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Library Assistant (2), Jones Library Youth Services, Amherst, MA

The Jones Library Youth Services Department is hiring 2 part time positions to join our team of 4 full-
time and 4 part-time colleagues. Position 1 – 13.5 hrs./wk. (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), Position 2 – 18.5
hrs./wk. (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday). Our library is located in the heart of Downtown Amherst, and the Kids’ Room offers the feeling of a living room for community to gather. We serve patrons from ages 0-17 and work closely with many other departments at the Jones Library and branches. The Youth Services Department enjoys partnering with other local community organizations, include our school district and Amherst Recreation department. We are looking for staff who are reliable, interested in learning, and enjoy balancing thoughtful work with playfulness. Saturdays are typically our busiest day in the kids’ room! Saturdays are a great time for readers advisory and there’s a distinct community that uses our room on the weekends. Saturdays are a great time to get to know families, get to know our collection, and assist with special events and programs. Sundays are also busy in the kids’ room—the time flies by, but still sees lots of regular patrons, great readers advisory and reference questions. The Head of Youth Services currently supervises the Sunday shift. This is an excellent opportunity for hands-on learning in the Kids’ Room. The Jones Library Youth Services Department is an energetic, creative, warm place to learn all about youth services and every aspect of library work, from collection development to programming and customer service. We look forward to welcoming your unique talents and perspective to our department.

Job Summary:
Performs a variety of clerical tasks. Provides customer service to the public and patrons including
assisting with accessing Library resources. Performs all related work as required.

Supervision Received:
Works under the direction of supervisor following established department rules, regulations, policies and
procedures and refers unusual problems or policy decision to supervision.

Supervision Exercised:
Assists in training and supervision of students and volunteers.

Major Duties:

  • Provides customer services informing patrons on use of the library and its services. Provides basic
    information and directions.
  • Circulates, reserves, renews, and discharges library materials on library systems. Reviews lending dates
    and cataloguing numbers for accuracy. Reviews patron’s accounts for unpaid bills or fines. Collects
    payments and determines other appropriate action.
  • Assists with all aspects of programming for children ages 0-10 and teens ages 11-17, including craft
    programs, story times, book clubs, weekly teen programs, and special events and performances. Assists
    with preparation and presentation of annual Summer Reading Program. May be asked to assist during
    school visits and community outreach events.
  • Explains forms and policies for reserving materials; and to complete interlibrary loans.
  • Searches database or library shelves for requested and reserved materials for teachers, class projects,
    individuals and other libraries. Notifies patrons of arrival of library materials. Refers special cases to
  • Answers telephone, provides routine information, and/or re-directs callers. Retrieves, when requested by
    patrons, materials from shelves. Refers questions on special services to appropriate staff members.
  • Instructs patrons on use of computer catalog, periodical lists and indices.
  • Provides directions to patrons on locations of various collections. Advises patrons on reading materials
    or refers questions to supervisor or Reference Desks Librarians.
  • Organizes returned materials and places on shelves. Prepares some materials for statewide delivery.
  • Registers new borrowers by reviewing applications for accuracy and completeness. Receive patron’s
    identification cards and enters new and updated data into databases.
  • Sorts returned materials by classification and by library.
  • Assists in preparation of book displays, exhibits, and posters.
  • Completes special projects; acts as substitute for other department’s staff.
  • Performs similar or related work as required, directed, or as the situation dictates.

Minimum Qualifications:

High School Degree or equivalent plus two years of experience as library assistant or any equivalent
combination of related education and experience is required. Knowledge of basic computer skills.
Demonstrated general interest or knowledge of literature is preferred. Knowledge of computer operations. Knowledge of or interest in children’s literature. Knowledge of basic math and counting of currency to accurately handle cash transactions. Knowledge to perform data entry. Knowledge of books and activities to assist in summer reading programs. Knowledge of general office procedures and practices. Knowledge of customer service techniques. Knowledge or familiarity of library sequencing methods to implement library sequencing protocols. Communicate effectively and efficiently verbally and in writing. Ability to communicate in a second language is helpful. Ability to be understood. Ability to communicate respectfully with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Competent in computer operations, library systems, and software such as MS Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Ability to operate library and office equipment, including the computer, and telephone. Ability to organize. Ability to shelve library materials using cart or other wheeled equipment. Ability to accurately work with details. Ability to effectively deliver customer service to the general public, and patrons in a friendly and courteous manner. Ability to handle stressful situations. Ability to follow written and verbal and procedures. Ability to determine which situations to refer to librarians or supervision. Ability to maintain confidentiality. Skill. Effective communicator. Skill to effectively operate computer and software systems. Skill to read,understand, and apply library policy and procedures including for re-shelving, receiving new books, renewing and discharging library materials. Competent in library computers systems and electronic software. Skill to handle cash transactions. Skill to effectively operate telephone, printer, laser scanner, copier, fax machine, and calculator and other office equipment. Skill to effectively perform clerical tasks. Skill, ability, and stamina to push heavy book carts.
Physical Requirements:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to
successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to
enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this
job, the employee is frequently required to stand or sit, talk and hear for extended periods; is frequently required to walk; uses hands to push, pull, to climb, to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls;
reaches with hands and arms, bends and stoops; specific vision abilities required include close and
medium distance vision, peripheral vision and depth perception and the ability to adjust focus; ability to
operate a telephone, keyboard and library equipment; occasionally lifts and/or move up to 25 pounds. Regularly pushes heavy book carts.
Work Environment:
*Work is generally performed in library conditions, requiring occasional exposure to common germs,
paper, book dust, and occasionally mold; noise levels are moderate to loud.
*Operates computers, telephone, copiers, facsimile machines, and other standard office and library
*Makes regular contacts with general public, patrons, librarians, supervision and peer, most contacts
involve an information exchange, instruction, and communications about library polices. Errors in
judgement and administration could result in minimal adverse effect on delivery of Library services.
Selection Guidelines:
Formal application; rating of education and experience; oral interview and reference check; job related
tests may be required. The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of
work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from
the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.