LIBRARY DESK ASSISTANT
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is beginning level library circulation desk work at a library in Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) requiring use of the automated circulation system and response to the varied needs of customers. Contacts are mainly with co-workers in the library of assignment and other MCPL employees concerning predominantly routine library issues and with library customers to provide frontline customer service. Public service/assistance is provided to library customers continuously while working at the circulation desk; employees provide immediate assistance to many people on a daily basis. Employees in this class may work on the circulation desk a larger percentage of their work schedule than employees in other circulation classes.
An employee in this class learns and performs a variety of circulation desk and a range of 'off desk' functions at a library, or comparable duties in support of a specialized library service. The supervisor provides individual assignments, which in the beginning are intended to help build knowledge and skills, covered by established guidelines that include but are not limited to baseline parts of the MCPL Policies and Procedures Manual, MCPL Quality Service Standards, the Integrated Library System (ILS), Cash Register Guidelines and general MCPL policies and procedures. The employee, under the direction of the supervisor, carries out recurring assignments by following guidelines as they are learned, seeking assistance or decision from the supervisor when difficult or unfamiliar situations are encountered. Assignments are continuously reviewed by higher-grade personnel. The employee, after learning, uses judgment in selecting and applying the appropriate guideline(s) depending upon the nature of the assignment or request; this includes application of MCPL's values, policies and standards when working with a customer. The complexity of this class of work is characterized by direct customer service that includes performance of a wide range of circulation desk work, such as checking library materials in and out, registering new library customers, issuing library cards, updating library records, account management, selling such items as Metro cards, responding to inquiries from customers concerning circulation policies, special services and locations of libraries, and performing a limited range of assigned 'off desk' duties, such as shelving books, paperbacks and other materials. The impact of this class is realized in the efficient flow of customers and materials at the circulation desk, the accuracy of customer records, accuracy and efficiency in shelving and in other services courteously rendered to the public, in effective performance of 'off desk' duties and in teaming with co-workers to serve customers. Work is typically performed in a library or other unit to which the public has unrestricted open access, which includes potential for interpersonal conflict situations and, at times, some potential for aggressive or unpredictable behavior by customers. Work includes regularly recurring light physical effort that typically results in some fatigue, such as keyboarding, long periods of standing or staying in place and recurring lifting, carrying and/or moving of book tubs, carts and library materials (including books). All positions require the employee to work evenings, nights, Saturdays and Sundays based on customer service needs.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Builds functional and procedural knowledge base and skills and stays abreast of changes in policies, procedures and technology.
Checks library materials in and out using the computer-based circulation system.
Registers borrowers for library cards, enters new customer information into the system, and explains related policies and procedures.
Updates customer records by changing, adding or deleting information in the database.
Assists customers with inquiries regarding library services; makes appropriate referrals to information staff and other co-workers.
In the hold process, separates hold materials from other delivery items, marks them as holds, scans them into the ILS, shelves them for hold fulfillment and performs elated tasks.
Processes special service requests.
Identifies missing media components, such as one CD missing from a set, and takes action.
Covers and/or recovers books, repairs books, and places bar codes on books.
Shelves books, paperbacks, and other materials.
Collects books from book drop and brings them to circulation desk for checking in and sorting.
Answers and directs telephone calls, handling directional requests individually and/or referring inquiries to information staff.
Troubleshoots photocopier, fax and copy machine problems to meet the needs of customers. If unable to resolve technology problems, refers them to the appropriate staff member.
Straightens up the library at closing time.
As assigned, helps weed and process collection materials for discards, processes donations and re-routes misdirected materials, including interlibrary loans.
Attends training and stays abreast of changes in policies, procedures, technology, etc.
As needed, opens or closes the library, as scheduled, following procedures that apply to opening and closing, such as unlocking doors and setting up the circulation desk.
Ensures adequate cash register funds, prepares receipts and deposit slips.
Performs related duties as required.
Education: Completion of high school or GED.
Experience: No previous experience required.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of (or ability to rapidly acquire knowledge of) established guidelines used in daily work, including but not limited to key parts of the MCPL Policies and Procedures Manual, MCPL Quality Service Standards, the ILS system, Cash Register Guidelines and general MCPL policies and procedures as applicable to regularly recurring work, to perform such daily tasks as explaining and applying circulation policies and procedures accurately and consistently, and to learn to make day-to-day decisions based on experience, judgment and established policies and procedures.
Knowledge of (or ability to rapidly acquire knowledge of), and skill in, service desk electronic equipment/technology (hardware, software, databases, etc.) and the library's other computers (and baseline aspects of office suite software, such as MS Word and Outlook), printers, copiers, etc. to use the technology.
Skill in problem solving to select, organize and logically process relevant information (verbal, numerical or abstract) to solve a problem. Examples include skill in selecting and applying the appropriate policies and procedures to provide effective customer service and to properly process materials; in making elementary arithmetic computations; in shelving materials; in comparing records; and in processing media problems by assessing damage, identifying the circumstances of damage/loss and following-through.
Skill in written communication to understand written information (including facts, assertions and arguments), and to express information in writing so that others will understand. This includes skill in reading policies and procedures applying to assignments.
Skill in oral communication to understand verbal information (including facts, assertions and arguments) and to express such information verbally so that others will understand. This includes baseline skill in encouraging effective oral communication by others, such as library customers who have questions or need assistance.
Interpersonal skills to interact with personal contacts in a customer service-oriented, businesslike manner. This includes ability to deal courteously, tactfully and effectively with customers, including, at times, irritated, aggressive or unpredictable people.
Ability to multi-task (perform more than one task simultaneously).
Ability to perform light physical effort, such as keyboarding, standing or staying in place for long periods of time and lifting, carrying and/or moving library materials weighing 20 pounds, regularly, and up to 50 pounds, as required.
Ability to work effectively and calmly under pressure.
The probationary period must be 6 months for a full-time or part-time employee appointed to a merit system position, and 6 months for a promoted employee, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: November, l962
Revised: October, l972
April, 1992 (M)
May, 2011 (M)