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City of Torrance
Class Code: 1621

Class Designation: Civil Service

October 1998

Representation Unit: Torrance Library Employees Association


Library Assistant II


Under direction, performs paraprofessional work in a branch library or a specialized library function; supervises the work of support staff; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Library Assistant II is the advanced journey level as a paraprofessional in the library series. The Library Assistant II is distinguished from a Librarian in the level and scope of responsibility exercised and expertise required; and distinguished from the Library Assistant I in that the incumbent is not restricted to clerical tasks. Work requires incumbents to exercise judgment in selecting appropriate guidelines to follow; significant deviations require prior approval. Interpretation of administrative or operational policies is necessary.

Supervision Exercised/Received:

Receives direction from a Librarian or Senior Librarian and exercises direct supervision over lower-level subordinates.

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

  • Provides reference and reader's advisory service and instruction in the use of the library to patrons.
  • Performs circulation and service desk duties including processing magazine subscription donations, collecting fines and check out/check in; assists in registering new borrowers.
  • Performs routine cataloging of library materials.
  • Distributes audio-visual equipment and materials as requested.
  • May present various programs, including storytelling, puppet shows, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Assists professional staff in reviewing and recommending books and other materials for collection.
  • May develop displays, exhibits, brochures and news releases promoting library materials and services.
  • Responds to inquiries and requests for assistance from City staff and the public involving an understanding of departmental and City policies and regulations.
  • Receives and processes requests from patrons by checking the database, professional media and on order files.
  • Receives, reviews and prioritizes requests for orders of books, materials, equipment and supplies; evaluates and selects appropriate accounts to charge budget for various purchases; approves invoices for payment; and maintains logs and files relating to acquisition of books, materials, supplies and maintenance contracts.
  • Plans, assigns and coordinates the work of lower-level personnel. Supervisory duties may include instructing, assigning, planning and reviewing work, evaluating work performance and completing performance evaluations, acting on employee problems, selecting employees, and recommending and implementing employee discipline. Providing advice and assistance as needed.
  • Provides information to the public or other agencies utilizing technical references.
  • Interacts with patrons in a courteous and professional manner and attempts to defuse potentially volatile or sensitive situations to ensure quality customer service.
  • 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.
  • Maintains records, prepares statistics and reports accurately and efficiently.
  • Reconciles cash received by Library department, processes paperwork and forwards to Finance department; performs routine bookkeeping duties.
  • Prepares correspondence on procedural or informational matters without review by supervisor.
  • Maintains a complex system of inter-related files and records, including personnel and time records.
  • Manages allocated funds by reviewing and monitoring assigned projects and making recommendations regarding appropriate uses.
  • Orders, receives and distributes materials, supplies and equipment for the Library.
  • Monitors and evaluates turn-over rate of inventory stock and ensures that appropriate stock levels are maintained.
  • Conducts inquiries to establish the best sources of supply for a variety of products.
  • Reviews and approves invoices for processing.
  • Prepares periodic reports and makes recommendations regarding purchasing practices to Library Management.
  • May assume responsibility for a Branch library or section of the library in the absence of Senior Librarian or Librarian.
  • 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:

  • Assists in maintaining a neat and orderly workplace.
  • Performs routine clerical work as necessary, including but not limited answering the telephone and routing calls to appropriate personnel; typing, copying and filing documents, etc.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of:
  • Practices and procedures of modern library operations, including filing, cataloging and indexing.
  • The Dewey Decimal System.
  • General reference sources.
  • Audio-visual procedures and techniques.
  • Reading guidance techniques for a public library.
  • Automation techniques applicable to library operations.
  • Modern office practices and equipment.
  • City policies and procedures affecting library operations.
  • Methods of conducting storytelling and instruction in library use for children, if applicable.
  • Purchasing principles and practices, and pricing, shipping and billing procedures.
  • Methods of receiving, storing, issuing and maintaining inventory.
  • Public relations and customer service techniques.
  • Principles of supervision.
  • Ability to:
  • Read, write and comprehend library materials at a high school graduate level.
  • Use reference materials.
  • Present public library programs for youth.
  • Assist in evaluating books for adults and youth.
  • Perform simple mathematical computations when handling cash transactions.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City employees, private and community organizations, vendors and the public.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Establish rapport and work effectively with library patrons.
  • Utilize a computer and a variety of office machinery.
  • Follow oral and written instructions.
  • Supervise subordinates including training, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, and counseling and disciplining staff.
  • Learn and utilize new skills and information to improve job performance and efficiency.
  • License or Certificate:

    None required.

    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:
    Equivalent to a high school diploma and three years of public library experience.
    (College courses in English, history or library science are desirable.)

    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; sufficient hand/eye coordination to perform skilled repetitive movements such as typing, data entry, filing and/or the use of calculators or other office equipment. May require the ability to climb ladders or step stools, push or pull book carts, move boxes of materials of considerable weight from one location to another. May involve extensive VDT exposure. Tasks require visual perception and discrimination and oral communications ability. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification, supplemented by education, may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Librarian.