Berkshire Athenaeum


CLASSIFICATION TITLE:       Senior Assistant              

JOB TITLES:                            Reference Assistant (part-time)
                                                Local History Department Assistant (part-time)

GRADE LEVEL:                        6 (part-time)


GENERAL STATEMENT OF DUTIES: Positions classified in this grade are paraprofessional in nature and are transition positions between clerical and professional.  Positions involve assisting supervisors in meeting library and departmental goals by performing certain specific functions, typically public desk service, but including clerical work for the supervisor.  These functions may vary by department depending upon identified needs.  Positions require the ability and desire to solve problems. 

SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Senior Assistants work under the general supervision of a Senior Supervisor, Supervisor/Specialist I and/or Senior Technician. 

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Senior Assistants, in the absence of a supervisor, are responsible for the supervision of the following subordinate staff: Library Assistant II, Library Assistant I and Shelver positions. 


o        Performs specific tasks assigned by the supervisor, usually one time projects, but may be trained for specific functions involving ongoing duties, including special research, database creation / maintenance, and preservation activities.

o        Performs clerical duties.

o        Applies problem solving abilities to appropriate circumstances; routinely addressing complaints and resolving problems.

o        Performs Internet, CD ROM and other computer searches.

o        Provides public desk coverage as applicable, including assisting library users in answering reference questions of moderate to higher complexity; assisting patrons locating and using department materials and equipment; and maintaining public discipline and decorum.

o        Assists with program planning and execution, including scheduling of special events and promotion.

o        Assists in the training of subordinate staff.

o        Uses the departmentÂ’s audio-visual, office and computer equipment and resources, and routinely offers training to staff and/or public in its use.

o        Other duties as assigned, including shelving tasks as needed.


QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty successfully with a minimum of supervision.  The requirements noted below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability necessary.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



o        A bachelors degree; two years of college or technical school with related course work; one year of related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Directly related college courses (when applicable) is desired.

o        Computer skills or demonstrated ability/aptitude to be trained in this area.

o        Demonstrated patience and skill in dealing with general public.


o        Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. 

o        Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. 

o        Ability to speak before groups of customers or employees of the organization. 

o        Ability to communicate fluently in English.

o        Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.


o        Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in writing, oral or diagram form.

o        Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS: A current driverÂ’s license for occasional driving to training programs.


o        Routinely required to talk or hear, including oral communication via normal telephone connections. 

o        Frequently required to stand, walk, sit, use hands to finger, handle or feel, and reach with hands and arms. 

o        Ability to operate a keyboard.

o        Routinely lift items weighing up to twenty pounds from the floor to positions overhead; and move loaded book trucks (weighing in excess of 100 pounds) over carpeted and uncarpeted surfaces and over thresholds.

o        Occasionally required to climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or smell.

o        Special vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.