LIBEX international library and information job exchange


Guidance notes to Type of Post

1.Senior Librarian/Head of Service

You will have sufficient professional and managerial experience to represent and promote the library/information service. Postholders usually act as a spokesperson for LIS matters. Typical responsibilities may include: contributing to the strategic planning and policy of the service as a whole; planning the direction and development of the service; managing the human, financial, physical, traditional and electronic resources, which make up the service; advising on resource requirements of the service and preparing budgets; evaluating the quality of the service and ensuring cost effectiveness; policies, systems and procedures; ensuring delivery of an information service which meets the business needs of the organisation. Only found in larger organisations with multiple staffing tiers.


Depending on the management structure, in larger organisations, these posts will report directly to the Senior Librarian/Head of Service. Second tier staff have a major strategic and operational management responsibility including deployment of resources and policy recommendations. Typically, postholders have line management responsibility and/or budgetary responsibility. Often the postholder will combine responsibility for a policy or client area plus a line management responsibility for a specific geographical area or branch. Typical responsibilities may include: forming part of the senior management team or other strategic grouping; deputising for Head of service; a service-wide responsibility for a distinct area e.g. Children's services. This category may also include specialists who are the main advisers to the library service, on certain aspects of service provision, e.g. reader development. Duties may include noticeably longer, complex enquiries or research. It may also include other posts with responsibility for specific functions or areas. In smaller organisations with fewer staffing tiers, it also includes the head of service.

3.Professional Librarian

Professional Librarian with LIS qualifications: degree level and above (or equivalent). Professional librarian describes an individual who has been educated to a nationally agreed level of competence, the quality of which is supported by a Code of Professional Conduct. Post holders may move between different functions and parts of the service, work in broad operational areas or be a more specialised post e.g. Bibliographic Services Librarian. Your work is carried out using professional initiative and exercising judgement under the supervision of a more experienced member of staff/manager. Posts often include responsibility for: supervision of operational /clerical support staff; enquiry work; participation in the selection of materials; cataloguing and indexing. You may have direct contact with users but not necessarily. In smaller organisations or in the case of a solo librarian, you will be in charge of the library or information centre on a day-to-day basis.

4.Operational/Support Staff

This is a support role. The role calls for a combination of practical experience and some limited theoretical knowledge. You may or may not have competency-based qualifications which require practical ability. Usually you will have direct contact with users and are often the first point of contact for users. You carry out the day-to-day delivery of library services to the users. You undertake a range of routine tasks and clerical procedures including the operation of various systems and library equipment which underpin the effective operation of the Library and Information service. Typical duties may include: counter and enquiry work; shelving; handling of money; help and support for users; loose-leaf filing.


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