Technical Services Student Assistant I, II and III

Position Objective

Under the supervision of permanent Technical Services staff, assist in the receipt, cataloging and processing of new library materials including books, journal issues, government documents, DVDs and CDs, as well as in the binding of journal issues. Assist with interlibrary loan operations including retrieving, receipt, and preparation of library materials. Technical Services Assistants 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 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Essential Duties

Technical Services Assistant I

Works under close supervision, does not require previous experience in Technical Services.

Interlibrary Loans (ILL)

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 (PALCI is a statewide consortium of academic 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 EZBorrow
  • 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 reshelving in stacks or at satellite locations

Journal Article Processing

  • Send articles to borrowing libraries using the Ariel scanning and transmission system


Unbound Journal Processing

  • Shelve/reshelve unbound newspapers and periodicals
  • Remove superseded and limited retention items from shelves working from list prepared by professional staff

Bound Journal Processing

  • Shelve/reshelve bound journals
  • Scan bound and unbound volumes with handheld barcode scanner to produce in house usage counts
  • Under direction of professional staff, move and rearrange shelved periodicals to allow for changing growth patterns

Bindery Preparation and Receipt

  • Retrieve journal issues from stacks for binding working from list prepared by professional staff
  • Process returned bindery shipment
  • Unpack bindery shipment, verifying accuracy; bring discrepancies to attention of professional staff.
  • Prepares volumes for circulation by updating record in Tripod and affixing labels


  • Book and video processing
  • Proofread author, title and catalog description
  • Format and print labels using Tripod
  • Affix labels and all remaining pieces to result in shelf ready item
  • Loose leaf filing of legal publications

Technical Services Assistant II

Works under some supervision, requires some previous experience in Technical Services. All duties described in Level 1, plus:

Interlibrary Loans (ILL)

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/EZBorrow transactions for books that have been returned to McCabe using PALCI/EZBorrow 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


  • Boxing periodicals
  • Pull unbound periodical issues from stacks working from list prepared by professional staff
  • Print and affix box labels
  • Create record in Tripod to update holdings

Government Documents

  • Process Government Document shipments
  • Verify accuracy and completeness of Government Document Shipments
  • Mark pieces in accordance with Government Printing Office guidelines
  • Affix pre-printed labels that accompany publications
  • Search and edit item record using Innovative Interfaces Millennium Serials module

Technical Services Assistant III

Works with little supervision, requires substantial previous experience in Technical Services. All duties described in Levels 1 and 2, plus:

Interlibrary Loans (ILL)

  • Check out EZBorrow books to borrowing libraries in the EZBorrow system
  • Receive EZBorrow books for Swarthmore patrons using the EZBorrow and 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

Government Documents

  • Check in Government Documents using Innovative Interfaces Millennium Serials module
  • Shelve government documents following Superintendent of Documents classification scheme


  • Unbound Journal Processing
    • Record receipt of periodical issues using Innovative Interfaces Millennium Serials module
  • Bindery Preparation and Receipt
    • Prepare bindery shipments using Innovative Interfaces Millennium Serials module


  • Catalog monographs for titles with Library of Congress data using Innovative Interfaces Millennium Cataloging module by selecting the appropriate record, verify the data and updating the item record


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

  • Extensive training in Innovative Interfaces Millennium
  • LCEasy call number tutorial
  • PALCI/EZBorrow
  • UPS Worldship
  • Government Documents online tutorial
  • 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.