Position Information

The position information for this posting is listed below. Please double check the position description and follow any links to the original job posting in order to apply for this position.
Reader Services and Administrative Assistant

About the Department


As a center of intense intellectual inquiry, the University of Chicago Library aspires to be the most dynamic research and learning environment in the world, supporting the University’s commitment to research and teaching and to using its intellectual resources to help solve the world’s problems. Even as we continue to focus on building and preserving our renowned collections, the Library is assuming new roles that are vital to research, innovation, and learning at the University. In the process, we are leveraging the deep expertise of Library staff, developing services that support new avenues of research, and expanding access to and preservation of scholarly resources in ways that advance the goals of the University community and the needs of the next generation of scholars.

Job Information?

Job Summary:


Under the direction of the Public Services Supervisor, and following Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) guidelines, the Reader Services and Administrative Assistant (RSAA) performs both a broad range of complex library tasks and administrative support duties. This position shares responsibility for staffing the SCRC circulation desk and oversees circulation and use of materials in the Reading Room. This position applies specialized technical and bibliographic skills and/or subject knowledge to support access to the collections. The RSAA provides administrative support for the Director of Special Collections, and for Center-wide activities.




  • Reader Services Support
    • Shares responsibility for welcoming and providing preliminary orientation to Special Collections classes, researchers, and visitors
    • Registers new researchers and assists with setting up new Aeon user accounts, explains guidelines for use of Special Collections materials
    • Shares responsibility for prompt and accurate circulation of materials in the reading room, including transactions with readers, and routing items for holds, preservation attention, and reshelving, as well as for all associated record-keeping
    • Shares responsibility for oversight of the Special Collections reading room and all public areas on the first floor of the department, monitors circulation of materials and people within these spaces
    • Responds to onsite and remote PDF scan requests through LibAnswers as assigned
    • Shares responsibility for referring onsite and remote reference queries to the Center's Reader Services Librarian and other staff members
    • Serves as back up for paging duties
    • Works Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in rotation with other staff
    • Performs additional duties as assigned


  • Administrative Support
    • Answers the main telephone; sorts and routes mail
    • Maintains select pages on the Center’s public website and the Library intranet, Loop
    • Maintains the Center’s paper files
    • Manages applications and correspondence for Platzman Fellowship; maintains spreadsheets and administrative information about each cohort of Fellows; provides assistance with arrangements for on-site visits by Fellows
    • Provides support for events hosted in SCRC, including liaising with event contact person, handling catering, and facilitating room setup with Library Building Services
    • Manages correspondence and related administrative support for the SCRC Director and other SCRC staff as needed
    • Produces and distributes documents and reports including the annual reports for the department and division
    • Maintains and compiles select SCRC reader services statistics 
    • Serves as the SCRC contact within the Library and the University for supplies and office equipment
    • Performs additional duties as assigned



  • Manage interpersonal relationships and interact/communicate with clarity, tact, and courtesy with patrons, staff, faculty, students, and others; communicate effectively in English, both orally and in writing; identify priorities; recognize and resolve or refer problems; work effectively with supervisor and as a part of a team; and use or learn a range of position-related software applications
  • Demonstrated ability to read and interpret complex documentation required
  • Demonstrated strong organization skills and attention to detail and accuracy, with the ability to sustain attention to detail over long stretches of time, required
  • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information and materials with discretion required
  • Demonstrated ability to manage contacts with a wide variety of researchers and visitors, in person and by telephone, with diplomacy, respect, and discretion required
  • Demonstrated flexibility and ability to handle multiple priorities and meet deadlines required
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with other staff members required
  • Demonstrated sound judgment and effective, independent problem-solving and decision-making skills required.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and analytical skills required
Position: Reader Services and Administrative Assistant
Organization: University of Chicago Library
Location: Chicago,  IL 
United States
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 11/4/2021

Additional Requirements??

Education, Experience, or Certifications



  • High school diploma or equivalent required
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred



  • Demonstrated successful public services experience in a high-volume, customer service-oriented environment required
  • Demonstrated experience working in a special collections, archives, or museum environment preferred
  • Demonstrated experience with ensuring the security and proper handling of rare and fragile materials required
  • Demonstrated experience explaining and enforcing policies in an environment with sensitive and fragile materials required
  • Experience conducting in-depth academic research at college level preferred


Technical Skills and Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of relevant databases (i.e. structure, index, record formats), content and operation conventions (searching and data manipulation commands) required
  • Knowledge of library collections, resources, and access tools required
  • Demonstrated understanding of the academic research process required
  • Demonstrated proficiency with e-mail and desktop applications including Windows, Microsoft Office required
  • Web authoring experience preferred


Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm and rotational coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday until 5:45 pm
  • Office environment
  • Ability to handle rare and fragile materials in a safe and sensitive manner
  • Ability to lift and move up to 50lbs
  • Ability to tolerate moderate levels of dust and odor
  • Ability to hear, including making fine discriminations in sound
  • Ability to see, including color, depth perception, or clarity; must be able to visually focus on print and electronic material for long periods
  • Effective audio-visual discrimination and perception
  • Ability to sit for 4 hours or more
  • Ability to use computers extensively for 4 hours or more
  • Ability to make repetitive wrist, hand, or finger movements
  • Ability to operate equipment necessary to perform job
  • Ability to Use Standard Work Station Equipment
  • Ability to Use Standard Office Equipment


Pay Range: $17.98 - $26.32


Required Documents:

  • Resume



When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through https://uchicago.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/External. Internal candidates must apply by logging into Workday using their CNet ID and password; for more information, please see How to Apply for a UChicago Job (Current Employee) QRG. Resumes sent via mail, fax, or email will not be considered. For more information, please see https://www.uchicago.edu/jobs/.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should contact University Shared Services via the Applicant Inquiry Form or 773-702-5800.

Email: libraryhr@uchicago.edu

Phone: 773-702-8755

Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Room 210
The Joseph Regenstein Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago IL,  60637

Status: This listing expires on: 2/2/2022
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Organization Information
University of Chicago Library

Chicago,  IL 60637
United States
Kara Hastings