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Senior Library Assistant, Portland Public Library Burbank Branch, Portland, ME

Job Overview

Portland Public Library (PPL) is currently seeking a Senior Library Assistant of the Burbank Branch, as a member of the Burbank Brank, which extends the delivery of public library services in the Portland neighborhoods. Reporting to the Burbank Branch Manager, this position is responsible for processing a variety of computer assisted circulation transactions, responding to patron reader’s advisory and reference inquiries, answering a variety of public computing questions, and assisting with programming activities.

The Branch Senior Library Assistant works with a wide variety of the public and facilitates a variety of patron account matters. They must be able to interact effectively and manage sometimes difficult situations. This work is performed in a fast-paced environment and requires an exceptional level of customer service.

This is a union-represented, part-time, 20 hours per week onsite position, normally scheduled to work Tuesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays, after training. The tentative starting date for a new hire is Sept. 20, 2023.

Nature and Scope

This position:

  1. Issues new borrowers’ cards, verifying identification and address, checking for previously issued cards,
  2. collecting fees from non-district borrowers, and orienting patrons to Library policies and services.
  3. Updates the patron database by accurately entering patron information and attends to all patron
    account matters with great accuracy, care, neutrality, and attention to detail, always safeguarding the
    privacy of patrons’ borrowing histories and other sensitive information.
  4. Receives, interprets, and answers inquiries from library patrons made in person, by telephone, and
    email, from a diverse cross-section of the public, both adults and children.
  5. Checks materials out and in at the Branch Lending desk; collects payments for lost materials; makes note of the condition of materials leaving the Library, and checks returned print and audiovisual material for damage or missing parts; processes special requests such as renewing materials, placing reserves, and answering patrons’ queries about locations of books, standing on hold queues, and status of accounts/materials.
  6. Identifies and refers materials needing repair to the proper department, initiates shelf checks to resolve patron problems, processes deliveries from other Library locations, and sorts returned items by location to be staged and reshelved. The incumbent performs shelving duties as needed.
  7. Performs certain other tasks associated with the Branch such as requesting the assistance of other
    Branch staff or City first responders when needed; receiving donations of materials; and posting public service announcements.
  8. Actively engages the public as the initial point of information in the Library, demonstrating use of library catalogs, the PPL website, and related technology and systems.
  9. Create on-the-fly records in the database for non-catalogued materials as they are circulated so that
    they will be counted in the monthly Branch statistics.
  10. Assists patrons in the use of Libki computer and print management system by helping them use the sign-in system. The incumbent also assists patrons with basic computer use, as well as use of the Branch printer/photocopier; issues computer guest passes.
  11. The Branch Senior Library Assistant collects and records miscellaneous statistical data as requested for the management of the Branch, and other duties as assigned.
  12. Exercises independent judgment with every library patron and selects appropriate sources to assist the patron in answering the inquiry. Has a broad knowledge of children’s, teen, and adult services, the Library circulation system, databases, and Web resources, and the ability to connect patrons to the materials they desire (books, magazines, movies, video games, and more).
  13. May organize, prepare, and produce a wide variety of programming for infants, children, teens, and
    adults and may create and run their own programs based on special interests, as approved by Branch Manager; may also assist with classroom visits, school visits to the Branch, and development and maintenance of displays.
  14. May oversee the opening/closing and daily operation of Branch, and may be Branch Person in Charge, depending on seniority, in the absence of the Branch Manager and the Assistant Branch Manager.
  15. Assist the Branch Manager or Assistant Branch Manager with projects related to collections
    management, including assessing materials for condition and circulation statistics.
  16. Manages a complex variety of services and processes, in collaboration with the entire Branch team. Each team member must be responsible to and rely upon the entire team to ensure that the service to patrons is efficient and effective, and the environment of the Branch is collegial. This includes solid communication in patron records, logs, and in person.
  17. Participates in maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for fellow staff and library users. This
    position must use careful judgment to discern patron needs and resolve matters in the most mutually successful way.

Basic Qualifications

At the entry level, this position requires a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university or any equivalent combination of experience, training, and education, which provide the following:

  • Knowledge of reader interests, books, authors, and interest in promoting reading.
  • Ability to accept direction, from “system” format and from Branch Manager, as requested.
  • Ability to work independently, and to organize and follow through on multiple assignments.
  • Ability to collaborate and work well with other members of library staff and administration.
  • Strong service orientation and demeanor appropriate to provide a high level of service to a diverse
    public; Excellent customer service skills.
  • Ability to remain calm and pleasant under pressure while maintaining attention to detail in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written format.
  • Knowledge of and proficiency with popular operating systems and their software, particularly Microsoft Office; web browsers and search engines; and email programs. Additional Attributes:
  • An active interest in one or more of the visual, written and/or performing arts is preferred.
  • Fluency or proficiency in a language other than English.
  • Experience working with English Language Learners.
  • Prior library experience a plus.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

  • This position is performed in a busy and diverse public library environment
  • Branch hours vary and this position may include evening and weekend hours.
  • This work is fast-paced and may be demanding during peak hours of operation.
  • The incumbent works at a public service point throughout the workday. This position requires use of a computer, regular movement throughout the library, with standing, sitting, & lifting.

Compensation & Benefits

Hours & Pay: This is a union-represented, part-time, 20 hours per week onsite position, normally scheduled to work Tuesdays 10am-6pm, Fridays 9am-4pm, & Saturdays 10am-4pm. The tentative starting date for a new hire is Sept. 20, 2023. Pay begins at $18.38/hr.

Benefits & Other Details: Excellent benefits package includes health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement options (in lieu of Social Security), and paid leave.

How to Apply

To apply, please send your resume, letter of interest, and three professional references via email at
[email protected].
Mailed applications may be sent to: Human Resources, Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101.
Initial consideration will begin August 21, 2023. This position will remain open until filled.