Class Specifications - B.15
Library Assistant V (6758)
Library Assistant IV (6759)
Library Assistant III (6760)
Library Assistant II (6761)
Library Assistant I (6762)

April, 1983

Series Concept

Library Assistants perform and/or supervise technical and/or paraprofessional Duties, typically under the direction of a Librarian, in one or more Functional areas in libraries and related units that are administered in accordance with the practices and techniques of professional librarianship and perform related duties required.

The term, technical, as it relates to Library Assistants' duties indicates that incumbents perform duties that require knowledge of terminology, practices, systems, and procedures that is unique to a library setting.

The term, paraprofessional, as it relates to Library Assistants' duties indicates that incumbents perform complex technical duties of a limited professional nature, in prescribed areas, under the direction of or in conjunction with Librarians. These duties typically do not require the application of academic training in library principles and procedures at the full professional level.

Duties performed in the Library Assistant series cover a range of diverse butspecific areas of operational responsibility within the library such as:

  • public service including circulation and information services;
  • processing including identifying and acquiring library materials, preparing library materials for use and conserving library materials;
  • specialized subject and language knowledge at a level necessary to assist in the process of developing and processing library collections;
  • leading or supervising employees in a working unit.

Work performed by Library Assistants in the above areas of responsibility typically occurs within the following functional areas:

  • identification and acquisition of library materials;
  • preparation and organization of library materials;
  • preservation of library materials;
  • bibliographic searching and retrieval;
  • serials processing;
  • circulation and lending;
  • reference and information services.

Specific tasks performed include but are not limited to: ordering and receiving library materials, cataloging and classification, bibliographic searching, information services, circulation services, serials posting and claiming, processing of library records into machine-readable form, and maintenance and repair of library materials.

The Library Assistant series consists of five levels that recognize increasing degrees of work difficulty, supervisory/managerial responsibility and/or specialization in functional areas depending on work assignments in one or more library units.

Library Assistants at the highest levels of the series typically work under the direction of a Librarian as Subject Specialists, Functional Specialists, Special Material Experts, or Supervisors of Library Units. As Subject Specialists, incumbents possess substantial subject and/or language background and, in the areas of special knowledge, apply their expertise in support of the acquisition, processing, and use of library materials. As Functional Specialists, incumbents possess substantial knowledge and background in a particular library function and apply their expertise in expediting the acquisition, use, and processing of library materials. As Special Material Experts, incumbents apply specialized knowledge to process and service particular forms of library materials such as manuscripts, maps, and non-print media. As Supervisors of Library Units, incumbents are assigned responsibility for representing their units to library department heads, faculty, students, staff, and the general public in addition to managing the activities of their units.

The Library Assistant series is distinguished from other staff series in the library system in that the positions usually involve a set of duties unique to library practices and procedures. Library Assistants differ from Librarians in that Library Assistants focus primarily on tasks and functions within assigned areas of responsibility whereas the scope of the Librarians' responsibility involves the entire library, the community it serves and the profession as a whole. Library Assistants work within policy parameters established by Librarians.

Class Concepts

Library Assistant V

Under the general direction of a Librarian, incumbents coordinate activities involved in the operation of a complex library unit and/or perform the most complex duties of a paraprofessional nature in a functional or highly specialized subject area. The Library Assistant V class is distinguished from the Library Assistant IV class by the greater scope of coordinating responsibilities (full supervisory responsibility in a more complex library unit) or by the performance of more complex specialized duties that require more frequent independent application of paraprofessional knowledge of library practices and procedures.

Library Assistant IV

Under direction, incumbents perform difficult specialized duties that require frequent independent application of a paraprofessional knowledge of library principles and procedures and, in addition, may have supervisory responsibility within the library unit. Assignments are defined in terms of a functional area or specialized subject matter field. This class differs from the Library Assistant III class in that the work performed requires frequent application of paraprofessional knowledge of library practices and procedures. The scope of supervisory responsibility is typically greater at the Library Assistant IV level than at the Library Assistant III level.

Library Assistant III

Under general supervision, incumbents perform specialized duties requiring technical library skills at the advanced operational level and/or paraprofessional library skills and a general knowledge of library practices and procedures. Incumbents in addition may serve as work leaders in a complex library unit or as supervisors of a small unit. Work leaders typically perform the more difficult tasks in the unit in addition to assigning and reviewing work performed by lower level Library Assistants and clerical personnel. Supervisors at this level typically hire and recommend disciplinary action for personnel in addition to assigning, reviewing, and evaluating work. Assignments are defined in terms of a functional area specialty, covering general or specialized subject-matter fields, and work is usually performed within the limits set by the guidelines of the library unit. Work is subject to review when solution of a problem involves new applications of established guidelines. The Library Assistant III class differs from the Library Assistant II class in that the work performed requires use of paraprofessional and advanced operational technical skills involving a general knowledge of library practices and procedures.

Library Assistant II

Under supervision, incumbents perform technical duties requiring operational level skills and a basic knowledge of library, practices, and procedures. Assignments are defined in terms of functional areas within the library unit, with the nature of the problem identified and the specific objectives defined in consultation with higher level Library Assistants or with Librarians. Identification of the problem typically utilizes a written code or manual. Incumbents work within established library guidelines in arriving at solutions and exercise judgment in determining the applicability of guidelines to specific problems. Work is subject to review when problems involve making decisions outside the limits established by the guidelines. Incumbents work in one or more areas of functional responsibility within a library unit as described in the series concept. The Library Assistant II class differs from the Library Assistant I class in that the duties assigned are more difficult, are performed with less supervision, and require technical operational level skills and a basic knowledge of library practices and procedures. Library Assistant I

Under supervision, incumbents perform clearly defined technical duties in a library unit in one or more areas of functional responsibility as described in the series concept. Work is performed according to prescribed procedures and/or defined instructions and is usually subject to close and continuing review until the standard procedures are learned. This is the entry level in the series; however, positions may be assigned to this level on a continuing basis. This class differs from other classes in the clerical/administrative series in that the work performed requires knowledge that is unique to the library system.

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants for positions in the Library Assistant series are expected to possess the skills, knowledge, and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the positions.