Library Assistant (Special Collections)

London (Greater) (GB)
£25,186 - £28,371 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
02 Dec 2021
End of advertisement period
02 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

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. 

The Special Collections team sits within Libraries & Collections. The role of the team is to acquire, document, preserve, make available, promote and interpret the Special Collections at King’s for the benefit of staff, students, external researchers and the wider public, both now and in future generations. 

We are part of the wider Students & Education Directorate, a collection of wide-ranging professional services in place to support King’s students and their education. As a directorate we manage the student lifecycle from application to graduation and beyond, to ensure a coherent and seamless student experience and effective administrative processes, working closely with King’s faculties to do so. 


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. 

The role provides an exciting opportunity for candidates looking to work with unique and distinctive collections that enhance teaching, learning and research and who wish to develop their skills and expertise in service development and delivery. Alongside this, it is an opportunity to grow your skills in rare books and printed special collections. 

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

We encourage applications from candidates who have experience from both within and outside the Higher Education sector, who can demonstrate the skills needed to succeed in this role. 


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.


Key responsibilities

  • Respond to enquiries, participate in reading room supervision and provide administrative and housekeeping support to the team
  • Process and shelve special collections items and facilitate the targeted growth of our research and special collections by assisting in the assessment, sorting and ingest of major gifted collections 
  • Create and edit online catalogue records, under supervision, to agreed standards using AACR2/RDA and MARC21 
  • Assist in the delivery of the Special Collections digitisation strategy
  • Assist in the delivery of workshops and presentations on Special Collections to library users

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.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  1. Relevant work experience and/or education: a wide range of different work and educational experiences could support you to be successful in this role. Relevant work experience might include work with special collections in cultural heritage organisations. Relevant educational experiences might include higher education in a related discipline or participation in relevant training. 
  2. Excellent oral and written communication skills, with a methodical, detail-oriented approach to work, maintaining a high level of accuracy 
  3. Excellent organisation and time management skills 
  4. Good numeracy and analytical skills to inform decision-making 
  5. Working knowledge of IT within an office environment and the ability to learn new systems 
  6. Experience in positively and proactively dealing with routine problems, with a proactive, responsive and flexible approach to work 
  7. Ability to work with a broad range of customers in a professional and assured manner 
  8. Ability to work as part of a team in a fast-changing environment 
  9. Ability to work effectively and proactively with other teams and stakeholders 
  10. Commitment to personal accountability and continuous improvement, driving own professional development 
  11. Ability to carry heavy volumes and push laden trolleys 
  12. Experience of or proven interest in working with printed special collections 

Desirable criteria

  1. Educated to first degree level 
  2. Suitably qualified by experience in a library setting 
  3. Experience of working in a customer-oriented environment 
  4. Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines 
  5. Experience of using Library catalogues and resource discovery tools 

  Further information

 Your application should include a personal statement which clearly sets out how you meet the essential criteria as this is how we shortlist applications. Please submit the online application form and personal statement only when applying for this vacancy, a CV will not be required or assessed.  Learn more about how we recruit, including tips on writing your application and supporting statement on our website:     


We intend to hold interviews in person and these will include a tour and practical exercise. If the situation around Covid-19 changes, we may interview online via Teams. Interviews will consist of competency-based questions, linked closely to the essential and desirable criteria mentioned here. 

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, with LGBTQ+ identities and 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 in the week commencing 17 January 2022