Library Assistant

Requisition ID:  27073

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Part Time
Posted Date:  15 May 2024


Salary: £23,700 with progression to £25,138 per annum, pro rata


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 27 May 2024



The Role


This is an opportunity to join our highly regarded Customer Services team.  You will assist in providing excellent information enquiry and circulation services to support staff, students and other users of the University Library. This includes providing help and advice on a range of library enquiries, registering library users, and issuing smartcards.


You will possess a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above or equivalent and have an awareness of the use of IT in library services.


Weekend and evening work, including bank holidays and University closure days, will be required. You may work at any Library site but you can expect to work mainly between the Philip Robinson and Law libraries. 


This is a part time position available for 18.5 hours per week.


For an informal chat about the role, including potential working patterns, please contact Anne Middleton, , or Susan Willcox,  0191 208 5180


The assessment centre for this post will be held during week beginning 17 June 2024, and the interviews during week beginning 24 June 2024.


Key Accountabilities

  • Dealing with enquiries at the service and reception desks, as the first library public service point of contact. This includes dealing with visitors to the Library, and answering enquiries from the general public
  • Undertaking enquiry work at library service points as well as answering e-mail, telephone and online user enquiries. Enquiries will include detailed subject enquiries, and individual instruction of library users, requiring an extensive knowledge of print, internet and other electronic information
  • Issuing smartcards to all members of the University requiring them for security or access, using the University smartcard system. This involves ensuring eligibility, dealing with lost/stolen cards and resolving queries with the help of Customer Services supervisors
  • Registering library members to enable them to borrow library material. This involves using the library management system, entering data and resolving queries where possible
  • Providing help and advice on circulation matters to library members, in person and by phone, to support University teaching and research. This ranges from dealing with queries regarding reservations and loan enquiries to photocopying and catalogue enquiries
  • Issuing and returning library materials using the library management system, to support University teaching and research
  • Handling payment of library fines, membership fees, photocopying credits, invoices for lost books and other library charges. Sending collected cash to the Library Accounts Section
  • Assisting in the administration and development of one or more of the following areas: Student Texts Collection; Inter-Library Loans; registration; enquiry services; notices and overdues; holds service; reading lists including ordering and digitization of course materials; CLA scanning; library promotional activities
  • Assisting in training new staff in library procedures, use of the library management system and smartcard database
  • Assisting in the opening and closing of the Library building and undertaking emergency evacuations
  • Shelving, tidying, filing, processing and moving of library materials and monitoring equipment to ensure it is readily available for library users
  • Ensuring the good order of the Library, by monitoring and carrying out Incidental cleaning, troubleshooting basic problems with library equipment, and, where applicable, reporting faults
  • Assisting in library induction and outreach activities, including group and individual library tours to explain the services and facilities available to staff, students and visitors
  • Other duties as assigned by the University Library Senior Library Assistants, consistent with the agreed range of duties for Library Assistants
  • Will be required to work at any of the Library’s sites. Weekend and evening work, including bank holidays and University closure days, will also be required


The Person 



Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Good awareness of the range of library services and subject resources both printed and electronic that are available  
  • Awareness of the use of IT in library services
  • Ability to work independently using one’s own initiative whilst working effectively as a team member
  • Good IT skills using Microsoft Office packages; highly developed web searching skills and information searching/retrieval skills
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, excellent customer service
  • Good interpersonal, organisational and communication skills
  • Good customer care skills
  • Experience of working in a Library or equivalent busy face-to-face customer service environment, e.g. retail, financial services
  • Mobility and physical fitness consistent with the need to handle large numbers of books and to move equipment
  • Ability to work accurately and under pressure



Attributes and Behaviour


  • Chooses communication tools appropriately e.g. selective
  • use of emails and other channels of communication
  • Uses face to face communication regularly 


  • Shares relevant and useful information with others
  • Supportive of team decisions
  • Respects the value that different views bring to the team

Understanding Others                                       

  • Adapts own response to take into account cultural differences, behaviours and perspectives
  • Uses open-ended questions to open up discussions

Delivering Services

  • Co-operates with others in achieving targets
  • Takes responsibility for achieving own targets
  • Has a positive attitude for doing things better



  • Minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, or equivalent



Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 27073