Job Details

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Library Assistant 1, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston)

Purpose: The Library Assistant I – Circulation (LAI-C) provides direct service to researchers seeking access to MHS collections ensuring both access to and the security of the library’s holdings, primarily through staffing the Society’s circulation desk and paging materials from the closed stacks. The position is essential in promoting the Society’s public image and in maintaining the security of the building and collections.

Reporting Relationships: This position reports to the Reference Librarian – Researcher Services (RSL)

Supervisory Responsibility: None

Schedule: This is a part-time position, up to 21 hours per week, during regularly scheduled library hours, which include Saturdays and Tuesday evenings. Individual schedules are determined by their supervisor and the Director of the Library with input from the staff member. Schedules are re-evaluated at regular intervals (typically September, January, and June) and may be adjusted to suit the needs of the department and the LAI-C. As a public facing role, this position does not allow for a remote or hybrid work schedule.

Major Responsibilities:
• Provides all researchers, onsite and remote, courteous, equitable, and effective service*
• Retrieves, circulates, and reshelves collection materials, including both properly routing items through the Aeon system and ensuring secure, timely movement of items through the library/building
• Ensures preservation and security of collection materials used in the Society’s reading room through direct supervision of all individuals in the reading room and explaining, demonstrating, and enforcing library policies and procedures as needed
• Completes opening and closing routines to prepare for providing access to and to ensure overnight security of library spaces and collection materials
• Responds to routine reference queries in person, on telephone, and via email/chat in LibAnswers software suite; refers non-routine inquiries to appropriate reference librarian or department
• Assists patrons in locating reference materials and in using library equipment (microfilm readers, OPACs, printers, etc.) in the reference area
• Serves as a role model and instructor on the circulation and back-up desks to assist in the training of newly hired staff
• Assists in breaking down library technology and workstations and moving furniture within the library spaces to support extra-departmental use of the space
• Assists with other library projects and routine clerical tasks as needed
• Regularly handles large and/or heavy loads up to 50 pounds, with frequent lifting, bending, carrying, walking, pushing and pulling throughout the workday



• Bachelor’s degree or current enrollment in a Bachelor’s program required
• Current enrollment in a Master’s degree program, with coursework in American history, public history, archives, library science, or a similar program, preferred

• Experience working with a diverse public in a customer service or similar position
• Experience in library, archives, or public history organization preferred
• Experience working with Aeon or similar special collections circulation system preferred
• Experience working with user interface of Voyager or similar ILS preferred

• Ability to clearly and effectively communicate, orally and in writing, with staff and members of the public
• Ability to work with the public with tact, patience
• A high level of comfort working with the public and meeting new people
• Ability to assess and anticipate needs and be a flexible problem solver
• Ability to consistently enforce policies and procedures
• Ability to identify matters of urgency or requiring supervisory/management assistance
• Ability to confidently work with technology, including learning new software/hardware and performing basic troubleshooting
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
• Ability to work as part of a team
• Strong research skills
• Ability to comply with all MHS policies and procedures, including emergency, health, and safety protocols
• Ability to read 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century handwritten manuscripts, preferred

Full/Part Time

Part Time




$18.00  / hour

Closing Date

How to Apply

Application Procedure: Please send by email a single PDF that includes a cover letter, résumé, and the names of three professional references to Reference Librarian Lauren Gray at Applications that do not comply with this process cannot be considered.

Applications received by February 9, 2024 will be given preference; position open until filled

Compensation and Benefits: The payrate for this position is $18.00/hour. Benefits include paid sick time, paid holidays, a public transit subsidy, and the opportunity to participate in the MHS retirement plan, and Reciprocal entrance to local education and cultural institutions


2024-01-25 |  Quick link to this job