City of Boston

Reader Services Specialist

Posted Date 2 months ago(1/30/2023 11:58 AM)
Req ID
Boston Public Library
Regular Full-Time
BPL Readers Service
Salary Min
Salary Max
Posting End Date
Contact Email


Position Overview
Under direction of the Reader Services Supervisor or delegate, responsible for carrying out the Library’s programs of service to the public with emphasis on readers advisory, and to perform professional work requiring substantial application of professional knowledge and experience.


Reports to
Reader Services Supervisor (P3)


As assigned, professional and support staff


Scope of Responsibility

  1. Performs reference service requiring a high level of professional competence and specialized knowledge in locating materials and suggesting resources within the Library and in other libraries.
  2. Engages with the reading community about books in all formats; assists readers in identifying and finding content of interest; participates in innovative reader’s advisory services in person and online; develops booklists and other recommendation tools online.
  3. Selects materials within assigned area for all Boston Public Library locations; analyzes requests, reviews, and other formal and informal resources and selects materials based on information gathered.
  4. Promotes use of the resources and collections provided by the Library by assisting in development of discovery tools and resource guides online, developing content for the web and bibliographies, preparing written descriptions, and organizing programs.
  5. Participates in developing and presenting outreach and programming activities to promote use of the Library’s collections and services. Responsible for oral presentations and written reports on assigned activities within the department, such as tours, and bibliographic instruction.
  6. Provides informal and classroom instruction to the public using established curriculum or assisting in the development of appropriate curriculum, on a variety of topics, including the use of library resources, basic computer and other information technology usage, reader’s advisory, and other personal and professional skill-building programs.
  7. Participates in the development of interactive relationships with local service agencies and organizations to stimulate use of library’s resources.
  8. Assists in the training of professional and support staff and in the orientation of both staff and members of the public to the services of the department.
  9. Determines eligibility of collections and individual volumes for digitization as directed.
  10. Assists with analysis of aspects of related services, operations, and collections and recommends improvements to enhance public service.
  11. Participates in the development and implementation of innovative online services that connect library users with departmental collections, lowers hurdles to access for researchers, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge among users
  12. Assists with collection analysis, gifts, weeding, and other collection maintenance activities; responds to inquiries about donations, materials purchasing, and basic Collection Development procedures.
  13. Assumes administrative responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the department in the absence of the department head or other ranking staff member.
  14. Commits to keeping current in the best practices of the profession by taking advantage of training and development activities, by reading professional literature, and by participating in professional activities.
  15. Actively participates in system-wide committees, training and other professional activities.
  16. Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.

  • Proficiency with MSWord, Publisher, Power Point, and Excel.
  • Ability to execute library policy.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of others.
  • Demonstrates initiative and independent decision making skills.
  • Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
  • Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
  • Identifies, plans and prioritizes job responsibilities and tasks; determines and implements project timelines.
  • Demonstrates flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.
  • Collaborates with internal and external partners.
  • Ability to work well with staff and public.
  • Superior knowledge of bibliographical tools and resources.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:


1. Education – Bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university and a master's degree in library and information science from an ALA accredited library school. Relevant subject knowledge and/or specialized training required. In exceptional instances          specialized education, training and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.
2. Experience – Two (2) years of appropriate library professional experience or any equivalent combination of education, experience and training sufficient to indicate ability to do the work.
3. Requirements – Some evening and weekend hours. Ability to travel to off-site locations, as assigned.



  1. Ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail as required by the job.
  2. Residency - Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
  3. CORI - Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.


Union/Salary Plan/Grade: PSA / P2

Hours per week: 35


Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed