Public Services Assistant - Tenders Global

Public Services Assistant

Harvard University


Harvard College Library


Job Summary

Reporting to the Head of Teaching and Learning, and working closely with other Public Services Division team members, the Public Services Assistant provides support for Houghton Library’s reference and public services operations, Houghton Library’s instruction program, and the library’s undergraduate fellowship program. 

Under the supervision of the Head of Teaching and Learning, the Public Services Assistant will provide support for the library’s instruction program, including, but not limited to, classes, the undergraduate fellowship program, and student outreach events and programming. Responsibilities may include selecting primary sources for classes/events, paging collection materials, staging classrooms for instruction, and proctoring collections use in classes. 

With the guidance of librarians, the Public Services Assistant will also provide reference and public services on-site and virtually to patrons using Houghton Library collections. They will assist in general Public Services Division tasks such as greeting and welcoming visitors and researchers to the library, monitoring the reading room, in-house reproductions, and paging and shelving materials in Houghton’s stacks. 

This position will work 9:00 am–5:00 pm Monday through Friday with possible occasional evening and weekend shifts.

Position Description

​​​​DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:  include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Assist with special collections instruction, including selecting materials, paging collection material, setting up collection materials in classrooms, and proctoring collections use in class sessions.

  • Assist with logistics and coordination for instruction and fellowship classes, workshops, and other events.

  • Assist in scheduling classes, booking instruction spaces, and ensuring classroom supplies are stocked and maintained.

  • With the guidance of librarians provide reference and public services to on-site and remote library users.

  • Assist patrons with library systems including HOLLIS, HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, and HOLLIS Special Request.

  • Greet and assist researchers in the use of the library. Explain library policies and procedures.

  • Monitor the operations of the reading room. Provide instruction in handling archival, manuscript, and rare book collections.

  • Assist in documenting and updating public services policies as necessary and in coordination with the Circulation and Collections Manager, page and shelve materials from the closed stacks.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES:  May supervise student employees.

Basic Qualifications

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

  • Minimum of two years’ experience in special collections, archives, academic libraries, or related institutions. Education may count toward experience. 

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • 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.

  • Familiarity with one or more languages (in addition to English) desirable.

Working Conditions

  • The position is based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.

Additional Information

Houghton Library is Harvard’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library is a destination for students and scholars on campus and around the world, and each year welcomes thousands of researchers and students into its reading room and classrooms.
Houghton Library’s collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
To learn more about the collections and Houghton Library, please visit our website at .


USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

403074 Library Assistant VI


Houghton Library


55 – Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


9:00 am–5:00 pm Monday through Friday with possible occasional evening and weekend shifts

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

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

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.

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