Library Assistant

Location UK / Ulster

Job Type Permanent part-time

Salary See description

Updated 1 week ago

Reference 1434265

 Job Description

Job Purpose: To support the Librarian in the provision of a proactive frontline service for all users. Contribute to the efficient operation of the Library by assisting students, staff and others in the use of a range of library services in a polite, professional and helpful manner.

Main duties

  • Staffing the library’s issue desk; operating the Library Management System (SIERRA), to issue, return, renew items, register users and collect fines, as well as, discovery and catalogue searching, maintenance of records in accordance with procedures
  • Fully participate in the rota allocation, including regular evening and weekend duties
  • Provide proactive assistance to users in the use of library services and facilities, offer guidance and advice on the library collections (digital, online and print)
  • Answer library enquiries from users in person, by telephone and by e-mail and deal with any first line problems as required
  • Oversee library users, enforce library regulations, and operate systems to maintain the security of learning resources within the library
  • Assist users to locate and retrieve information in both hard copy and electronic format
  • Assist with web site editing (checking links) as directed by the Librarian
  • Handle and record accurately the receipt of all monies collected in the day-to-day operation of Library services, handling and recording cash transactions through the till system, LMS system, till reconciliation and cashing up
  • Maintain the order and organisation of Library resources, filing, labelling and minor repair, re-shelving items returned from loan, tidying and editing stock
  • Ensure that administrative and clerical routines are carried out accurately and efficiently. These routines include photocopying, preparing resources for user access, assisting with the processing of new materials for addition to stock, processing library cards, stock inventory, recording the door count, collating usage statistics, weeding, shelving, tidying of books and periodicals, word processing and undertaking any other related activity
  • Carry out routine procedures associated with the administration of the Library service, opening and closing the library
  • Advise readers on available services and ensure that readers are directed to appropriate library staff when queries cannot be dealt with
  • Digitise materials for delivery to classes, work on library projects, as assigned
  • Provide a warm welcome to all users, to create a positive first impression, to be an ambassador for St Mary’s and maintain a professional approach at all times
  • Ensure equipment in the library is in working order and report faults as necessary
  • To be supportive and a good team player, be actively participating in team proceedings, effectively communicating with colleagues and users
  • Assist in a range of administrative and library tasks when not on the issue desk, ensuring that all documentation and authorisation procedures are adhered to
  • Assist in the promotion and display of learning resources and services
  • Participate in appropriate staff development programmes
  • Ensure that information is stored securely in all areas in line with the College Data Protection Policy/GDPR etc.
  • Abide by all College procedures and ensure these are implemented in area of responsibility
  • Comply with staff responsibilities under the College Health and Safety Policy
  • Comply with the College Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Undertake other duties relevant and appropriate to the post, as assigned by the Librarian and in line with the needs of St Mary’s University College

The above list is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such other duties as may reasonably be expected. The College reserves the right to review this job description and make reasonable changes as necessary following consideration with the post holder. All members of staff are required to be co-operative and flexible in line with the needs of the post.


Salary – Gross hourly rate will range from £9.75 – £11.14 based on a grade 3 full time equivalent salary of £17,751 – £20,275 gross per annum


Hours  – This is a term time position (35 weeks) with variable hours which are outlined in schedules 1 and 2 for 2019-20. (Refer to applicant information pack).  There will be no requirement to work June, July and August.  These schedules may be subject to change. 

Tenure  – This is a permanent post

Holidays  -20 days per annum pro-rata set Bank Holidays and days when the College is closed.  Holidays can only be taken by agreement with the Librarian and outside of term-time.

Probation  – The appointment is subject to the satisfactory completion of a probationary period of 6 months. 


Personnel Specification

Essential Criteria

To be eligible for an interview, applicants must have


  1. Five GCSE passes at grade C or above including Maths and English Language or equivalent academic qualifications.
  2. At least six months’ experience in a library working environment or similar environment relevant to the role to include experience of using a computerised management information system and work at a front of house service point. 
  3. Experience in the use of Microsoft Outlook and Office applications.
  4. An ability to prioritise and to work quickly and accurately under pressure.


All library positions require some element of manual work for example, shelving, shelf tidying, weeding, stock inventory.

 Desirable Criteria

The Selection Panel may apply one or all of the Desirable Criteria at the shortlisting and/ or interviewing stage:

  1. More than six months’ experience of working in a library to include experience of using a computerised library management information system and work at a front of house service point. 
  1. Can demonstrate a working knowledge of a classification system, preferably a library classification system.

  2. Have experience of working in an academic library.

  3. Two A’ Levels


Candidates must provide evidence in an application form and at interview of how they meet the following competences:-


1.            Knowledge and Experience

Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and ability gained through previous work experience to enable him/her to work on a library issue desk unaided and without direct or continuous reference to others.  Be capable of working quickly and accurately during busy periods in a library environment. 


2.         Work Environment

 Work is undertaken in an environment that is relatively stable. The post holder will work alone at the issue desk and unsupervised and must comply with health and safety policies including procedures for the reporting of accidents and for working alone at the issue desk.

3.        Communication

 Provide explanations of policy or process to colleagues and users in a clear, polite and helpful way.  Understand the essentials of a query to direct the user to the appropriate information.

Convey straightforward information in writing in a helpful and polite way.  Understand the range of services provided and be capable of politely sign posting users to the appropriate library personnel if unable to deal directly with the user.


4. Customer Service

 The post holder will create a positive image of the library at all times by being responsive and prompt in responding to requests.  The role holder must be capable of providing accurate and timely help and assistance to students, staff and visitors in accordance with St Mary’s policy and procedures; correctly referring customers elsewhere when unable to help.


5. Teamwork

The post holder is required to make a positive contribution in the role of Library Assistant by being a cooperative member of the team.