Reference Librarian San Diego Law Library

Position: Reference Librarian

Hours: Full Time

Location: San Diego Law Library Downtown & various partnership locations

Job Status: Exempt

Reports to: Assistant Director of User Experience

Base Pay: $74,000 to $85,000


Provides excellent reference and circulation services to library patrons. Promotes the library, its activities, and resources using a variety of tools and techniques. Instructs library staff and patrons about library resources and services. Drives change throughout the library by leading and participating in special project teams. Will provide services at our Downtown and partnership locations, as needed. This is a mid-level Reference Librarian position and requires a minimum of 3-5 years prior legal reference experience.


REFERENCE: As part of the iDesk Team, provides excellent customer service and legal reference to patrons in person, via phone, chat, video calls, and email. Demonstrates substantive and specialized knowledge of legal field in assisting patrons and in the creation and instruction of information content. Uses knowledge of collection (print & electronic), community resources, internet resources, catalog, and other tools to provide reference services to patrons.

INFORMATION DESK: All librarians are expected to perform circulation functions, open borrower accounts, perform money transactions, and assist patrons with copier and computer usage while performing iDesk duties. Demonstrates mastery in all iDesk procedures and processes. Educates patrons on our Rules of Conduct and enforces the rules when necessary. Assists the public with basic computer usage, especially Web navigation, Microsoft Word formatting, saving, and printing. Assists patrons with printers, copiers, scanners, and point of sale system. Assists in training and mentoring other staff.

OUTREACH ACTIVITIES: Proactively create programs and content to meet user needs and promote the library in the community. Provide instruction in the form of in-person or online classes. In conjunction with the Assistant Director User Experience and other Librarians, partner and collaborate with other non-profit organizations to provide innovative programs to different demographic groups. Staff in-person, off-site, and virtual events, classes, and clinics. Market and promote law library programs, special events and classes to the general public and the legal community. Use enewsletter platform, social media sites, and emerging technologies to market law library events, resources and services. Use emerging technologies to further our reach in the community and allow more access to legal information.

ASSESSMENT: Uses assessment tools, metrics, and analyzes data relating to reference assistance and educational programming. Assessment includes implementing surveys and capturing testimonials from participants. Based on evaluation of assessment tools, develops actionable items to further the Library’s Strategic Plan and Mission, and show value to the community.

SPECIAL LEGAL KNOWLEGE: Responsible for creating an atmosphere for continual learning and professional growth through the mentoring of colleagues. Responsible for acquiring new skills and communicating knowledge formally and informally with staff and patrons.


LEARNING ORGANIZATION: Facilitates a learning organization environment; works with all staff to integrate a learning organization philosophy and collaborative teamwork approach into the overall culture of the organization; incorporates the learning organization philosophy and team-based approach into creating a positive user experience.

CHANGE CREATION: Seeks out challenges, assignments, new solutions; looks for ways to reinvent processes; creates previously undiscovered pathways to success; owns the work and sees it to completion. Remains flexible and positive in light of changes in assigned work duties; creates a positive place for individual and mutual growth and development; can juggle changes in competing priorities and work around obstacles to achieve results.

COMMUNICATION: Communicates effectively and directly; presents ideas clearly and with forethought; properly gauges need for soliciting/sharing information; keeps in mind the effect of any communication on the recipient; deals directly with individual(s) concerned.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Seeks out learning opportunities to improve skills, acquire new skills, build new tools; shares knowledge with others; actively applies knowledge, skills, and tools for the internal and external betterment of the organization; demonstrates personal ownership of tasks and follow through to get the required results; acquires the skills needed to successfully complete assignments; ability to plan, prioritize, and focus on what is critical to accomplish law library goals; sets own deadlines; lives up to commitments;

SERVICE TO OTHERS: Provides excellent customer service to library users, partners, and colleagues by giving the highest personal attention, taking responsibility for working through an issue to completion/solution; embodies the San Diego Law Library brand and service model; acts as an ambassador for the organization at on-site and off- site functions; never gives up trying to provide the best assistance possible. Promotes Library programs and services;

TEAM-ORIENTED: Values and employs collaborative methods to get best results; seeks out and offers valuable feedback; recognizes the needs of colleagues and offers support; makes kindness an every-day event; fosters trust and cooperation among library users, partners, and colleagues.


Education: Masters in Library and/or Information Science from an ALA accredited school or Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited Law School or equivalent legal or law library experience.


  • Minimum of three to five years prior legal practice experience or legal reference librarian experience.
  • Legal research and bibliography experience in print and electronic formats.
  • Demonstrated ability to instruct the general public on legal research tools and concepts.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office products.
  • Demonstrated ability with Web 2.0 and social media technologies, including Springshare’s Libguides, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Use of Web based programs, software, and technology to create learning materials and help people remotely.
  • Previous customer service experience or extended experience in dealing with the public. Highly skilled in communicating with people from diverse educational and social backgrounds.
  • Ability to multi-task, set priorities and be self-sufficient.
  • High degree of creativity, interactive engagement and problem-solving ability.


  • Bilingual English & Spanish
  • Knowledge of California Civil Procedure
  • Experience with MS Teams, SharePoint
  • Experience working with an integrated library system, preferably Koha.


  • Must have reliable transportation and be able to travel to various locations throughout San Diego County on a regular basis. Some of these locations may be remote and not serviced by a regularly scheduled train or bus.
  • May be required to work some Saturdays at Downtown location.
  • May be required to work outside of normal library hours at special events, classes, workshops, networking and outreach opportunities, etc.
  • Additional responsibilities, duties, and projects as assigned.


The beginning salary range for this mid-level Reference Librarian position is $74,000 to $85,000 depending on experience.

No phone calls please.

This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive or static. The Law Library may modify the job description or duties at any time to meet the ongoing needs of the organization and changes in technology. The San Diego Law Library is an equal employment opportunity employer.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $74,000.00 – $85,000.00 per year


  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 8 hour shift
  • Monday to Friday


  • Master’s (Preferred)


  • Library services: 3 years (Preferred)


  • Spanish (Preferred)

Willingness to travel:

  • 50% (Preferred)

Work Location: One location