The Getty

Reference Librarian II

Requisition Number
Regular Full-Time
Position Status
Getty Center
GRI - 0419-Research Services & Collections
Targeted Hiring Range
$66,156 - $86,015 Annually
ERRP Eligible
Commensurate with experience and internal equity

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Getty

Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are essential to our excellence and to the execution of our mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation. We are committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Summary

The Getty Research Institute seeks a service-oriented and creative Reference Librarian II to join the Getty Library’s Research Services department and work in partnership with colleagues. The Reference Librarian II provides high-level and wide-ranging in-person and virtual reference, instruction, and outreach services to a diverse and international user community (including the public, staff, residential scholars, and registered readers). As a member of the Reference team, the Reference Librarian works closely and in partnership with librarians, library assistants, archivists, curators, and various staff across the Getty.

The ideal Reference Librarian II candidate will be passionate about the arts, architecture, and visual culture and advancing the mission and goals of the Library and Getty Research Institute. They will foster relationships with staff across the Getty and thrive in assisting researchers to facilitate their work in the extensive collections.  

The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing awareness of the visual arts and their various histories through its expertise, ongoing collecting program, public programs, institutional partnerships, exhibitions, publications, digital services, and residential scholars’ programs. Among the world’s premier art libraries, the Getty Library and its Special Collections include over 1.5 million volumes, rare materials, and digital resources, which serve a vast international community of scholars and the interested public. The Institute's activities and scholarly resources guide and sustain each other and collectively provide a unique environment for research, critical inquiry, and scholarly exchange.  (We have two Reference Librarian positions available).

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Uses professional judgment and strategies to research and answer complex and specialized reference questions regarding the Library’s collections of archives, photographs, rare books, audiovisual materials, databases, and digitized content.
  • Provides outreach and instruction in a variety of ways. Includes giving library tours, library catalog, and database instruction sessions (both in person and virtually), creating research guides and instructional materials, writing social media posts, and assisting in developing and staffing events to promote the Library and its collections.
  • Staffs the Reference/Information Desk on a rotating schedule; answers reference requests, explains library policies and procedures, registers readers, and makes library appointments. 
  • Assists in managing reproductions and permissions requests for Special Collections materials, including identifying materials and addressing copyright issues.
  • Applies advanced knowledge and creative solutions using current and emerging technologies to improve services.
  • Maintains a high level of professional activities and keeps up with current and emerging trends.
  • May assist in the management and implementation of Springshare tools (i.e., LibGuides, LibAnswers). 
  • May coordinate and facilitate class visits and workshops in the Library and Special Collections Reading Room.
  • May partner within and across departments on a variety of activities, which may include projects related to usability, website and/or social media.
  • May provide training to colleagues or supervise the work of others when required.
  • May provide backup for the Special Collections Reading Room as needed. 
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History or related discipline; MLIS from an ALA-accredited library school; graduate- level work or equivalent research experience in Art History or a related discipline; advanced subject degree preferred
  • Minimum 2 years related professional experience
  • May require some supervisory experience


All employees must be fully-vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as a condition of employment. Exemptions from this requirement as a reasonable accommodation due to medical contraindication, disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice will be considered.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of art history, reference techniques, and research strategies.
  • Ability to effectively handle multiple demands and shifting priorities in a service-oriented department that receives a high volume of requests. Flexibility to react quickly and positively to change.
  • Familiarity with integrated library systems.The Getty Library uses the Ex-Libris suite of hosted products: Primo, Alma, and Rosetta. 
  • Demonstrates initiative, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ensures excellent service, friendly reception, and positive research interactions for researchers of all skill levels. Adapts communication style to a variety of audiences. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of history, theory, and professional practices associated with materials found in special collections such as rare books, manuscripts, and graphic materials. Ability to handle rare and unique materials with care.
  • General knowledge of intellectual property rights, copyright, rights management, donor, and user privacy issues.  
  • Excellent communication skills including when speaking to groups.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Reading knowledge or familiarity of 2 foreign languages preferred.
  • Ability to lift and move boxes weighing up to 40 pounds, push heavy book carts, and climb industrial ladders.

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.