Careers at UMass Amherst

Library Assistant III (Interlibrary Loan Specialist - Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 523480
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Lib - Collection Services
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Library

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

As a member of the Interlibrary Loan Unit in the Access Services Department, the Interlibrary Loan Specialist uses resource sharing systems, library systems, and a variety of online databases to process requests for materials needed by University patrons, and requests from other libraries for materials held by the University Libraries. Ensure that records are updated quickly and accurately. Respond thoroughly and accurately to questions from patrons and other libraries. Participate in consortial initiatives related to resource sharing. Contributes to department documentation relating to resource sharing.


Essential Functions

  • Use a high degree of independent judgment to process interlibrary loan and document delivery requests from University patrons, and to supply materials from University collections to other libraries in compliance with licenses for electronic resources, U.S. Copyright Law, Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, and with other laws, codes, policies, standards, and guidelines as applicable. Ensure accurate and timely response. Communicate proactively with patrons, liaison librarians, outside departments, and other libraries as needed. Recommend materials to the Acquisitions unit for purchase as appropriate.
  • Update records in library systems (such as FOLIO), resource sharing systems (such as ILLiad, RapidILL, Worldshare, ComCat, etc.) and/or other systems as needed to accurately reflect the status, location, and ability to supply the requested material. Report errors in the Libraries' holdings data or electronic resource linking to the Information Resources Management department.
  • Distribute paging slips for interlibrary loan and document delivery requests for retrieval. Investigate when materials needed for interlibrary loan and document delivery requests are not found. Coordinate with Stacks Management and other areas as needed to search for missing materials.
  • Respond thoroughly and accurately to questions from University patrons, other departments in the Libraries, and outside libraries via phone, email, in person, and through resource sharing systems. Effectively and tactfully communicate departmental policies and procedures, history and status of interlibrary loan requests, and other necessary information, while maintaining patron confidentiality. Provide assistance with interlibrary loan accounts and navigation of services. Resolve renewal requests and overdue notices for interlibrary loan materials.
  • Oversee routine tasks for interlibrary loan student assistants. Engage with students to support their success.
  • Oversee incoming and outgoing deliveries. Distribute returned and borrowed library materials, articles received in print, and other mail to appropriate unit staff for processing. Pack mail, scan articles or book chapters, and process electronic article requests when necessary.
  • Coordinate the Library Express program to mail material to University patrons living off campus.
  • Run regular reports of interlibrary loan materials expected to be on regular and library use only hold shelves, investigate missing materials, and return materials past due to owning libraries.
  • Support receiving and processing of invoices and checks for interlibrary loan materials (including for supply of scans and for lost or damaged loans).
  • Cross-train with other unit and department staff; provide daily support to one another as needed.
  • Monitor supply levels of departmental supplies and order additional supplies as needed, checking needs of other unit staff before each order.
  • Link physical items to appropriate bibliographic records in FOLIO as needed. Refer complex problems and uncatalogued material to other Library staff as appropriate.
  • Engage with emerging technologies and best practices related to resource sharing. Participate in training and professional development activities in order to maintain familiarity with relevant laws, codes, policies, standards, and guidelines, as well as knowledge of various resource sharing technologies. Participate in creation and maintenance of departmental documentation related to resource sharing.  Recommend software, procedural, and policy changes to the Resource Sharing Librarian as appropriate.
  • Actively follow information shared through various library and University communication channels. Contribute to unit, department, and library-wide information sharing as appropriate.
  • Manage international mail between libraries. Maintain accurate address and contact information for international libraries. Keep up to date with relevant copyright, shipping policies, guidelines, codes, and treaties for various countries. Securely pack materials for shipment, ensuring that customs, tariff, and invoice information is accurate to the destination country. Track materials and make claims for missing shipments as needed.
  • Refer complex problems to the Borrowing Specialist, Lending Specialist, or Resource Sharing Librarian as needed.
  • Work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusivity within the Libraries and for the campus at large. Foster a positive and proactive customer service culture in the department.
  • Participate in Libraries and consortium committees, task forces, and other initiatives as assigned.


Other Functions

Perform other related duties as assigned and in support of the mission and goals of the Libraries and the department.


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

  • Four (4) year college degree plus relevant experience, preferably in a library; or high school diploma or equivalent, plus considerable library experience.
  • Proven experience supervising students, interns, volunteers, or permanent staff involving training, oversight, and assignment of work.
  • Ability to understand and follow complex written and oral instructions.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and strong service orientation.
  • Proficiency with commonly used office productivity tools such as: Google Suite, Microsoft Suite, Microsoft Teams, PDF editing tools such as Foxit or Adobe Acrobat Pro, internet browsers, and search engines.
  • Ability to troubleshoot minor technical problems with office equipment and software, including ability to articulate details of technical problems in order to report problems to and guide help from appropriate support areas.
  • Strong attention to detail, and ability to assemble data, and work accurately with names, numbers, codes, and symbols, verify information between different records, and maintain accurate records.
  • Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of staff and students.
  • Knowledge of library resource sharing systems (such as ILLiad, RapidILL, WorldShare, etc.), and/or knowledge of methods and vocabulary used in performing library research and bibliographic searches preferred.


Work Schedule

  • Monday-Friday, daytime hours with an option for one (1) remote day a week after the training period has ended.
  • 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 14


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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