Research Librarian for Visual Arts

The University of California, Irvine Libraries seeks a creative, knowledgeable, collaborative, and user-oriented Research Librarian for Visual Arts (RLVA) to plan and deliver innovative reference and instruction services, and to develop and manage excellent electronic, multimedia, and print collections in the visual arts.

The RLVA will actively engage with faculty, students, and staff in the following schools and departments to develop strong working relationships:

  • The School of Humanities offers undergraduate degrees in Art History and Film & Media Studies; these two departments jointly offer a Ph.D. in Visual Studies
  • The Claire Trevor School of the Arts offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Studio Art, including an MFA in Art with a Concentration in Critical and Curatorial Studies. 

Qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and life experiences are encouraged to apply. The UCI Libraries is committed to recruiting a diverse workforce and advancing UCI’s Commitment to Inclusive Excellence.   

Duties and Responsibilities

The RLVA will be a member of the Reference Department, reporting to the Head of Reference.  The incumbent’s duties will be to:

  • Provide specialized reference services, instruction, and research consultations in the visual arts.
  • Develop and update research guides in support of visual arts research.
  • Select, assess, and manage collections and resources in the visual arts.
  • Monitor budgets and make collections decisions that support the teaching and research needs on campus.
  • Share a basic understanding of discipline-specific resources so all reference providers can help patrons get started with visual arts research. 
  • Learn and maintain sufficient knowledge of multi-disciplinary resources to provide effective general reference assistance in a variety of service modes, including in-person and digital reference.
  • Participate in the Libraries’ instruction program for students enrolled in lower-division writing courses and other information literacy initiatives.
  • Collaborate with librarians and staff throughout the Libraries in many departments, including Collection Strategies, Digital Scholarship Services, Education and Outreach, and Special Collections and Archives on projects that further the strategic goals of the UCI Libraries.

Furthermore, as a member of the Reference Department, the RLVA will join a team focused on coaching all front-line reference providers on techniques to provide superior research assistance. The RLVA will help strategize about training and coaching, and may also take a lead role in various reference-related projects and initiatives.



  • Graduate degree in library science from an ALA-accredited institution or an equivalent combination of relevant advanced degree and library experience.
  • Educational background in art, art history, or film and media studies; or experience performing reference, instruction and/or collection development for the visual arts.
  • Ability to provide effective specialized reference and instruction in the visual arts.
  • Strong understanding of the key issues in visual arts collection management.
  • Strong interest in working with students and faculty.
  • Familiarity with the ACRL Frameworks and information literacy instruction in higher education.
  • Commitment to user-centered library services.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively and to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness within UCI Libraries and the campus.
  • Ability to meet the University of California criteria for advancement and promotion.


  • Experience assessing and evaluating digital resources in the visual arts.
  • Experience working with digital arts and/or digital humanities issues and projects.
  • Knowledge of emerging trends in information literacy.
  • Experience training, coaching, or mentoring staff to provide reference assistance.
  • Experience managing or leading projects.
  • Knowledge of scholarly communication issues and trends within the visual arts disciplines.

​​The Reference Department

The RLVA will be based in the Langson Library and will be a member of the Reference Department, which consists of eight librarians, including the Department Head, and seven career staff located in both the Langson Library and the Ayala Science Library.  Our vision: the Reference Department ensures that all users, regardless of the nature or method of their query, are able to utilize any resource to meet their information needs. To realize this vision, the Department organizes training, conducts assessment, and creates tools for providing one-on-one research assistance across all modes of patron interaction.

The UCI Libraries

The UCI Libraries values innovation and collaboration.  We are committed to the University’s goal of diversity and inclusive excellence.  The Libraries consist of the Langson Library, the Science Library, the Library Gateway Study Center, and the Grunigen Medical Library.  These buildings contain over 3,300 public seats for study and research and provide nearly 525 public access computers.  The UCI Libraries have a staff of approximately 145 FTE plus approximately 25 student assistant FTE.  The library collection consists of over 3.8 million volumes, nearly 150,000 journals and serial titles, and an aggressively expanding electronic resources collection.  The UCI Libraries are a member of the:  Association of Research Libraries (ARL), California Digital Library (CDL), HathiTrust Digital Library, Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Coalition of Networked Information (CNI), Digital Library Federation (DLF), Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance (PRRLA), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and OCLC Research Library Partnership (OCLC RLP).

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, is nestled in over 1,500 acres of coastal foothills, five miles from the Pacific Ocean, between San Diego and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1965, UCI has more than 31,500 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,600 faculty and staff.  Nearly 67% of UCI students identify themselves as Asian American, African American, Chicano/Latino, or Native American.  The University offers graduate degrees in more than 100 academic disciplines and interdisciplinary programs in addition to the M.D. and J.D.  UCI’s academic programs are ranked nationally among the top universities; several doctoral programs are ranked in the top ten.

Librarians at the University of California Irvine are academic appointees and receive potential career status at the time of their initial appointment.  Librarians periodically receive administrative and peer review for merit increases based on the following criteria: 1) professional competence and quality of service within the Library; 2) professional activity outside the Library; 3) university and public service; and 4) research and other creative activity.

Salary & Benefits:  Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience based on the University of California pay scales.  Appointment is anticipated to be at the Assistant Librarian or Associate Librarian rank with a salary of $49,165 - $75,453.

Librarians are entitled to two days per month of annual leave, thirteen paid holidays, and one day per month sick leave.  The University has an excellent retirement system and offers a variety of group health, life, and disability insurance plans.  Benefits are equal to approximately 40% of salary.

Deadline for Applications:  Applications received by May 14, 2018 will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

To Apply: Qualified applicants who wish to be considered for this position should submit the information requested:  cover letter; complete résumé; a statement that addresses past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a list of three references (names and contact information only) via UCI AP Recruit at:

Upon application, candidates should be in possession of proof of their legal right to employment in the U.S. In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, verification of legal right to work will be required between the time of final selection and hiring, and is absolutely essential in ultimately being hired.

This position description is listed on the UCI Libraries web site at with links to additional web sites featuring campus and community information.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.