Hyperlinked Job Description – Creativity!

This one popped up in early summer 2018 here in Michigan. What do you think? (bolding mine)

CLASSIFICATION: Librarian (ET. – 40 hours)

POSITION TITLE: Creative Services Librarian

REPORTS TO: Adult Services and Reference, Department Head

POSITION SUMMARY: The Creative Services Librarian manages, develops and delivers innovative programming in a creative environment. Utilizes hands-on training and collaboration with guests of all ages and community organizations which may include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) content, adult programming, and community programming. This librarian has the ability to inspire imagination, draw out potential, and create a gathering place for the community. This position requires a bold individual who demonstrates curiosity, follow through, the ability to identify priorities and shift focus quickly, flexibility, collaboration, and excellent communication skills, while working in an environment rich with diversity.

This is a new position and requires the individual selected to plan, develop, and create the implementation plan for the Creative Space including purchasing equipment and engaging staff and the community to design the space. It requires 2-3 nights per week, as well as frequent weekend programming to meet community needs.


  1. Gauges level of service based on community interest and need and provides relevant and meaningful services and programs to residents.
  2. Remains current on Creative Space technology and trends.
  3. Develops, plans, and implements programs with a focus on emerging technologies for children, teens, adults, and intergenerational audiences that could be presented in or outside the Library that are responsive to community needs while sparking interest, curiosity, and fun, inspiring guests to embrace their interests and ignite their creativity.
  4. Seeks out and engages with community groups to promote and plan creative services and events utilizing written, oral, video, web, and social media communication.
  5. Manages projects and timelines for the Creative Space Team including the preparation of a calendar of events and programming activities.
  6. Oversees the Creative Space and creative programming. Provides and schedules instruction and programming, coordinates efforts with other staff and departments. Maintains equipment and software for the Creative Space.
  7. Oversees Creative Space and Programming budgets for the Library. Supports staff with purchasing and makes recommendations for service, equipment, furnishings, software, collections for the Creative Space.
  8. Instructs staff and the general public based on programming, tools, technology and activities in the Creative space (examples could include: 3D modeling, electronics & programming, wood working, video and photo creation and editing, and art).
  9. Gathers and analyzes statistics, writes reports on departmental activities, and develops goals in support of the creative space and library strategic plan.
  10. Demonstrates flexibility to change direction/ priorities based on community need.
  11. Provides input on policy and procedure for Creative Space.
  12. Works on the public service desks providing customer service, which can include electronic reference.
  13. Performs other job-related duties and projects as assigned.


HOURS: 2-3 evenings per week, some weekends required


  1. Bachelor’s Degree required. Related degrees preferred (e.g., education, educational technology, library science).
  2. Demonstrated experience and interest in creative programming/spaces.
  3. Has the ability to listen to and engage their community to draw out needs and interests. Finds joy in serving the public.
  4. Excellent communication skills, demonstrates a “whatever-it-takes” work ethic, and models an excellent customer service attitude.
  5. Bilingual in English and Spanish or Burmese Chin is a plus in serving our diverse community.
  6. SirsiDynix experience is a plus!



12 thoughts on “Hyperlinked Job Description – Creativity!

  1. Tina Wolk

    @michael This job description sounds really exciting and full of potential and as a library patron, I would be excited to have a Creative Services Librarian! However, as a potential job seeker (I’ll be honest, I’ve never worked in a library, so I have limited knowledge), I would have a lot of questions before I could take on a position like this. While I understand why the description is so open-ended, is it actually? Does the director really have something in mind that they want you to get on board with that may conflict with what you may find you want to implement based on community feedback? Also, I am reminded of Fobazi Ettarh’s views of job creep (https://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/) and when I see a description that says, “demonstrates a “whatever-it-takes” work ethic” it gives me pause. It can be possible that you and your director disagree on the appropriate level of “what it takes” and how it relates to a 40-per-week position. All in, this seems like an excellent opportunity if the environment is truly open to creativity and there are reasonable expectations on what can be accomplished and the timetable to do so.

