Library Services Assistant

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Job Description

The Library Services Assistant executes tasks in the areas of circulation, reference, cataloguing, and student library assistant supervision, training, and scheduling. Related tasks and other work as required include, but are not limited to, shelving and stacks maintenance, technical support, course reserves, orchestral librarianship duties, and book repair and binding.

The Library Services Assistant assists the Library Services Manager with the day-to-day operations of the library. S/he plays an essential part in service delivery to patrons, executing both the policies and procedures of the library and the management decisions of the Library Services Manager. S/he also ensures that student library assistants are performing their duties according to library procedures and guidelines.

The Library Services Assistant’s objectives are (1) to ensure that patron need is being met adequately; (2) to ensure that the library is operating according to library best practices and is running smoothly and efficiently; (3) to bring all issues, concerns, and urgencies to the attention of the Library Services Manager immediately; and (4) to supervise student library assistants.


Library Circulation:

  • Ensures loan policies and library guidelines are followed by patrons

  • Collects fines and other fees

  • Manages the overdue and fines notification process

  • Manages course reserve requests for RCM faculty

  • Manages interlibrary loans from the University of Toronto


Impact: Failure to keep pace with the volume of incoming items results in a severe backlog of resources temporarily inaccessible to patrons. Failure to communicate overdue accounts to the RCM and patrons results in lost revenue and potential lost resources. Failure to keep pace with patron needs results in a diminished user experience, patron dissatisfaction, and poor relations with the RCM. Responsibility falls on the Library Services Assistant and the student library assistants.

Cataloguing and Processing:

  • Processes and finishes items for shelf-readiness and circulation according to established professional library standards (LCSH, LCC, AACR2r, MARC21, etc.)

  • Manages the collection: shelves material and ensures that shelves are orderly

  • Performs basic binding and repairs of library materials; prepares and sends material to bindery; processes material returned from bindery

  • Responsible for reducing overall library backlog of material, including donated items, acquisitions, and other unprocessed material

  • Replaces and creates preservation copies of defaced or fragile material


Impact: Failure to adequately process and catalogue items in a timely manner results in a larger backlog of items, and renders resources invisible and non-searchable in the catalogue, the latter leading to a diminished user experience and a failure in service delivery. Responsibility falls on the Library Services Assistant.

Staff Supervision:

  • Schedules all student library assistant shifts in accordance with GGS work-study guidelines and library need

  • Trains and supervises student library assistants, volunteers, and any other part-time or temporary staff with approval of the Library Services Manager

  • Ensures that work is performed accurately and according to established policies, procedures, and standards.

  • Participates in student library assistant selection process; disciplines student assistants

  • Oversees those projects involving student participation are proceeding apace


Impact: Failure to adequately schedule student assistants throughout the academic year results in a reduction of patron service, increased backlog, a failure to offer students a learning opportunity and an income, and a failure to meet the work-study guidelines of the Glenn Gould School. Additionally, a lack of clear directions and duties results in a poor learning environment and an unfulfilling workplace. Responsibility falls on the Library Services Assistant to ensure the proper scheduling of students and a proper work-study experience.

Reference Services:

  • Answers simple and complex reference questions, assists patrons with locating resources, as well as improving their understanding of library organization

  • Provides basic training in the use of electronic products and reference materials

  • Ensures that patron records are accurate and current, and that the appropriate RCM staff are informed of delinquent accounts, in accordance with established policies


Impact: Failure to deliver professional reference services results in a poor patron experience and the library staff may be perceived as incompetent. Responsibility to ensure professional service falls on the Library Services Manager and Library Services Assistant, and, when applicable, Student Library Assistants.


  • Manages and records most library transactions, including fines, book sale revenue, printing and photocopying fees, and recordings fees

  • Responsible for ensuring a balanced cash float and for depositing all revenue to the Accounting department


Impact: Failure of maintaining proper financial records results in clerical inaccuracies and unbalanced accounts. Responsibility of maintaining detailed records of account at the library falls on the Library Services Manager and the Library Services Assistant.

Orchestral Librarianship Assistance:

  • Assists with the circulation (preparation, distribution, and processing) of orchestra music for the RCM’s performing ensembles, which may include binding, bowing, cataloguing, and photocopying.

  • Assists with the processing of rented music sets for return shipment to the music publisher

  • Works with RCM ensemble managers when necessary to coordinate efforts


Impact: Failure to assist the Library Services Manager with orchestra music preparation results in delays and could negatively affect the library’s relationship with other RCM departments and individuals. It may also have a negative impact on rehearsal times and patron experience with the library. Responsibility to ensure that orchestra music is prepared and distributed correctly falls on the Library Services Manager and the Library Services Assistant.

Space Management:

  • Prepares signage and training documents for both library patrons and staff

  • Participates in promotional activities to stimulate library resource usage

  • Manages and executes the annual Rupert Edwards Library book sale event

  • Ensures that library space remains orderly and accessible


Impact: Failure to maintain a welcoming, clean, functional, and well-ordered library space may increase barriers to resource access. It may also dissuade patrons from using the library and prevent them from seeing the library and its staff as a professional.


Minimal Education:

Library Qualification:

  • Preferred: Recognized Library Technician’s Diploma from an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada or the United States; or

  • Acceptable, but less preferable: Master of Library and Information Sciences from an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada or the United States

Music Qualification:

  • Formal education in Western Art music from an accredited post-secondary institution, such as a Bachelor of Music or similar; and/or,

  • Knowledge of Western Art music from experience, such as substantial participation in a community orchestra or similar, prolonged music conservatory training, or other notable professional acumens

Skills and Experience:


  • Able to read music fluently

  • Solid foundation in the history of Western Art music and the role of music conservatories, obtained through performance and/or academic work

  • Strong understanding of the professional music and publishing industries

  • 1 – 3 years’ experience as a library technician or library assistant, preferably working in a music, academic, or arts-related library

  • Experience and knowledge of standard library cataloguing practice as applied to music material (AACR2r, LCC (M-class), LCSH, MARC21)

  • The candidate will have demonstrated experience in using integrated library systems, e-mail, Microsoft Office suite, and electronic music resources such as Oxford Music Online and similar database products

  • Orchestra music skills, such as the application of musical dynamics, articulations, and bowings to ensemble parts

Assets, but not required:

  • Experience supervising young adults and/or staff

  • Knowledge of basic book binding, saddle stitching, etc.

  • Reading knowledge of European languages, such as French, German, Hungarian, Italian, or Russian


  • Must be capable of multi-tasking, taking initiative, and be a sound decision-maker, especially when working alone

  • Must be organized, responsible, patient, able to work under pressure, take minimal direction, work under strict deadlines, and resolve conflicts appropriately

  • Must be willing to learn new technologies, techniques, and skills, and to engage in professional development activities when opportune.

Working conditions:

  • Work week is Tuesday to Saturday

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 15 – 30 lbs.

  • Must be able to work around dust

Direct reports:

  • None

How to Apply

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