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Reference Librarian

Medical College of Wisconsin

Last Updated: 6/21/22

Job Description

Position Description:


The Office of Research helps to facilitate life-saving biomedical research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Nine distinct units provide specialized support to meet the administrative needs of our investigators and research staff. Together we coordinate, regulate, and monitor research studies as well as provide high quality services for investigative teams. The MCW Libraries supports all institutional missions and partners by providing access, support, and specialized services for researchers, students, healthcare workers, and community members.

The Reference Librarian provides quality, timely, and thorough information services to support patient care, education, community engagement, and research at the Medical College of Wisconsin by meeting the information needs of MCW faculty, students, administration, staff, and the public. This position will serve as a liaison to departments to enhance the libraries’ understanding of institutional information needs, promote the use of library services and resources to meet those needs, and to strengthen the overall relationship between the library and the departments.

Primary Functions

  1. Provides direct information services, including complex, medical bibliographic database searching to support medical research, clinical patient care, medical education among others; consults with library users in-person and by phone, chat, e-mail, and online meeting services. Provides instruction and searching for teams working on systematic reviews.
  2. Provides instruction on library resources, bibliographic retrieval, evidence-based medicine, citation management, and other relevant topics in a variety of settings to diverse user groups.
  3. Acts as a liaison to assigned departments, meeting with faculty, assessing their information needs, making presentations, attending appropriate department meetings, promoting library services, and coordinating their delivery.
  4. Provides training and troubleshooting regarding access to and use of library resources.
  5. Teaches information literacy as it applies to academic programs offered at MCW. Provides consultation to faculty on the incorporation and use of library resources in curriculum development.
  6. Assist in creation and provision of library services that support research data management throughout the research life cycle.
  7. Participates in professional organizations, conferences, continuing education, and professional reading and/or publishing.
  8. Shares acquired knowledge with colleagues and constituents to advance the knowledge of the institution.
  9. Participates in MCW and library committees and projects.
  10. Other duties as assigned.

Department Specific Primary Functions

  1. Deliver public services.
  2. Conduct complex medical bibliographic literature searches.
  3. Provide instruction on health information resources to diverse groups.
  4. Provide research data management services.

Preferred Schedule:

Position Requirements:

Knowledge – Skills – Abilities

Demonstrates familiarity with several major online databases (PubMed, OVID, etc.).

Demonstrates understanding of their own personal and cultural values and beliefs as a first step in appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in the lives of the people they work with and serve. Demonstrates and continues to develop understanding about the history, traditions, values, and artistic expressions of colleagues, co-workers, and major constituencies served. Ability to demonstrate personal integrity in all interactions.

Applies education, training, and work experience to improve the performance of the organization. Strives to discern, meet, and exceed customer needs. Ability to work and communicate successfully with all levels of internal and external contacts. Ability to foster and maintain solid working relationships.

Ability to identify and overcome obstacles to getting the work done. Ability to identify, introduce, and set in motion more effective methods of work operation.

Ability to communicate orally and in writing clearly and logically.

Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Possesses a high degree of flexibility and ability to adapt quickly to changing demands.

Organizational Structure

Location: Onsite/Remote/Hybrid

Department: Research Office

Division: MCW Libraries

Reports to (Title): Assistant Director, Public Services and Education

Direct Reports (Titles): None

Collaborates with (Titles): Colleagues, peers, faculty, students


Appropriate education and/or experience may be substituted on equivalent basis

Minimum Required Education: Master’s degree in library/information science from an ALA Accredited institution

Minimum Required Experience: 3 years of experience

Preferred Experience: Experience in advanced database searching, experience in an academic library serving the health sciences, in a reference service capacity.

Field of Study: Healthcare, Education, Library Services

Commitment to Diversity

MCW is one of the largest healthcare employers in Wisconsin. We are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace that includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We believe that embracing human differences is critical to realize our vision of a healthier world, and we recognize that a healthy and thriving community starts from within. We strive to integrate our human and social differences into MCW’s functioning, strategies and culture to create a diverse and equitable workplace. If you believe embracing individuality and working together makes us stronger, then MCW is the place for you. People of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

About MCW
The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is one of the largest healthcare employers in Wisconsin. We are a distinguished leader and innovator in the education and development of the next generation of physicians, scientists, pharmacists and health professionals; we discover and translate new knowledge in the biomedical and health sciences; we provide cutting-edge, collaborative patient care of the highest quality; and we improve the health of the communities we serve.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

Company Details

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States