There are a variety of professional levels in a library. If you are looking for an entry-level position within a public or academic library, a public services library assistant may be exactly the position you are looking for. Read on for a job description of this position.
Function of the Position
The function of a library public services assistant is to act as a customer service contact point for patrons who wish to access a variety of library services. Public service assistants' primary function is to act as a liaison between librarians and library patrons as well as to assist librarians in the day-to-day operation of a library.
The duties of public library services assistants vary from one library to the next. Some common duties of a public library services assistant are:
Performs circulation duties.
Assists patrons with directional information.
Answer phones and refers patrons to other library services for more detailed information.
Collects fees and fines.
Collects usage statistics.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Skills and Knowledge Needed
This position generally requires past work experience in a library. Knowledge of library database and automation systems is expected, in addition to excellent computer and customer-service skills. Preferred qualifications include: knowledge of interlibrary loan systems and knowledge of Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal classification systems.
Education requirements will vary for this position. Many public libraries will require applicants to have completed high school or obtained their GED. Colleges and universities generally require applicants to have completed at least some college coursework. Occasionally, this position requires a bachelor's degree.
Public library services assistants generally report to a librarian who heads the department they are assigned to. In smaller libraries, the assistant reports to the head librarian. This position is not a management position, and typically has no supervisory responsibilities.
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