McCabe Access & Lending Assistant II

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 Circulation/Reserves Desk

  • Providing high-quality customer service to library patrons
  • Checking in/out library materials, including resolving problems with patron and bibliographic records via the Millennium Integrated Library System
  • Collecting fines and handling other cash transactions
  • Ensuring the integrity, privacy, and confidentiality of patron records and transactions
  • Maintaining poise when confronted by complaints, disputes or problem patrons
  • Monitoring activity in the library, the level of noise and the use of the facility
  • Maintaining awareness of who is coming in and going out of the library and any situations that may need the attention of permanent staff, Public Safety, or Facilities
  • 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 with locating call numbers and items through a familiarity with the layout of the library and its collections and services
  • Facilitating access to resources in the print and digital collections with the use of the TriCollege library catalog and bibliographic databases
  • Providing patrons with library policies related to different collections, reserves, loan periods, visitors, printing, appropriate computer use, etc.
  • Providing first level technology support, such as configuring wireless, installing software, 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 right location, requiring familiarity with library departments, campus libraries, and TriCollege libraries
  • Shelving and shifting materials accurately within the Library of Congress classification system
  • Locating, retrieving and processing items for delivery to Bryn Mawr and Haverford libraries
  • 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)

  • Responsible for first level response to facility malfunctions and ensuring safety of building occupants
  • 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.