Assistant Librarian

Department: Library

Contract type: Permanent

Reports to: Academy Librarian


The Royal Irish Academy is seeking applications for the position of Assistant Librarian.

The Royal Irish Academy is a predominantly publicly funded institution established for the promotion of learning in the sciences and humanities across the island of Ireland. The Academy’s strategic plan for 2019–23 is available here: The Library is at the heart of the Academy and supports many of its core activities. The Library is integrated within the Academy’s mission and objectives, increasing the reach of library holdings via digitisation, exhibitions, focused web engagement, conferences and lecture series.

Reporting to the Academy Librarian, the Assistant Librarian is responsible for cataloguing and collection management, whilst providing an excellent service to library users and growing new audiences through outreach and engagement. The Royal Irish Academy values diversity and strives for a culture of equality and inclusion in all its activities, and is committed to ensuring greater gender, disciplinary, institutional and overall diversity in its membership.

Purpose of role

This role supports the Librarian and Deputy Librarian in the development and delivery of a high-quality reference service to library users. The successful candidate will also be responsible for the growth of audiences through outreach and engagement, and for cataloguing collections using a range of international standards.

Key accountabilities

Reader services and outreach

  • Provide a reading room service and high-quality reference services to all users

  • Lead on community engagement by coordinating and delivering exhibitions, events and classes in person and/or online, and developing audiences both inside and outside the Academy

  • Support the Librarian and Deputy Librarian in the implementation of library policies and procedures

  • Manage online enquiries, inter-library loan requests and the administration of the ALCID scheme

  • Maintain and update the library’s web pages, manage the library blog and social media accounts, create and contribute content to newsletters and other print/online publications

  • Coordinate promotional, outreach and advocacy activities e.g. Heritage Week, Culture Night, Library Ireland Week, Explore Your Archives Week, Dublin Festival of History

  • Maintain statistics, and produce and analyse reports

  • Represent the library and contribute to relevant committees/meetings as appropriate


  • Catalogue and classify new acquisitions, including rare and early printed items as well as monographs and pamphlets of research interest, using international standards

  • Develop and manage cataloguing projects in order to provide physical and digital access to library holdings, and participate in retrospective cataloguing and re-classification projects

  • Contribute to the rationalisation and review of storage arrangements and rehousing of library materials

  • Participate in the ongoing implementation of library systems for cataloguing, collection management and discoverability, and liaise with suppliers and third-party vendors as appropriate

  • Provide guidance on policy and practice in relation to the cataloguing and classification of library collections, develop and implement metadata standards to describe and enable access to a variety of format types, including digital

  • Identify material for conservation, preservation and digitisation in consultation with other library staff

  • Contribute to collection development and maintenance, participate in stocktaking, cleaning and collection care, and participate in emergency response planning and training

  • Evaluate potential donations for inclusion in the library collection, in consultation with appropriate staff

  • Undertake any other duties deemed appropriate by the line manager within the scope of the role


Essential criteria

  • A qualification of at least an Honours degree (level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications)

  • A post-graduate qualification in librarianship or information studies or equivalent area (level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications)

  • At least three years’ experience working in a research or academic library

  • Good understanding of developing audiences for heritage collections, operation of exhibition facilities or similar, and public engagement activities

  • Significant experience of collection management including the creation, maintenance and enrichment of metadata representing physical and virtual collections

  • A knowledge and understanding of descriptive bibliography and the history of the book, preservation, storage and handling of special collections material

  • Excellent planning, reporting, writing and presentation skills

  • Self-motivated with the ability to prioritise a varied workload and meet deadlines

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

  • Excellent attention to detail

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of working in a special collections environment
  • Demonstrable experience of exhibition curation and display
  • Knowledge of the digital library environment as well as copyright and other applicable standards
  • Awareness of current developments in the library sector

Further Information

Salary: Salary is on the Assistant Librarian Scale (€37,908 to €55,008). Candidates should note that entry will be at the minimum of the scale and the rate of remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with government pay policy. Candidates should note that different pay and conditions may apply if, immediately prior to appointment, the appointee is a serving civil or public servant.

Hours of Work: The normal hours of work are 35 hours per week.

Overtime is not paid in respect of excess attendance which, should it arise, is discharged by time off in lieu at times agreed in advance with the Academy Librarian.

This role is not suitable for hybrid working.

Leave: The annual leave entitlement is 25 days per annum, pro-rata for shorter periods. Entitlement to leave for public holidays is in accordance with the terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. There is a requirement to take up to four days annual leave where the Academy is closed at Easter and Christmas.

Medical: Staff shall, if required, and at the expense of the Academy, submit to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the Academy and shall authorise such medical practitioner to disclose and to discuss with the Academy the results of the examination and the matters which arise from it so that the Academy can ascertain any matters that they consider might impair a staff member from properly discharging his/her duties.

Pension: Details of the appropriate pension scheme will be provided upon determination of appointee’s status.

Permanent Pension contribution: This appointment is subject to the Additional Superannuation Contribution (ASC) effective from 1 January 2019.

Application Process

Completed applications must be submitted electronically to and consist of:

  • A brief cover letter demonstrating how you meet the qualifications and experience for the position (max. two pages)
  • A curriculum vitae summarising your qualifications and relevant experience

Documents must be submitted in Word or PDF, and submissions that combine letter and CV into a single file are preferred.

Applicants will be shortlisted based on information provided in their application.

Please note: failure to fulfil the application requisites will deem the application invalid.

Closing date: 27 July 2023 at 12:00pm. Late applications will not be considered.

It is anticipated that interviews will be held week commencing 31 July 2023.

The Royal Irish Academy is an equal opportunities employer

The Royal Irish Academy is an equal opportunities employer

Royal Irish Academy

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