Reader Services and Administrative Assistant

Requisition Number: JR11701
Grade and Classification: C-9 / Library Assistant III
Division / Dept. / Unit: SCRC - Collection Management
Reports to: Public Services Supervisor
Work Schedule: 37.5 hours per week; Schedule set upon successful hire

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 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.


The following responsibilities represent Reader Services Support work performed.

  • Shares responsibility with the Reading Room Coordinator 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.
  • In conjuction with the Reading Room Coordinator, provides 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.
  • Partners with the Reading Room Coordinator 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.
  • Collaborates with the Reading Room Coordinator 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.

The following responsibilities represent Administrative Support work performed.

  • Answers the main telephone; sorts and routes mail.
  • Supports 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 and 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.
  • Fields correspondence and related administrative support for the SCRC Director.
  • 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.
  • Read and interpret complex documentation required.
  • Srong organizational skills and attention to detail and accuracy, with the ability to sustain attention to detail over long stretches of time, required.
  • Handle confidential information and materials with discretion required.
  • Manage contacts with a wide variety of researchers and visitors, in person and by telephone, with diplomacy, respect, and discretion required.
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple priorities and meet deadlines required.
  • Work well with other staff members required.
  • Sound judgment and effective, independent problem-solving and decision-making skills required.
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills required.

Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • High school diploma or GED required.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.


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

Technical knowledge or Skills:

  • 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.
  • Understanding of the academic research process required.
  • Proficiency with e-mail and desktop applications including Windows, Microsoft Office required.
  • Web authoring experience preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Office environment.
  • Handle rare and fragile materials in a safe and sensitive manner.
  • Lift and move up to 50lbs.
  • 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.
  • Sit for 4 hours or more.
  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Make repetitive wrist, hand, or finger movements.
  • Operate equipment necessary to perform job.
  • Use standard work station equipment.
  • Use standard office equipment.

Pay Range: $17.98 - $26.32

Required Documents:

  • Resume/CV

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

To Apply

To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through 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

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.


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