Employment Opportunities | Mechanics' Institute

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Employment Opportunities

About the Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics' Institute, a 501(c)(3), was founded in 1854 and is one of San Francisco's enduring arts and culture institutions. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a "vibrant cultural oasis," the Mechanics' Institute is a literary and cultural hub for the Bay Area. The Mechanics' Institute has nearly 5,000 members, serving individuals and families throughout the Bay Area, offering a magnificent library, the oldest chess club in the United States, and a full calendar of events.

Current Openings:

Desktop Support Specialist II | Chess Instructor


Desktop Support Specialist II



The Desktop Support Specialist II is responsible for providing customer service, technical assistance, system maintenance, and general support related to computer systems, hardware and software, and peripherals. The End User Support Specialist II will maintain service throughout the Institute by monitoring help-desk requests, providing hands-on assistance and desktop support, and assisting with systems related needs. Reporting to the Operations Director, the Specialist collaborates with a small group that works in providing excellence in operations and end user experience.



  • Supports use of Windows-based desktop environment and associated networked equipment in-house, on public workstations, and to those in remote offices.
  • Provides technical support and training to staff and members who use Institute systems for their day-to-day activities.
  • Responsible for the maintenance, configuring, installation, and deployment of desktop and portable workstation infrastructure, hardware, and software.
  • Provides helpdesk and communications support. Maintains a high level of customer service with members and staff. Responds to inquiries via phone, email, and in person.
  • Troubleshoots and resolves hardware and software related issues, hard disk failures, data recovery, security updates, and other technology related services. Works with IT staff and vendors when escalating.
  • Coordinates with IT staff in managing central services, accounts, and permissions (e.g. Active Directory, Windows network, G Suite, Microsoft Azure, etc.).
  • Administers local and cloud servers used for file sharing. Performs routine back up of essential systems.
  • Assists with Institute programming in-house and online, including audio/visual equipment, streaming services, and special events.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the library director. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Strong working knowledge of installing, configuring, and troubleshooting computer systems and applications.
  • Experience working with different operating systems including Windows and Mac OS.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Active Directory and group policy.
  • Preferred experience with library management software, computer reservation systems, and print release software.
  • Excellent customer service skills – ability to communicate with staff, guests, and members in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines. High attention to detail.
  • Strong organizational, problem solving, and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Keeps current with developing technology, best practices, and emerging trends.



  • Bachelor’s degree or five (5) years desktop support work experience
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to perform effectively within a fast-paced working environment.
  • Must be highly organized and detail oriented.
  • Proficient in standard business software, including Outlook, Excel, Word, Google



  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and a 403b plan. Membership to Mechanics’ Institute is also provided.



To be considered for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Desktop Support II” in the subject line. Please include your salary requirements (a range is fine). No phone calls please.


Chess Instructor



Reporting to the General Manager of Youth Outreach and Events, the Chess Instructor will provide regular instruction in our adult and/or scholastic chess programs. Scholastic chess includes classes held at Mechanics’ Institute, on school campuses during or after school hours, online classes, seasonal camps, and weekend classes. Qualified candidates should have a foundational knowledge of chess and be familiar or be willing to be trained in chess instructional techniques. The Chess Instructor will be part of the Mechanics’ Institute team, working on building a culture of unity and quality that reflects outward to the community.



  • Plan, prepare, and deliver dynamic lessons for students of varying levels of experience.
  • Successfully manages a classroom including reporting accurate roll and absences, setting learning expectations, adhering to school rules and regulations, and reporting any classroom challenges.
  • Promotion of chess tournaments, classes, camps, and other MI Chess Club events to scholastic participants.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with school administrators and parents when needed.
  • Attend professional development and staff meetings when scheduled and as needed.



  • Basic knowledge of chess principals (pieces, checkmate, basic pins/ forks/ tactics/ strategies).
  • Prior experience working with children, with preference to specific experience in teaching or assisting with scholastic chess.
  • Familiarity with classroom management strategies.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer proficient with experience with MS Office.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel from one class location to another and lift up to 20lbs.
  • Preferred Experience: Experience in teaching chess or similar enrichment classes and bachelor’s or higher degree in education or similar area of study. 


Compensation and Benefits

  • Compensation based on experience and background.
  • Designation as head or assistant instructor may be made based on experience.
  • This is a part-time, hourly position. Compensation is based on available and assigned classes, and instructors are paid only for classes taught.
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute.


To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Chess Instructor” in the subject line.
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.


Mechanics' Institute promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse backgrounds. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex (including the actual gender or perception of sex identity, appearance or behavior), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics legally protected by federal, state, or local laws and regulations.