Senior Library Specialist-Special Collections-Reader Services

Brown University

Job Description:
Senior Library Specialist — Special Collections — Reader Services

Job Summary:
Performs skilled and a broad range of library services in the John Hay Library primarily for access to special collections in traditional and digital formats. Provides reference and informational services to patrons and assists with building and collection security. Performs duties associated with processing reserves and incoming materials. Works collaboratively with Hay staff to and deliver special collections materials to classes and for other special projects, including exhibitions.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assists John Hay Library users with registration, orientation, basic reference, and other reader services
  • Provides customer service by staffing the Reader Services desk and Special Collections Reading Room to ensure orderly and effective work
  • Provides reference services in person, on the phone, and through electronic services, such as email and the LibAnswers ticketing system; refers questions to supervisor or appropriate curator as necessary
  • Provides explanation of Reader Services policies and procedures and monitors compliance
  • Instructs and assists users of the Special Collections Reading Room in the proper handling of special collections materials and monitors the security of the materials.
  • Places material on personal and course reserve shelves; discharges material from reserve shelves on a regular schedule and maintains order of reserves and reserve file shelves
  • Add materials to the online course reserves system, edits bibliographic records, and creates and edits item records in the Library Catalog as needed
  • Retrieves, searches, discharges and shelves special collections materials in all storage locations and updates collection management/circulation systems accordingly (eg. Alma, Aeon).
  • Update the location of special collection materials transported between offsite storage and the campus using collection management/circulation systems (eg. Alma, Aeon, etc.).
  • Works with curators and librarians to retrieve materials for classes, exhibits and events. Students and colleagues assist with paging. Ensures that materials and supports are delivered to the appropriate classroom.
  • Occasionally assists in giving tours of the John Hay Library, as necessary
  • Receives and processes requests for materials, e.g., class sessions, online requests, course and personal reserves, etc., in Aeon and ensures items are paged and routed in Aeon
  • Checks and performs basic maintenance on all library equipment, clears paper jams, fills paper trays, places services calls, when necessary, adds toner and assists with ordering supplies.
  • Participates in supporting library services and events on evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Assists in monitoring security of building and collections.
  • Opens and closes the building as needed
  • Receives, unpacks, sorts, shelves and/or moves library materials in a variety of languages and formats; assists in problem resolution with materials delivery, processing, condition, or identification issues.
  • Brings conservation and preservation problems to attention of supervisor or others as appropriate
  • Following established collection development policies, compares gift items to existing holdings, in Special Collections to provide information to curators and librarians for selection decisions
  • Trains, schedules work, and directs student assistants and prioritizes their work
  • Trains and provides assistance to co-workers
  • Monitors classes using Special Collections materials as needed
  • Assists with gathering statistics on Special Collections materials as needed.
  • Performs related duties as required

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education and/or experience (e.g., Associate’s Degree plus 2 years of experience, or 4 years of experience)
  • Previous public service experience preferred
  • Ability to interact favorably with library users and co-workers, including contacts external to the University
  • Computer skills, ability to use standard computer software packages
  • Capacity to learn new technologies and systems necessary for continually effective job performance
  • Ability to organize workflow, to prioritize multiple tasks and work without close supervision
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to perform detailed work accurately and with reasonable speed
  • Possess a willingness and ability to support a diverse and inclusive campus community.
  • Ability to organize work and direct student assistants
  • May be required to work evenings and/or weekends


  • Sufficient strength to move books and work while standing;
  • Physical strength for unpacking, shelving, shifting and transporting heavily loaded book trucks*
  • Physical strength and stamina for prolonged standing, lifting and carrying heavy library materials
  • Ability to bend stoop, reach and use step stools to reach shelves
  • Ability to determine contents of fine or worn print with or without assistive technology.

    *A three tier book truck empty weighs approximately 62 lbs.
    *A three tier single sided book truck fully loaded weighs approximately 287 lbs.
    *A three tier double sided book truck fully loaded weighs approximately 485 lbs.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act, applicable state/local laws and University policy.

Library Union position, which must be posted internally for 5 work days prior to posting for external candidate.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown.

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Senior Library Specialist-Special Collections-Reader Services

University Library

Library Grades

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Work Location:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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