Library Assistant (Special Collections)

King's College London

About Us  

The King’s community is dedicated to the service of society. King’s Strategic Vision 2029 sets out our vision for the future, shaped around five priority areas: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; and an international community that services the world. Our ambitious Education Strategy sets out the actions that we must take to transform how we teach, how and where our students learn and how we support them during their time with us. 

Libraries & Collections comprises four departments: Education & Learning, Research & Impact, Service Design & Delivery, along with Business Operations. We are part of the Students & Education Directorate, which manages the student lifecycle from application to graduation and beyond. 

This role is based in the Special Collections team, which is responsible for the development, management and promotion of our special collections. Our special collections comprise over 200,000 rare or unique items, ranging in date from the 15th century to the present day. 

About the Role

The purpose of the Library Assistant (Special Collections) is to support the operations and services of the Foyle Special Collections Library. This is a role in which you will be primarily working on-site.  

​This is an exciting opportunity for candidates looking to work with unique and distinctive collections that enhance teaching, learning and research and who wish to utilise their skills and expertise in service development and delivery. This is an opportunity to grow your skills in rare books and printed special collections. 

All grade 3 staff are assigned a placement brief within a particular team but may be moved across to a different placement brief elsewhere within Libraries & Collections in order to support service needs or your development. 

All Libraries & Collections staff are encouraged to take responsibility for their own performance and development, through agreeing clear objectives, maintaining professional awareness and reflecting on own performance. We expect all colleagues to role-model a positive, proactive, flexible and committed approach that encourages others. 

​You will be required to participate in frontline services as required, including contributing towards a rota for evening and weekend working.

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract. 

This is a full-time post, but we welcome applications from candidates seeking a flexible work pattern within our necessary service operating hours.

•         Take responsibility for handling customer enquiries, responding promptly and referring complex enquiries as appropriate  

•         Ensure all work is carried out in a professional and timely manner, with appropriate confidentiality and sensitivity, maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of data protection and copyright requirements 

•         Contribute to the development and improvement of the service, and associated service processes, through identifying and suggesting improvements based on user feedback, colleague insight and own knowledge and experience 

•         Work collaboratively and flexibly as part of Libraries & Collections, supporting other teams in times of in times of high-volume activity 

Placement brief for Special Collections

•         Process and shelve special collections items efficiently and accurately 

•         Facilitate the targeted growth of our research and special collections by assisting in the assessment, sorting and ingest of major gifted collections 

•         Assist in the delivery of the Special Collections digitisation strategy 

•         Provide administrative and housekeeping support to the Foyle Special Collections Library 

•         Assist in the delivery of workshops and presentations on Special Collections to library users and colleagues and assist with outreach and engagement initiatives, displays and events 

•         Create and edit online catalogue records, under supervision, to agreed standards, using Resource Description and Access (RDA) and MARC21 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Please clearly address how you meet the
essential criteria in your application, and where possible how you meet the
desirable criteria as well.

Essential criteria

  • Relevant work experience and/or education: We think a wide range of different work and educational experiences could support you to be successful in this role. Relevant work experience might include work in a library, or other educational setting. Relevant educational experiences might include higher education in a related discipline, professional qualifications or other training 
  • Excellent organisation and time management skills 
  • Ability to work to a high level of accuracy and attention to detail 
  • Ability to work as part of a team in a fast-changing environment 
  • Commitment to personal accountability and continuous improvement, driving own professional development 
  • Commitment to equity, equality, diversity and inclusivity in your own learning and ways of working 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Ability to carry heavy volumes and push laden trolleys 
  • Experience of or proven interest in working with printed special collections 
  • Methodical, detail-oriented approach to work, maintaining a high level of accuracy 
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team 
  • Desirable criteria

  • Experience of working in a customer-oriented environment 
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines 
  • Suitably qualified by experience in a library setting 
  • Experience of using library catalogues and resource discovery tools 
  • Proven interest in working with special collections 
  • Please submit a personal statement when applying for this vacancy, clearly setting out how you meet the essential criteria, as this is how we shortlist applications. Learn more about how we recruit, including tips on writing your application and supporting statement on our website:

    If you are a student or alumni of King’s there are resources from King’s Careers & Employability to support you in your application and interview. 

    Interviews will be held in person and will consist of competency-based questions linked closely to the essential and desirable criteria mentioned here. The interviews will include a practical exercise; and there will be a tour of the location. 

    Although we have made improvements over the last number of years, our team is still under-represented in terms of staff from global majority ethnicities, LGBTQ+ identities, and from people with disabilities. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, communities and industries, and are committed to employing a team that has diverse skills, experiences and abilities. 

    Interviews are scheduled to take place on Thursday 9 March  

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