Library Assistant - Acquisitions and Circulation


Evanston Public Library
Library Type: 
Public Library

Position Details

Full Time or Part Time: 
Full Time
Full Time - 37.5 hours per week Tuesday through Saturday Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday flexible hours between 9:00am – 6:00pm Fridays and Saturdays 10:15am – 6:15pm


Under the administrative direction of the Access Services Manager this position orders, receives, and invoices new materials for the Library's collections in a timely and accurate manner. Additionally, this position receives and processes new materials for the Library's Periodicals collection. Overall responsibility for circulation functions, including, but not limited to, greeting and assisting patrons both in person and over the phone; accurate and prompt check-out, check-in and routing of all library materials; registering new library users; explaining library policies; serving as Circulation staff member in charge; and effectively resolving difficulties that may arise. Approximately 25% of weekly work time will be spent on duties related to circulation functions.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (Specific assignment may include some or all of the following):

Produces "on order" records and prepares purchase orders for approved purchases of library materials using both printed purchase orders and the acquisitions module of the Library's integrated software; handles correspondence and phone calls related to the purchases.

Places orders and receives materials. Verifies and prepares invoices for payment. Monitors prepaid orders to insure receipt of materials.

Assists with management of the Library's standing orders and subscriptions.

Works cooperatively with other Library employees to keep new and existing library materials moving through the department and available to customers in a timely manner.

Maintains excellent relationships with vendors, and handles returns, credits, claims, and cancellations.

Assists with fund accounting for selectors using the acquisitions module of the Library's integrated software.

Ensures excellent customer service is delivered to patrons and staff in a consistent, gracious and friendly manner.

Greets and assists patrons both in person and over the phone; checks in and routes all library materials; registers new library users; explains library policies.

Understands, applies and interprets library policies and procedures while safeguarding confidential and restricted information. Advises Circulation Management of areas of concern and assists in solving problems that affect the department and the library.

Maintains acquisition related print files and online reports and Excel tables.

Coordinates specific aspects of technical services functions and provides input to Access Services Manager on procedures and vendor related service matters.

Attends staff meetings, conferences, and professional development opportunities as appropriate.

Has working knowledge of Library policies and procedures, with a commitment to carrying them out at all times, while safeguarding confidential and restricted information.

May perform other duties as assigned.


Possession of a high school diploma (or GED) and a minimum of six months experience doing acquisitions and customer service related work in a library, or any combination of training and experience that provides the following knowledge, abilities, and skills: demonstrated knowledge of library acquisitions practices, techniques, and technologies including experience with EDI and 9xx ordering.

Thorough knowledge of hardware personal computer and software including: Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, and Excel), internet, and Polaris library software.

Basic understanding of accounts payable principles.

Ability to perform complex and detailed work accurately, reliably, and efficiently with minimum supervision.

Basic knowledge and use of computer systems, and ability to be trained and become proficient in department-specific software and hardware, specifically Innovative Polaris and library vendor online ordering systems.

Ability to apply commonsense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagrammatic form.

Ability to recognize errors in vendor invoices, to recognize situations not covered in training, and to ask the appropriate persons for guidance in either case.

Ability to read, comprehend, and implement complex procedures and perform basic mathematical computations.

Ability to speak clearly and distinctly, with voice, diction, phonetics and grammar that are understandable to the listener.

Ability to establish and maintain effective, courteous working relationships with supervisors, co-workers, and the public including Library vendors.

Understanding of the role of Access Services in carrying out the Library's mission.


The ability to work in a primarily sedentary position, with the ability to occasionally use force to exert up to 20 pounds. The ability to lift, carry or otherwise move objects, books, materials, etc. using up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.

The employee is subject to inside environmental conditions: protection from weather conditions, but not necessarily from indoor temperature changes.

There are no environmental hazards associated with this classification.


Work is performed under the supervision and guidance of the Access Services Manager. The individual has contact with other library agencies and staff at all levels, and uses the necessary resources to meet and achieve goals and/or objectives. Work is assigned through specific projects. The employee is responsible for prioritizing work tasks, and for identifying and utilizing the appropriate resources to resolve a problem or situation. Work performance is reviewed through observation, completion of projects, status reports, conferences and meetings. Guidance is provided through the City Code, departmental policies, City operating practices and procedures, and other resources as applicable to specific projects assigned. Work is evaluated at least annually, with respect to customer service, accuracy, problem-solving ability and performance in accordance with this classification standard.


The employee has regular and frequent contact with the general public.


To apply for this position, please apply online at on or before the closing date.

Chosen candidates will be subject to a qualifying pre-employment medical examination and drug/alcohol screen.

The City of Evanston is committed to making all public meetings accessible to persons with disabilities. Any citizen needing mobility or communications access assistance should contact the Facilities Management Office at 847-866-2916 (voice) or 847-448-8052 (TTY).

To Apply

Application Deadline: 
Date below
Deadline Date: 
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Application Contact: 
Jennifer Clough
Apply To: IL