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Public Services Assistant, Harvard University (Cambridge)

Harvard University

Public Services Assistant
Harvard Library

Job Summary

**Please note this is a 6-month term position**

Reporting to the Interim Head of Public Services and Senior Reference Archivist and working closely with other Harvard University Archives team members, the Public Services Assistant provides support for the Harvard University Archives' reference services operations, providing reservice services for University offices, staff, students, faculty, visiting scholars, and the general public, including on-site and off-site inquiries. They handle reformatting requests and maintain records of Archives internal and external circulation.

This position will work an agreed upon schedule of 17.5 hours from 11:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The position is performed fully onsite. Work location is responsive and subject to change based on business needs.
Position Description

•Shares primary responsibility for staffing the Archives' reference desk, including patron registration and research assistance. Greet and assist researchers in the use of the library. Explain library policies and procedures.
•Monitor the operations of the reading room. Provides instruction to researchers in the proper handling of collections to ensure safety, security, and preservation.
•Serves as telephone and e-mail contact for Archives reference services and fulfills informational requests for off-site reference inquiries.
•Prepares and tracks collection reformatting requests from researchers.
•Tracks reading room circulation of collections, including returns and refiles of material after use.
•Retrieves materials from Archives' storage areas as necessary.
•Assist in documenting and updating public services policies.

Basic Qualifications
•High school diploma.
•Minimum of two years' experience in special collections, archives, academic libraries, or related institutions. Education may count toward experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

•Bachelor's degree preferred or equivalent combination of experience and education.

•A strong public service orientation.

•Familiarity and comfort with archival and bibliographic description.

•Knowledge of basic preservation and conservation issues as they relate to rare books and archival collections.

•Demonstrated initiative flexibility and ability to work collegially and creatively within and across organizations.

•A commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, anti-racism, and to serving the needs of a diverse population.

•Excellent written and oral communication.

•High-level judgment and discretion and comfort with ambiguity.

•Ability to manage a broad variety of tasks in response to shifting priorities and changing constraints.

•Aptitude for detail, accuracy, efficiency, and good organizational skills.

•Ability to manage time and tasks and complete projects in a timely manner.

•Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

•Microsoft Office Suite (MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Teams), Google Suite, and Zoom.

Physical Requirements

•This position involves occasionally lifting and moving loads weighing in excess of 40 pounds and requires bending, squatting, stretching, and climbing small step stools when needed to retrieve collections and reshelve them.

Working Conditions
•At times may work with materials that are dusty and moldy.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University's mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world's most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library's holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

Sub Unit

USA - MA - Cambridge

Harvard University Archives

Time Status

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

Monday through Friday 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Apply Here



Full/Part Time




Salary Range

$46,166.00 - $50,000.00  / year

Closing Date


How to Apply

Apply Online


2023-03-13 |  Quick link to this job