  2. Rachel

    This is a really cool fun job, but what makes me the most bummed out is the salary and lack of MLIS qualification. What they are describing sounds like someone who has a MLIS, or years of experience equating to an MLIS but pays: $48,972 starting out. I made more than this working as a waitress 4 days a week. I feel like I see job postings like this where they call it a “librarian” but don’t require a masters degree, and it doesn’t pay well, requiring weekends and supervisory experience like this one. I feel like I’ve talked to a lot of older librarians about how hard they fought to be taken seriously -and having that masters degree was part of that struggle and reasoning for higher pay. Take that away and you have jobs that require a LOT, but pay worse than someone serving food? I know I live in California where maybe servers in other states don’t get paid as well, but still. That’s asking a lot for that starting salary in my opinion, which is probably why a lot of talented people go to corporations or publishing instead? And with what @tinawolk mentions about job creep, I feel like the really open ended jobs end up having massive escalating work tasks without any increase in pay. Maybe I’m way off base, but I find this a bit disheartening.

      1. Kelly Donivan

        Hi Leslie!
        I grew up in San Bernardino County and I am surprised to here that librarians do not need a degree. I am in San Diego County and it is a requirement to apply for a librarian position. Transcripts are required to be included in the job application. I have many years experience in libraries, but there is a need for the educational component. When I am in need of a librarian, I want someone who has the education. I don’t want my doctor only have a first aid card from the Red Cross!

      2. Rachel

        @Leslie in Orange County most traditional public library jobs require a masters, and transcripts like @ceallach mentioned here, but I see TONS of job advertisements with the title “librarian” in them, but doing a lot of different things like this job posting here, and not requiring one. I have a couple of older friends who talked about how hard it was to be taken seriously as a librarian, and how they feel like they fought to have the title librarian associated with the masters and a certain pay level. Jobs like this undermine that credibility in my novice option. I also see people in corporations and non traditional LIS jobs call themselves librarians without the masters all the time. I’ve also met many people who starting working in a library in high school, worked their way up, and now have the position title of “librarian” or even “district librarian” but they are in this program with us now, which means they got their job without having a completed degree! These shifting standards make me nervous and suspicious of what it means to different cities and counties to be a librarian.

        1. Kelly Donivan

          @Rachel I agree about the title needing the degree. It’s important because there is much to know as a true librarian with the education. When I managed the school library, I was the “Library Lady” because I did not have the degree and I thought it was wrong to use the title when I did not have the full education. I was more of an autodidact when it came to managing that library and I did a lot of reading, but it was nothing like the schooling that this program has provided.

  3. Emily Myer

    What an intriguing job! I love the fact that they mentioned involving the community in the design process; based on that and the descriptions of duties, whoever is writing this job description clearly has an interest in making this library a participatory space.

    The alternative schedule gives me pause, honestly, but it could be wonderful for all different kinds of people. I could see working on a degree during the day, for example, and then being able to work in the evenings. Heck, I know some people who homeschool during the day and work at night, so it just depends on the individual’s needs.

    I agree with @tinawolk about the line that says “whatever-it-takes work ethic,” having experienced the unpleasantness of supervisors who don’t respect boundaries in the past. This would probably make me hesitate to apply, to be honest. But on the bright side, at least they’re being very up front about what and who they are seeking. And because the rest of it sounds so exciting and innovative, I might still apply and just clarify about their expectations and mine during the interview process.

    In terms of not needing an MLIS for this position, I agree that it can be frustrating to see that. However, that is common where I live (in New Mexico). There also aren’t any accredited degree programs in my state, which makes it difficult to find degreed librarians. Perhaps this job was in a small town or somewhere where it can also be difficult to find librarians?

      1. Emily Myer

        @michael yes, perhaps it’s just a matter of the writing style. I know my current supervisor loves a whatever-it-takes work ethic during the work day, but prioritizes her home life when she’s not in the office. Perhaps a statement that reflects that kind of ethic would put applicants’ minds at ease.

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