McCabe Access & Lending Assistant I

Position Objective

Under the supervision of the permanent staff, the library student assistants are responsible for administering the circulation and reserve desks, answering basic patron reference questions, performing routine collection maintenance, and providing first level support for all library functions, including technology assistance. In order to properly assist patron inquires and make sound judgment calls when completing assigned tasks, student assistants will be knowledgeable about library policies, well-versed in library collections and services, skilled at providing first level technical support for computers and library equipment, and will provide consistent, high-quality customer service when assisting patrons with issues, disputes, and complaints. In the absence of permanent staff, they are responsible for overseeing the operation of McCabe Library.


Students average 4-8 hours of permanently assigned shifts, with additional hours worked as substitutes.

Essential Duties

Administration and operation of Reserves Desk

  • Providing high-quality customer service to library patrons
  • Checking in/out reserve materials, including resolving reserve-related problems with patron and bibliographic records via the Millennium Integrated Library System
  • Ensuring the integrity, privacy, and confidentiality of patron records and transactions
  • Maintaining poise when confronted by complaints, disputes or problem patrons
  • Participating in the closing of the library under the guidance of permanent staff

Assisting library users with basic reference, resource, and technology questions

  • Assisting patrons locate call numbers and items through a familiarity with the layout of the library and its collections and services
  • Providing patrons with library policies related to reserves, printing, appropriate computer use, etc.
  • Providing some basic first level technology support, such as setting up printer connections, and the use of common applications such as Blackboard or MS Office
  • Assisting with copiers, printers, and audio/visual equipment, etc.
  • Answering directional and informational questions, both library related and campus-wide

Collection maintenance

  • Directing materials to the correct reserve locations
  • Shelving and shifting materials accurately within the Library of Congress classification system
  • Inventorying/shelf-reading areas of the collection to ensure accuracy and locate missing items
  • Searching the collections for library materials that may be missing, "claims returned", etc.
  • Maintaining a usable collection

Supporting TriCollege and PALCI interlibrary lending service

  • Locating, retrieving and processing items for delivery to Bryn Mawr and Haverford libraries

Operation of the library (in the absence of permanent staff)

  • Closing the library without the guidance of permanent staff and being responsible for locking the building and setting the security alarm system


  • A general group meeting at the beginning of the semester to cover changes, new information, key points, reminders, etc.
  • Individual training sessions that include instruction and time at the circulation/reserve desk and which occur during the first few work shifts. Topics covered include the Library of Congress call number system, equipment such as printers, copiers, and microfilm machines, the Millennium software, building orientation, processes and procedures.
  • Ongoing training throughout the year as required by newly assigned tasks or as problems or changes arise. Communication is by e-mail, phone call, or in person.
  • Occasional mandatory exercises that review key points of the position and related policies.
  • Student assistants are encouraged to approach the staff with their own queries, as well as directing to staff other students/patrons with questions. Staff use this opportunity to model appropriate responses for the student assistants.

General Qualities Required/Desired

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Customer service experience/outlook.
  • User-oriented approach to service.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work both as a member of a team and independently.
  • Experience with information technology.
  • Self-motivated, dependable, enthusiastic, and interested in the work being done.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as well as some daytime hours required.