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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1182

Class Designation: Civil Service

October 1998

Representation Unit: Torrance Library Employees Association


Library Assistant I


Under general supervision, performs highly specialized library clerical support work, which requires independent judgment and functional expertise in library operations; operates a variety of office machines; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Library Assistant I is the journey level class in the Library support series, distinguished from the Junior Library Clerk in the scope and complexity of work assigned. The Library Assistant I is distinguished from the Library Assistant II in that incumbents do not supervise staff. Assignments frequently require the exercise of independent judgment and functional expertise in departmental operations. Incumbents may have the responsibility for assigning, reviewing, and coordinating the work of lower level classes and for the training of lower level classes. Interpretation of general administrative or operational policies is necessary.

Supervision Exercised/Received:

Receives general supervision from Senior Librarian, Librarian, or Library Assistant II. May provide technical supervision, which includes assigning, reviewing, coordinating and training of Junior Library Clerks or Library Pages but this task is ancillary to the primary focus of the classification.

Examples of Essential Duties:
The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.

  • Registers borrowers; charges and discharges library materials; and prepares patron registration.
  • Enters or modifies data to ensure accurate information regarding patron information, fines and fees, library staffing information, and library materials.
  • Collects information by researching records or files, and utilizes computer applications to accurately enter, records and retrieve department information and to prepare reports such as routine library performance data.
  • Prepares routine correspondence on procedural or informational matters without review by supervisor.
  • Processes and prepares materials for circulation.
  • Performs copy cataloging by editing or modifying bibliographic data according to established rules.
  • Processes and prepares materials for circulation.
  • Maintains a complex system of inter-related files and records, including personnel and time records; files and recovers materials from subject matter files.
  • Receives, checks, routes and distributes incoming internal and external documents, materials and supplies.
  • Provides information to the public or other agencies utilizing technical references.
  • Responds to inquiries and requests for assistance from City staff and the public involving an understanding of departmental and City policies and regulations.
  • Resolves problems for customers related to City and Library programs or services by researching records, providing information and taking appropriate action to correct errors or facilitate services.
  • Interacts with customers in a courteous and professional manner and attempts to defuse potentially volatile or sensitive situations to ensure quality customer service.
  • Receives and records library fines and fees and perform routine bookkeeping duties.
  • May receive and process requests from patrons by checking the database, professional media and on order files.
  • May provide reference and reader's advisory service and instruction in the use of the library to patrons.
  • Prepares purchase requisitions, orders supplies and maintains inventory.
  • May assume responsibility for a Branch library or section of the library in the absence of Senior Librarian, Librarian or Library Assistant II.
  • Examples of Other Duties:
    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:

  • Ensures the proper maintenance of department office equipment.
  • Assists in maintaining a neat and orderly workplace.
  • Attends meetings, workshops and seminars as required or appropriate.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of:
  • The Dewey Decimal System.
  • Practices and procedures of modern library operations, including filing, cataloging and indexing.
  • General reference sources.
  • City policies and procedures and procedures affecting departmental operations.
  • Proper use of English grammar and accurate spelling.
  • Modern office procedures and practices including business correspondence, filing and the operation of computers and other modern office equipment.
  • Customer relations and public relations techniques, including telephone etiquette.
  • Ability to:
  • Exercise independent judgment and tact in the applications of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and in difficult or sensitive situations in person and/or over the telephone.
  • Apply, interpret and explain City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations.
  • Prepare clear and concise correspondence, reports and materials.
  • Complete work with minimal supervision and instruction.
  • Spell and punctuate correctly, use proper English and make arithmetical computations.
  • Operate computers and a variety of office equipment.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Understand and accurately follow complex written and oral instructions.
  • Receive money and maintain accurate records of monetary transactions.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, the public, other City employees and individuals from outside agencies.
  • Perform duties courteously and professionally.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • Computer Applications
    Depending upon position assignment, proficiency may be required in one or more computer applications.

  • Proficiency in data entry to ensure accurate data input into library information files and the automated library system.
  • Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Two years of experience in a library; and a high school diploma or equivalent.

    Special Requirements
    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:

    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving moving from one area of the office to another; some positions require sufficient hand/eye coordination to perform skilled repetitive movements, such as typing, filing, data entry, and/or use of calculator, ten-key adding machine, or other office equipment or supplies; may involve extensive VDT exposure. May require the ability to climb ladders or step stools, push or pull book carts, lift and carry books or move boxes of materials of considerable weight from one location to another. Tasks require visual perception and discrimination as well as oral communications ability.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Library Assistant II.