Research & Administrative Librarian

05 Aug 2022 2:20 PM | Anonymous member

Research & Administrative Librarian

POSITION TITLE:     Research & Administrative Librarian

STATUS:                    Exempt                                   

SCHEDULE:              Full time / 35 hours per week

REPORTS TO:           MHS Deputy Director

DATE:                        08/03/2022

The Maine Historical Society’s Brown Research Library seeks an energetic and motivated librarian with a passion for history to lead its professional research staff and manage its beautiful designed year-round reading room. Nestled alongside the Wadsworth-Longfellow House & Garden in downtown Portland, the Brown Research Library is a storied and forward-looking special collections library, dedicated to the history of our state. The Research & Administrative Librarian position is a full time, on-site position at the center of MHS’ research and public services.


Maine Historical Society (MHS) is focused on preserving and sharing Maine’s story. Founded in 1822 as the third oldest state historical society in the United States, MHS includes an incomparable library, exhibition galleries and historic house museum, and statewide educational resources like the Maine Memory Network. MHS’ unique assets include skilled staff caring for and providing access to historical materials; a deep knowledge about Maine; and state-of-the-art collections facilities. MHS’ expansive vision for how history impacts contemporary life includes research, exhibitions, scholarship, and public programs which explore Maine’s role in the national narrative. Through an ethos of collaboration, partnership, and inclusivity, MHS contextualizes history while looking forward to its third century.

MHS’ John Marshall and Alida Carroll Brown Research Library is open year-round, serving a wide community of researchers including historians, genealogists, students, academic communities, causal readers, and anyone interested in Maine history. A special collection library, its unrivalled collections date from the 16th to the 21st century. Genres include manuscripts, photographic collections, architecture and engineering drawings, original newspapers, rare books, maps and atlases, and library collections with a specific focus on Maine, early New England and eastern Canadian family history. Built in 1907, the Brown Library is on the National Register of Historic Places, carefully restored at its 100th anniversary to include a state-of-the-art collections facility, complimented with an offsite collections management center in 2014.


The Maine Historical Society (MHS) Research & Administrative Librarian is a fundamental role within the Brown Research Library and the wider institution, with a specific focus on library public services, historic research, reading room administration, and collection development. A forward-looking and creative position, the Research & Administrative Librarian facilitates access to traditional library, archival, and special collections, while positioning MHS as a 21st century research facility. 

Core duties include answering reference inquiries; scheduling and facilitating research appointments, including reference interviews, for library, archival, digital and museum collections; fee-based research services; patron orientation, bibliographic and user instruction; retrieving and re-shelving materials; and performing stack maintenance. The Research & Administrative Librarian’s work includes reading room management, including implementation of library policy, procedure, and collection use guidelines; supervising library assistants and volunteers; and maintaining a clean and orderly reading room environment for patrons and collections alike. Additionally, the position supports MHS’ research fellowships, library, and institutional collection development, and MHS strategic initiatives.

The position is part of the Brown Research Library’s front-line staff, and a forward-facing representative of the MHS Collections & Research department. Established at the organization’s founding in 1822, the role of the MHS librarian is central to our mission to share and preserve Maine’s story.


Library and Reference Assistants, Volunteers


Reference & Research (60%)

·         Provides in-depth and ready reference services for in-person and remote inquiries, including reference interviews.

·         Manages Library appointment registration and communication.

·         Provides patron orientation, including researcher registration and collection handling; promotes MHS membership or collects use fees.

·         Provides bibliographic instruction for MHS databases, including internal (Minerva/OPAC; Maine Memory Network; Collections Database; Member based resources) and subscription databases (; Heritage Quest, Sanborn Maps, JSTOR, etc).

·         Retrieves and re-shelves materials in open and secure stacks, as well as MHS offsite storage.

·         Executes and coordinates in-depth (fee-based) research services, including research, invoicing, and preparation of findings.

·         Executes and coordinates reference-based reproduction services.

·         Supervise volunteers, when applicable.

·         Other duties as assigned.

Administrative Duties 25%

·         Serves as reading room manager, implementing reading room policy and procedure.

·         Supervises Library support staff (Library Assistant; Reference Assistants) including project and task delegation; and reference desk scheduling.

·         Supervises interns and volunteers.

·         Helps maintain a clean, secure, and clutter-free reading room.

·         Supports MHS fellowships (reading applications, communication, attending meetings).

·         Makes or recommends necessary updates to catalogues, Maine Memory Network, finding aids or housing labels.

·         Other duties as assigned.

Collection Development (10%)

  • ·         Facilitates library acquisitions: (books, microfilm, serials).
  • ·         Supports the MHS Collections Curator with incoming materials, as needed.
  • ·         Attends Collections Team meetings.
  • ·         Manages MHS’ vertical file and related collections. 
  • ·         Other duties as assigned.

Strategic Initiatives (5%)

·         Supports institutional initiatives by promoting collections, services, digital strategies, and resources.

·         Content creation for Maine Memory Network or MHS outlets.

·         MHS Board committee participation. 

·         Other duties as assigned.


·         MLS in Library Science from an ALA Accredited Institution.

·         Demonstrated library reference experience.

·         Demonstrated experience with providing access to archival or special collections, including collection handling.

·         An open and positive attitude and enjoy working with the public.

·         Strong communication skills: listening, written, and verbal.

·         Strong computer skills and ability to learn new programs when needed.

·         Ability to solve problems in a changing environment, and high degree of flexibility and adaptability. 

·         Creative problem-solving skills.

·         Ability to adhere and implement institutional protocol.  

·         Ability to work independently or as part of a group.

·         Supervisory experience in a professional setting.

·         Strong initiative combined with a willingness to take direction. 

·         Ability to multi-task and facilitate several projects simultaneously.

·         Ability to lift 25 lbs. and reach above one’s head.


·         Working knowledge of Maine history.

·         Demonstrated experience in an archival or historical society setting.  

·         Experience with genealogical research.

·         Familiarity with Past Perfect software.

·         Familiarity with PC platforms, WINDOWS and Office 365.


Work is performed on-site, in a public facing library and office environment, using basic office equipment such as a computer, printer, scanner, digital camera, telephone and copier.  Work requires sitting, walking, lifting, as well as occasional driving to and from various MHS facilities.  Position holder must be able to lift +/- 25 lbs. and reach above one’s head.



Typical schedule is Tuesday-Saturday 9AM-5PM with some flexibility, but Saturdays are required.

A set schedule week to week is also required. Work is performed on-site for a total of 35 hours per week. Occasional evenings are required for MHS programs.


The Maine Historical Society promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse
backgrounds. We are an equal opportunity employer and prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.


Annual salary at $50,000. The position is salaried, paid bi-weekly. MHS provides a benefits package including health care, dental and paid time off. On-site parking in downtown Portland is provided.


Please email or mail a cover letter, resume and two references to Cindy Murphy, Officer Manager, at

Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Suite 2, Portland, ME 04101-3498  c/o Cindy Murphy

No phone calls, please.

Application Deadline:  September 2, 2022

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