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Career Story: Circulation Assistant In A Public Library

Circulation Assistant In A Public Library

Job Title: Library Circulation Assistant

Type of Company: Public Library

Education: BS, Education, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I volunteered at the library. Then I took a part-time position which finally led to a full-time one.

Job Tasks: My main responsibility is to serve the patrons of our library. I check books in and out. I answer questions about their accounts. Part of my job is to oversee the collection of fines on overdue books. This is done by phone calls and mailings. Bills of over a hundred dollars are handled at times by the community police in an attempt to secure our property.

I am also responsible for compiling monthly and quarterly reports on lost and missing items, claims returned, expired holds, and items missing in transit, etc. We actually search the shelves for these to try to find them. Part of the job requires the issuing of library cards and deactivating ones that have not been used in 10 years. At times, I write training documents and do research at the request of the director.

The job also encompasses some training of new hires, troubleshooting and supervising part-timers.

After 14 years, I still enjoy working here and helping the patrons.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are seeing the faces and listening to the responses of satisfied customers. The children are a very satisfying element of the job, especially when I'm issuing them their first library cards.

The worst part is dealing with irate patrons who won't listen and managing staffing in spite of steep budget reductions.

Job Tips: Pursue a degree in library science, since that's what you need now. Try to take courses in customer service and be proficient in computer usage.

Also you must be self-motivated, able to work independently and multi-task.

Do not expect to make a great deal of money. The career should be its own reward.

Additional Thoughts: I would again strongly urge pursuit of a degree in library science.

I think success is helped by courtesy, people skills, listening skills, problem solving, multitasking, independent work skills, ability to follow directions and especially, and above all, good customer service skills.

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