Reference and Collections Assistant, Fine Arts Library – Cornell University – Ithaca, NY

Cornell University Position Announcement
Reference and Collections Assistant, Fine Arts Library
Public Services Assistant, Band D
Part-time (28 Hours Per Week), 9-month Continuing Appointment
3-year term appointment with the possibility for renewal

The Mui Ho Fine Arts Library at Cornell University is seeking a part-time Reference and Collections Assistant.

We are looking for someone who will help our patrons to navigate the many resources available through our library, including materials located physically on-site, in other libraries, and online. In addition to assisting patrons directly, you will contribute to a user-friendly environment by promoting the organization and accuracy of our physical materials. The person in this position will play a key role in both the public and technical services operations of the Fine Arts Library.

We want you to have some experience in responsibilities similar to these, and enthusiasm for building more experience on the job. But most importantly, we want you to bring a wide-ranging curiosity, a dedication to helping varied learners in their pursuits of knowledge, and a passion for the organization and ease of use of a public resource like a library collection.

Does this sound like you? If so, we’d love to talk.

Your typical day on the job will be rich with variety: Attention to detail as you coordinate the binding of our serials, teamwork and innovation as we work together on new projects, organization as you discover and resolve issues with the items in our book stacks, research assistance as you help a patron to find the perfect sources for their paper, and more.

You’ll have the opportunity to work with colleagues across departments—and across campus—to solve problems, learn new skills, and support each other’s work. If this position sounds good to you, please don’t allow fear of not having enough education or experience in a particular area get in the way of applying.

This position requires that you are able to close the Fine Arts Library at 10pm most evenings, Sunday-Thursday (three out of five evening shifts per week, at minimum), and that you are responsible for regular weekend shifts (Saturdays 12pm-5pm, at minimum). Your final schedule will be determined by your availability, and will then remain the same week-to-week unless substitution arrangements are made with other staff members. Examples of potential weekly schedules are below, but are not limited to these examples:

• Saturdays 12pm-5pm, Sundays 2pm-10pm, Mondays-Wednesdays 5:30pm-10pm
• Saturdays 12pm-5pm, Sundays 2pm-10pm, Tuesdays-Thursdays 5:30pm-10pm
• Saturdays 12pm-5pm, Tuesdays-Thursdays 5pm-10pm, Fridays 10am-5pm

Required Qualifications:

• Bachelor’s degree and up to 2 years’ relevant experience, OR equivalent combination;
• Proven ability to cultivate an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion.
• Good communication skills, especially when it comes to discussing complex ideas with various audiences. You can get a point across, and you’re also a good listener.
• Attention to detail and a commitment to accuracy in record keeping, often while managing interruptions and multitasking.
• Ability to work with a variety of operating systems and devices (primarily Windows PCs), and a willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies.
• Ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Right at this moment, you probably don’t have all the technical skills you want to have, but you’re enthusiastic about learning new ones, and you’re able to orient to the basics of new tools pretty quickly. You’re comfortable saying, “I don’t know, but let’s work on it together.”
• Proven reliability. You recognize that libraries are haven for many, and are committed to coordinating with other FAL staff members to ensure that the doors stay open on a consistent schedule.
• This position may require the ability to lift/move 10 to 20 pounds of materials. These tasks may be performed with or without accommodations.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Library experience.
• Supervisory experience.
• Knowledge of or background in the subject areas of art, art history, architecture, and/or urban and regional planning.

Diversity and Inclusion: Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented identities to apply.

Cornell University Library is a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, which unites academic libraries who are committed to increasing the hiring pipeline of qualified and talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Rewards and Benefits: Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability and diversity initiatives. Our comprehensive benefits package includes:
• Health insurance, life insurance, university retirement plans;
• Our leave provisions include medical and parental leave, paid vacation and 13 holidays: e.g., an end-of-year winter break, from December 25 through January 1;
• Impressive educational benefits and professional development opportunities;
• Competitive wages.
We invite you to follow this link to get more information on endowed benefits:

This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The successful applicant will be expected to work on the Ithaca campus.

This is a part-time (28-hours per week) three-year term appointment (August-May), with the possibility for renewal.
This position is benefits-eligible.
Relocation assistance is not available for this position.
Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

The safety and well-being of applicants and our team members is of the utmost importance. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and following current recommended practices, we may elect to conduct virtual or hybrid interviews with qualified candidates.

How to Apply: Candidates must apply online via the Cornell Careers site:–Fine-Arts-Library_WDR-00026979-1.

(Current Cornell employees may apply via Workday.)

Incoming applications are requested by July 23, 2021. Although we prefer to receive your application as one, multi-page pdf document, we will accept separate documents and they may be uploaded in other formats. It is very helpful to the search committee if your application contains:

1. A cover letter;
2. A resume;
3. A Statement of “Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” which may be incorporated into the cover letter, resume OR presented as a separate statement. Candidates are invited to describe past, present, and/or future aspirations for promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Environment: One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research, and learning at the university. With an operating budget of over $58 million and a diverse and innovative staff of close to 400, the Library provides significant collaborative opportunities in support of 2,700 faculty, 24,000 students and 94 PhD fields. Its world class collections, expert librarians, and responsive services in physical and virtual library spaces inspire and nourish scholarship and learning.

The Mui Ho Fine Arts Library is one of the largest academic art and architecture libraries in the Northeast, offering an ever-expanding collection of materials on architecture, art, city and regional planning, landscape architecture, and photography in various formats and in multiple languages. Housed in the library and at the Annex, our collection grows by approximately 4,000 titles each year and comprises more than 267,000 volumes and subscriptions to more than 850 periodical titles. In print and online, we provide discipline-focused resources to search for publications, including the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Urban Studies Abstracts, and Art & Architecture Source. We license various image collections from Artstor, and provide access to thousands of Cornell’s digital images.

The Ithaca campus sits on 2,300 acres in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Ithaca, located roughly halfway between Manhattan and Toronto, offers a wealth of cultural activities while maintaining an eclectic college-town feel. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of rolling hills, breathtaking gorges, hiking trails, and lakes offering countless outdoor activities. The city has been named one of the top 100 places to live, a top 10 recreation city, a best green place to live, and one of the “foodiest” towns in America.

Employment Assistance Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University’s Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at

For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting.

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor.

Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement here:  This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

About Melody Rood

Student Success & Open Education Librarian / Assistant Professor at UNC-Greensboro