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Assistant for Special Collections Reading Room Services, Yenching Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Position type: This is a LHT (less than half time) position that will work 14 hours or less per week.  LHTs are not eligible for benefits, but they are eligible for sick time, and may enroll in the Harvard Tax-Deferred Account (TDA) retirement plan.

Timeframe: This LHT position is approved for up to six months. 

The LHT position to the special collections will assist the Curatorial Assistant of Special Collections to maintain the Rare Books Reading Room Services and the Rare Book Room stacks, as well as daily operations, such as retrieving and reshelving rare books, opening /packing bins of materials delivered from and returned to the Harvard Depository and Image Services, etc. The Assistant also needs to help with the ongoing projects for the Special Collections as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintains Rare Books Reading Room patron services.
  • Retrieves and shelves the rare books and other special collection materials in the Rare Book Room. Rearranges the rare book stacks, including reshelving, stacks reading, etc.
  • Sends/ retrieves books from/to image services.
  • Box replacements.
  • Classes preparation and services.
  • Uses Aeon system and Alma system to manage the retrieval and delivery of the Special Collections kept at the offsite storage.
  • Provides other related duties as assigned.

Physical Demands

  • Ability to occasionally lift and move loads weighing more than 25 pounds.
  • May be required to bend, squat, stretch, and climb small step stools when needed to retrieve books and shelve them.

Work Environment

  • Work is performed in a library setting.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ability to read traditional Chinese characters is preferred.
  • A college degree is required (current college degree candidates are welcome).
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.

Additional Requirements:

  • Advanced knowledge of East Asian history and culture preferred.
  • Previous library experience with Special Collections in an East Asian library setting is preferred.
  • Knowledge of the rare book and the special collection materials preferred.

Full/Part Time

Part Time



Salary Range

$18.00 – $20.00  /  hour

How to Apply

To apply send cover letter and resume to [email protected].