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Library Assistant, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA


The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) seeks a part-time library assistant (up to 21 hours per week) to greet visitors and provide services to researchers who make use of the Society’s collections in the MHS library. The position is funded through August 2022 with the possibility of extension.

The MHS is an independent research library that collects, preserves, and makes accessible manuscripts and other materials that promote the study of the history of our nation—a mission that has remained constant since 1791. The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.

The library is currently staffed Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM; Tuesday 8:45 AM to 7:45 PM; and Saturday 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The ideal candidate would have a flexible schedule including Saturday availability. 


The library assistant works as part of the reference team and reports to the Reference Librarian. Duties include monitoring the reading room, paging materials from the closed stacks, responding to reference questions via e-mail, telephone, and online chat, and assisting the reference staff with various library tasks. The majority of the library assistant’s time is spent interacting directly with the public. This position is essential in promoting the Society’s public image and in maintaining the security of the collection.

All library assistants are cross-trained on Visitor Services functions and are called on to cover the Society’s reception desk. The Visitor Services position entails greeting, authorizing, and directing all visitors entering the Society; including explaining MHS library policies and procedures; and directing incoming telephone calls for the MHS as a whole.


The successful candidate will hold a bachelor’s degree; possess a demonstrated interest in American history, with strong interest in Early American or Massachusetts/New England history; and have experience working with a diverse public in a customer service or similar position; be proficient with Microsoft Office applications; have strong research skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and strong planning and organization skills; and possess the ability to work well in a team environment.

Completion of some coursework in Library and Information Science, American history, American studies, public history, or an archives program strongly preferred; familiarity with user-end functions of an integrated library system (Voyager), Aeon or similar circulation module, and providing reference assistance, as well as previous experience working with archival materials in a library, museum, or other historical organization are preferred.

This position requires the ability to lift boxes weighing up to fifty pounds and to transport materials loaded onto wheeled carts. 

Salary: $18.00/hour. Benefits include paid sick time, paid holidays, a public transit subsidy, and the opportunity to participate in the MHS retirement plan.

How to Apply:

Please send an application by email (preferred) or postal mail, including a cover letter, brief resume, and list of three references to Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, at [email protected], or Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

Applications received before March 21st will be given preference; open until filled.