty and students. Train Access Services staff to provide basic reference assistance and work with staff to develop ongoing models and support for the provision of referrals. Provide expert guidance on the use of resources across multiple interfaces and formats. Collaborate with teaching librarians, instructional technologists, and library staff in developing a community of practice around library services. With the User Experience Team, employ user experience methods to assess services and student learning experiences. Develop subject content for the Libraries’ website, including subject resource pages, class guides, tutorials and other web-based tools and digital information services. Develop, implement, and market reference programs, services, and resources to user constituencies. Provide reference, research and outreach to faculty, students, and staff in the Brown Fine Arts Center - which includes programs in art history, studio art, and architecture as well as the Museum of Art - and across the Smith College community.


Conduct curriculum-based instruction and provide research consultation with students. Collaborate closely with academic departments and individual faculty to teach students about the creation of, dissemination of, and access to information and knowledge resources in the visual arts and other assigned disciplines. Applying learning and pedagogical theory, initiate, design, conduct, and assess course-related library education, orientations, workshops, and other educational activities; develop face-to-face and online learning materials and tutorials. Participate in the implementation and assessment of a student capacities and literacies program according to the College’s strategic themes. Participate in and lead visual arts-related educational activities offered by the Learning, Research and Technology department.


Collection Development and Management (30%):


Develop and manage collections in print, electronic, and other formats for the visual arts and other assigned areas to support current and developing curricular and research needs, in collaboration with faculty in the Department of Art and the Head of Collection Development and Management. Evaluate and select materials, coordinate faculty materials requests, correspond with donors and vendors, and ensure efficient processing of orders and materials. Develop and maintain knowledge of the existing and evolving modes of scholarly communication and respond to the changing information needs of students and faculty. Conduct collection analysis and usage studies and curate appropriately.  Stay informed on publishing and pricing trends. Participate in library-wide collection initiatives and planning.


Digital Scholarship (10%):


In collaboration with the Digital Scholarship Team, research digital scholarship technologies and methodologies in the visual arts and promote them to faculty and students; participate on project teams as an active partner in the creation of digital projects. Provide referral services for faculty and students on the management and preservation of digital content through Smith’s repositories. Maintain a working knowledge of current copyright issues related to scholarship, and exercise knowledge of copyright appropriately. Work in conjunction with the Imaging Center to build user technical skill and knowledge in the production and study of art.


Hillyer Library Planning & Leadership (10%):


Collaborate with Discovery and Access staff on the activities and operations of the Hillyer Art Library including development and implementation of policies and procedures. Collaborate on training and evaluating staff who report to the Access Services Manager. Plan for space, facilities, digital services, and collection needs. Work with the Access Services Manager and Head of Public Services to coordinate with Facilities Management and Campus Police to ensure facility maintenance and security. Evaluate current services and follow national trends in academic and museum art libraries, identifying new services for implementation and continual improvements to teaching, learning and research. Formulate and review Hillyer Art Library policies, procedures, and design, in alignment with Smith Libraries policies and in collaboration with managers.


Additional Responsibilities (10%):


Engage in continuous professional self-development and keep current with emerging library, educational technology, and digital scholarship practices, methodologies, and technologies. Participate in the work of the Libraries through service on library-wide and Five College committees. Collaborate with the Art Museum, Botanic Gardens, Imaging Center, and other staff with visual art roles and responsibilities. Represent Smith College Libraries at conferences and collaborations with national organizations in arts, librarianship, and digital scholarship. Perform related duties as required.


Minimum Qualifications



  • Master’s in Library Science, Information Studies, and/or a Master’s in Art History, Studio Art, Architecture or related field or an equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience.
  • 3 years of relevant professional library experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in visual arts research and pedagogy.



  • Strong teaching skills and commitment to user-focused service.
  • Experience collaborating with faculty in a visual arts context in developing student knowledge and experience in research practices and analyzing and using information.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to take initiative, solve problems and prioritize work effectively.
  • Demonstrated success in working flexibly, independently and collaboratively with colleagues and library users in a rapidly changing user-oriented environment.
  • Demonstrated project management skills. Experience with developing collections in all formats.
  • Strong commitment to public service and experience in library instruction.
  • Awareness of new technologies and trends and their applications for library services and collection development.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree or work experience in a visual arts field such as art history, studio art, or architecture.
  • Reading knowledge of a foreign language.


Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . Be sure you have provided all attachments before submitting your application.

You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.


Review of applications will begin

November 28, 2022


Compensation Grade:

Grade H


Position Type:




About Smith College


Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts.  A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.


Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at


Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.