Careers at UMass Amherst

Librarian I - Borrowing Specialist (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 516582
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Lib - Collection Services
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Library, Administrative/Office Support

About UMass Amherst 

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. 

Job Summary 

The Borrowing Specialist in the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Unit oversees and directs borrowing, lending, and document delivery operations, with an emphasis on borrowing operations. This position investigates and resolves complex problems concerning requests, troubleshoots scanning and resource sharing systems, corresponds with patrons, and assists in formulating, recommending, and implementing appropriate operational procedures within the Interlibrary Loan Unit of the University Libraries. 

Essential Functions 

  • Works in partnership with the Resource Sharing Librarian and the Lending Specialist to establish daily priorities and to oversee the work of interlibrary loan paraprofessional staff and student employees. Provides functional supervision, training, assistance and support to paraprofessional staff. Fosters a positive and proactive customer service culture in the Department. 

  • When the Lending Specialist is not available, coordinates student tasks throughout the day and monitors students timekeeping system to make sure that student time and payroll is complete and accurate. Engages with students to support their success. 

  • Resolves challenging borrowing and document delivery requests, including advanced citation verification. Supports the Lending Specialist in resolving complex problems associated with requests from other libraries for University materials. 

  • Troubleshoots problems with scanning system and automatic processes in resource sharing systems, working in coordination with the Lending Specialist, the Resource Sharing Librarian, the Library Technology Services department, and outside vendors as appropriate. Updates unit staff on status of technical issues. 

  • Oversees investigation of overdue materials loaned to University patrons. Reviews invoices sent by other libraries for lost or long overdue materials. Approves payment to other libraries as needed. Coordinates billing of University patrons for materials borrowed from other libraries with the Libraries’ billing staff. 

  • Uses the University’s purchasing card to purchase articles for University patrons when unavailable by other means. Accurately reports spending and submits card statements for approval and processing in a timely manner. 

  • Uses resource sharing systems, library systems, and a variety of online databases to process routine and complex requests from University patrons and other libraries with a focus on borrowing and document delivery. Recommends materials to the Acquisitions Unit for purchase as appropriate. Ensures accurate and timely delivery of material, or promptly responds explaining why the material cannot be supplied. Communicates with patrons, liaison librarians, outside departments, and other libraries as needed. Updates resource sharing systems to accurately reflect status of request. 

  • Responds thoroughly and accurately to questions from University patrons, other departments in the Libraries, and outside libraries via phone and email, in person, and through resource sharing systems. Effectively and tactfully communicates departmental policies and procedures, history and status of interlibrary loan requests, and other necessary information, while maintaining patron confidentiality. Provides assistance with interlibrary loan accounts and navigation of services. Reports errors in the Libraries' holdings data or electronic resource linking to the Information Resources Management department. Consults with colleagues and refer questions to other departments and staff within the Libraries and on campus as appropriate. Refers complex problems to the Lending Specialist or Resource Sharing Librarian as needed. 

  • When necessary, links the appropriate bibliographic records in the library systems to physical items by locating the correct bibliographic and item records, updates barcode number in item record to match the physical item. Refers complex problems and uncatalogued material to other library staff as appropriate. 

Other Functions 

  • Participates in training and professional development activities in order to maintain familiarity with relevant policies and services as well as specialist knowledge of the various technologies and best practices for interlibrary loan and document delivery. Maintains up-to-date documentation of workflow procedures. Recommends changes to the Resource Sharing Librarian as appropriate. 

  • Actively follows information shared through various library and University communication channels. Contribute to unit, department, and library-wide information sharing as appropriate. 

  • Works creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusivity within the Libraries and for the Campus at large. Recommends procedural and policy changes to the Resource Sharing Librarian as appropriate. 

  • Cross-trains with other unit staff, providing daily support to one another as needed. Works collaboratively to provide backup for and cross-train with various Access Services units as workload and shifting priorities require. 

  • Serves on committees and participates in communities of interest as appropriate. 

  • Performs other related duties as assigned and in support of the mission and goals of the Libraries. 


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • High school diploma plus two years’ experience in a library or equivalent setting involving library research, database and bibliographic searching, and use of reference materials. 

  •  One year supervisory experience involving training, oversight, and assignment of work in a fast-paced, technology-intensive service setting. 

  •  Advanced knowledge of common office software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheet, email, chat, and PDF editors. 

  •  Intermediate knowledge of library systems, reference materials, and methods for performing database searches and library research. 

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong service orientation, including tactfulness, resilience, and the ability to overcome obstacles and provide creative solutions. 


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Prior experience with library resource sharing/interlibrary loan. 


Work Schedule 

Monday-Friday, daytime hours. 

This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the University Staff Association, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University Staff Association collective bargaining agreement, therefore.


Salary Information 

 Grade: 16


Special Instructions to Applicants 

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information of three(3) professional references.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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