Interlibrary Loan Assistant I, II and III

Position Objective

Under the supervision of permanent Interlibrary Loans staff, assist with interlibrary loan operations including retrieving, receipt, and preparation of library materials. Technical Services Assistant may use one or more software services depending on task and level of expertise. Ensure data integrity in library cataloging and loan systems through careful work and attention to detail.


Students average 4-6 hours per week scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Essential Duties

Interlibrary Loan Assistant 1

Works under close supervision, does not require previous experience in Interlibrary Loan.

Students working in ILL may use several software systems for lending and borrowing items. These include:

  • Tripod ILL module: to track materials requested by Swarthmore patrons
  • OCLC: international database of materials and holdings used to facility resource sharing among libraries worldwide
  • PALCI/EZBorrow: to track lending and borrowing among PALCI libraries
  • Rapid: to acquire and supply journal articles among groups of academic libraries
  • Ariel: to facilitate transmission of articles between libraries; also manages patrons' borrowed articles, ensuring adherence to U.S. copyright laws.
  • UPS shipping software: to prepare packages for shipping via UPS


  • Retrieve books, periodicals, and other materials (e.g. microfilm, videos) from various library locations. Display understanding of the layout of the library, its collections and classification systems
  • Photocopy or scan articles and book chapters, using appropriate equipment ensuring the highest quality copying possible

Book Processing

  • Process books for EZ Borrow
  • Transport UPS and US mail shipments from the ILL office to the receiving room. Requires ability to lift packages up to 50 pounds. Also transports supplies from same location as directed.
  • Maintain manual file for outgoing loans
  • Take ILL returns to Circulation for re-shelving in stacks or at satellite locations

Journal Article Processing

  • Send articles to borrowing libraries using the Ariel scanning and transmission system Other duties as assigned

    Interlibrary Loan Assistant II

    Works under some supervision, requires some previous experience in Technical Services. All duties described in Level I, plus:


    • Ensure the integrity, privacy, and confidentiality of patron records and transactions

      Book Processing

      • Open and sort the incoming ILL mail for further processing (includes books on loan to Swarthmore patrons from either the OCLC or EZBorrow system, and Swarthmore books being returned by other libraries from OCLC or EZBorrow)
      • Complete PACLI/EZ Borrow transactions for books that have been returned to McCabe using PALCI/EZ Borrow software
      • Check in returned books in using Tripod interlibrary loan system
      • Package US Mail shipments for outgoing ILL materials, designating rate type per item
      • Batch Update completed requests for returns in the OCLC System

      Journal Processing

      • Update sent articles in the Rapid ILL system
      • Other duties as assigned

      Interlibrary Loan Assistant III

      Works with little supervision, requires substantial previous experience in Technical Services. All duties described in Levels I and II, plus:

      Book Processing

      • Check out EZ Borrow books to borrowing libraries in the EZ Borrow system
      • Receive EZ Borrow books for Swarthmore patrons using the EZ Borrow & Tripod Circulation systems
      • Package and process UPS shipments for outgoing ILL materials, using UPS Worldship software, designating account type per item
      • Maintain online address book using UPS Worldship software
      • Look up call numbers for OCLC Requests in Tripod, determining if an item is held and allowed or available to circulate or be printed/photocopied

      Journal Processing

      • Maintain and update ILL records in OCLC system as directed for sent articles
      • Process incoming electronic journal articles via Ariel system for Swarthmore patrons
      • Other duties as assigned


      Each student will be trained in specific tasks by regular staff in that area. Training is an ongoing process and may include:

      • Extensive training in Innovative Interfaces Millennium
      • LC Easy call number tutorial
      • Palci/EZborrow
      • UPS Worldship
      • Rapid
      • OCLC
      • Ariel

      General Qualities Required/Desired

      • Accuracy and attention to detail required in order to maintain data integrity.
      • Ability to work daytime hours, Monday through Friday, required.
      • Ability to work both as a member of a team and independently.
      • Self-motivated, dependable, enthusiastic, and interested in the work being done.
      • Ability to use judgment to make quick decisions.
      • Previous work experience in a library or office setting desirable.
      • Experience with information technology desirable.
      • Reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages desirable.
      • Familiarity with Swarthmore College libraries and collections desirable.
      • For some tasks, ability to lift packages weighing up to 50 lbs.