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Library Assistant – Archives & Public Service, Botany Libraries, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


The Harvard University Herbaria house five comprehensive, non-circulating research libraries which are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The combined collections, totaling more than 250,000 volumes, are rich repositories of rare books, manuscripts, field notes, and historical correspondence, as well as current monographs, journals, and electronic media. The Libraries support the academic and research interests of the faculty and researchers of the Harvard University Herbaria and are open to an international community of scholars.

The Botany Libraries seek a library assistant to work part time starting summer 2022. The library assistant will report directly to the Reference Librarian and work closely with the Archivist.

The library assistant will staff the service desk. They will be responsible for answering brief reference questions and referring more complex questions to appropriate staff. The library assistant will register (in Aeon) and orient visitors, check bags, and page and shelve books. They will work directly with researchers and monitor the use of rare and fragile materials including archives, rare books, photographs, and special collections, following established guidelines. The library assistant will track archives and special collections use in Aeon.

The library assistant will also arrange and describe archival collections according to archival standards (DACS) and enter descriptive information into spreadsheets or ArchivesSpace. They will rehouse materials and perform light preservation as needed.

The library assistant may assist with digitization and scanning project tasks, including item retrieval and preparation, metadata preparation, and quality control. Other duties will include, but not be limited to, shelf reading projects, basic book processing, web page updates, exhibit creation, data entry, answering phones and directing calls and general clerical support.

Requirements: A service oriented nature; excellent communications skills; the ability to work with a diverse group of library users; familiarity with Microsoft Office programs; attention to detail a must; ability to function cooperatively in a work team with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation; knowledge of archival practices a plus. Graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Salary: Library Assistants are paid $18.00 per hour. There is a limit of 14 hours per week on this position.

Hours: The Botany Libraries are open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM (closed from 1:00-2:00) Monday through Friday. Desk shifts are scheduled for mornings (9:00 to 1:00) or afternoons (2:00-5:00).

How to apply:

Contact: Gretchen Wade, Reference & Collection Development Librarian

[email protected]