Library Assistant V

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Job Description


Category: Admin – Libraries

Posted: 12/17/2018

Type: Adjunct/Part-Time

Location: Harvard Library

Job Code: 403072 Library Assistant V

Duties & Responsibilities

Information and Technical Services actively supports the teaching and research mission of the Harvard Library by managing monograph, serial and e-resource acquisitions, metadata creation, and metadata management for the Harvard Library.

As a member of the Monograph Acquisitions & Copy Cataloging Americas & Europe 3 unit within the Acquisitions Section, under the supervision of the Manager for Monograph Acquisitions & Copy Cataloging Americas & Europe 3, the incumbent provides timely access to Harvard Library collections by performing a variety of acquisitions and copy cataloging duties for monographs in multiple languages and formats.

Priorities will be set to maximize contributions to the overall goals of the Information and Technical Services Department of the Harvard Library. Staff may be called upon to apply their skills and/or receive additional training in order to contribute to work in other ITS units or teams as occasional, short-term needs occur.


  • Places orders online and via other systems as appropriate for materials in a variety of languages and formats, following bibliographers’ directives regarding materials and fund assignments.

  • May serve as a liaison with library partners regarding scoping and invoice payment.

  • Processes shipments of new materials by receiving titles, verifying accuracy of vendor invoices and issuing payments in online system, paying careful attention to funding sources as designated by bibliographers.

  • Searches bibliographic and related data in catalogs and online databases for the purpose of ordering, receiving and cataloging material and updating bibliographic information in library systems.

  • Creates, edits and reviews bibliographic, holdings and item records for materials in all formats and multiple languages according to established guidelines.

  • Works on resolution of routine order, receipt, invoice, bibliographic and holdings problems.

  • Places orders for time-sensitive materials and follows up with priority processing, including expedited copy cataloging.

  • Uses PCard for both routine purchases from established vendors and for more complicated orders from unfamiliar sources.

  • Performs routine and more complex copy cataloging, including audio-visual materials, and may serve as primary resource for the team for copy cataloging issues and bringing unresolved questions to the manager.

  • Orders and copy catalogs works-in-parts.

  • May place standing orders and serial orders.

  • May maintain serial bibliographic and holdings records and set up prediction patterns in the library catalog.

  • May run reports for bibliographers and for the unit as needed.

  • Secures public performance rights for classroom viewing and/or library presentation of DVDs at the point of order.

  • Communicates with vendors, publishers, bibliographers and financial personnel; conducts professional correspondence when needed to solve problems or follow up on orders, including invoice payment issues.

  • Maintains the privacy of patron records and protects high risk/confidential information contained in University records.

  • Serves as a source of information on established policies and procedures for library patrons and staff.

  • Works according to changing daily priorities, demonstrates flexibility and the ability to shift between multiple tasks effectively.

  • Suggests innovations and generates ideas for improving workflows and creating efficiencies.

  • Participates in unit-wide planning and implementation of new policies and procedures.

  • May contribute to or oversee special projects, including documentation, training and statistics.

  • May assist in hiring, training, scheduling and distributing work of other staff or student workers.

  • Assists with developing training and procedural documentation for unit.

  • Contributes to overall goals of the department as appropriate.

Basic Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.

  • Previous library or related work experience required, including skills with integrated library system and online bibliographic systems.

  • Familiarity with one or more Western European language is required.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Windows operating system and Windows software required.

  • Demonstrated facility with automated systems, including using online databases, working with spreadsheets and knowledge of file management techniques.

  • Demonstrated experience using technology to perform daily tasks and solve problems.

  • Excellent English language communication skills.

  • Must have excellent organizational written communication and analytical skills.

  • Competency in keyboarding.

  • Previous library or related work experience required.

Additional Qualifications

  • College degree preferred.

  • Background in European classical music strongly preferred.

  • Familiarity with commercial sound recordings (formats, record labels, vendors) strongly preferred

  • Library acquisitions and basic cataloging experience strongly preferred.

  • Facility with library systems such as OCLC Connexion and Alma desirable.

  • Proficiency working in a web-based environment including basic facility with web browsers.

  • Work experience in a production-oriented and technology-enhanced environment preferred.

  • Excellent oral and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Ability to perform repetitive work accurately with fine attention to detail.

  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation.

  • Ability to work independently to perform complex tasks and meet project deadlines.

  • Commitment to be part of a continuous learning environment, updating skills as required to perform job duties.


  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Keyboarding for at least 6 hours a day may be required.

  • Employee must be able to handle books and other library material, including moving and shifting these materials between workstations, shelves, book trucks and boxes.


  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

  • This is an office environment.

  • Employee should be able to handle books and other library material, including moving and shifting these materials between workstations, shelves, book trucks and boxes.

  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Diversity & Inclusion at the Harvard Library

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at  and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function: Library

Sub-Unit: *

Location: USA – MA – Cambridge

Department: Technical Services

Time Status: Part-time

Union: 55 – Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Salary Grade: 052

Pre-Employment Screening: Criminal, Education, Identity

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.

How to Apply

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