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Job Details

Library Assistant II

Company name
Johns Hopkins University.


Washington, DC

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Classified title: Library Assistant II

Working title (if applicable): Tech Services Assistant

Role/Level/Range: ATO/02/OD

Starting Salary Range ($s): $45000

Employee group (Full time/Part-time/Limited/Casual): Full Time

Schedule (hours/days): 35 M-F

Employee subgroup (FLSA Status): Salaried Non-exempt

Department name: Library

Personnel area (School): JHU SAIS                                                                                                                                                          

Position Purpose

Tracks billing for SAIS and Hopkins-Nanjing Center libraries.  Maintains and updates the Library's periodical collection, including binding.  Places book and reserve material orders.  Handles all in-coming and out-going library mail.  Processes course syllabi and reserve material.  Assist users at the Circulation/Reserve Desk, including opening the Library, working one evening a week or on an alternate weekend day as needed.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

As a member of the Library's Technical Services Department, ensures that the following tasks are completed in a timely manner:

Tracks billing for SAIS and Hopkins-Nanjing Center libraries

Receives, sorts, and maintains system records the Library serial subscriptions; verifies the receipt of material; claims missing issues; coordinates binding

Handles all serials binding, including maintaining records

Coordinates with the Cataloger to ensure that the online catalog accurately reflects holdings

Maintains and updates the Library's periodical and newspaper collection

Orders new subscriptions

Packages and receives all in-coming and out-going mail, including interlibrary loan materials

Assists with collection maintenance in the Library stacks

Works on print and electronic reserves, including processing of course syllabi, purchasing books and other materials, scanning and posting digital documents, and assisting in quality control processes.

Opens the Library weekday mornings, as needed. 

Assists users at the Circulation/Reserve Desk, including check-in/out/renewal of materials, reshelving reserve material, trouble-shooting user problems, and referring users to other staff members as appropriate.

Works at Circulation/Reserve Desk one evening a week and on alternate weekends, as needed during the fall and spring semesters. Keeps the Circulation Supervisor informed of any problems or concerns.

Assists users with mechanical equipment (printers/scanners/copiers, vend card reader machines, etc.).

Computer & Other Special Needs for Position

Familiarity with Windows, Microsoft Office Suite (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and good computer keyboard skills.

Knowledge of and experience using computer applications as they apply to automated library management systems.

Degree of Independent Action Performed

Duties are varied in nature, requiring the solving of both commonly encountered and unusual problems.  The position operates independently, guided by established policies and procedures, consulting with the Library Director, Cataloger/Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Research and Instruction Librarian, and Circulation Supervisor as needed.   

At the Circulation/Reserve Desk, independent judgment is required particularly in determining if and when an exception to a rule is a more appropriate response to a problem and understanding what the repercussions of that response will be.  On evenings and Saturdays prioritizing work to be delegated to student employees and handling problems as they arise (e.g. performance of a student employees, dealing with disgruntled users, etc.).  Also, knowledge of when a question should be directed to a professional librarian and ways of doing that diplomatically. 

Recommendations are given (and expected) in all areas of job, for example: recommendations on ways to improve service in any of the public service areas (circulation, reserves).  In general, most of the tasks associated with this position involve very broad delegation from a supervisor and all further work to achieve completion requires independent skills/motivation.

Internal & External Contacts


Daily contact with other Library staff members - to exchange and/or request information, resolve problems, and collaborate on projects.

Daily contact with faculty, students, and staff of SAIS and its related organizations - to provide assistance and answer questions regarding the library's collection, spaces, and policies.

Daily contact with Library student employees - to provide instruction and leadership on projects and answer questions as they arise.


Weekly contact with publishers and subscription agents to place orders or pay/resolve problems with invoices or delivery. 

Occasional contact with equipment service personnel and office supply vendors - to report problems and check on the status of orders, invoices, etc.

Occasional contact with alumni, outside users, area libraries and research centers, prospective students, and library staff at other JHU libraries - to provide assistance and answer questions regarding the library's collection, spaces, and policies.

Position Requirements

Skills & Knowledge

Computer experience:  knowledge of Microsoft Office products. Knowledge of and experience using library management software applications particularly with regard to cataloging, circulation, and reserves. Good keyboard skills.

Familiarity with integrated library systems, and excellent working knowledge of and skill in searching library bibliographic and full-text databases.

Excellent interpersonal skills. Must be able to deal with people in a courteous, patient, and professional manner, and interact effectively with individuals from diverse cultures. 

Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Demonstrated ability to organize work, pay attention to detail, perform multiple tasks and projects concurrently, and meet deadlines.

Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively as a team member in a small unit and willingness to help out as needed.

Demonstrated ability and willingness to learn new skills, concepts, and tools quickly.

Demonstrated commitment to providing high quality service, including skill in working in a user-oriented public service environment.

Ability to work independently and use appropriate judgment that reflects positively on the Library and the School.

Proven ability to identify, intercede in, and resolve problems.

Flexibility to meet the changing demands of library services.

Ability to move about on foot, operate a keyboard, perform some heavy lifting, and reach all levels of shelves. 



Library experience, preferably in an academic library


B.A. degree, preferably in the Social Sciences

Additional Requirements

The Sydney R. and Elsa W. Mason Library supports the mission of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University by providing information resources and services to the SAIS community. A full time staff of 11 serves over 800 graduate students, 150 faculty (both full-time and adjunct), and 125 staff and visiting researchers, with a significant international population.

The Library's relatively small staff size dictates that the division of labor be more fluid than larger libraries. Staff members must understand the functions of many, if not all of the Library's departments, grasp the interrelationships among these departments, have the versatility to be able to perform duties in multiple departments, and be able to work smoothly as a team.

The nature of the SAIS curriculum and the research needs of its user population demand a high level of problem solving and analytical ability from most of the Library's jobs. For example, syllabi are extensive and contain many non-traditional sources.

Some evening or weekend hours may be required during the fall and spring semesters.

Company info

Johns Hopkins University.
Website :

Company Profile
The Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876, with the inauguration of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. "What are we aiming at?" Gilman asked in his installation address. "The encouragement of research ... and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell." The mission laid out by Gilman remains the university's mission today, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman's own words: "Knowledge for the world."

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