East Asian Library Assistant

Evanston, Illinois, United States

Job description

Job ID: 32513

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Department: NUL Acquisitions

Job Summary:

This position concentrates on the processing of East Asian materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean through Acquisitions. Creates bibliographic and holdings records and purchase orders. Creates invoices in Alma to make payments. Quick catalogs items for which copy is found. Selects titles for the East Asian collections. Works with serial check-in and claiming of East Asian titles. Helps with acquisitions processing on a project basis as needed.

Please note: Ability to lift a minimum of 25 pounds.Ability to push and pull full book trucks

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Performs the following acquisitions functions for East Asian materials in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  • Creates copy holdings records and purchase orders, selecting the appropriate foreign or domestic book vendor, price, and fund codes based on the order requisition, notification or approval slip.
  • Orders and receives all materials formats, such as print, online, microform, DVD, CD-ROM, monographs, serials, and standing orders.
  • Searches for duplicates and variant editions before ordering.
  • Creates bibliographic records by transferring appropriate copy from OCLC or by creating provisional records in Alma or OCLC depending on collections being acquired.
  • Creates invoices in Alma and pays for books and serials received on firm order or approval.
  • Contacts vendors or publishers as necessary.
  • Records and interprets online reports from foreign and domestic vendors concerning outstanding orders.
  • Communicates with Library staff as necessary concerning acquisitions issues.


  • Catalogs monographic items for which copy is found for new receipts and from existing East Asian materials backlog of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials.
  • Communicates with library staff as necessary regarding cataloging issues.
  • Performs cataloging that conforms to NUL standards for books, and other materials as needed.
  • Compares available cataloging data to work in hand, verifying that data describes work.
  • Classifies work using the Library of Congress classification system.
  • Verifies headings in online database.
  • Creates item records.
  • Searches OCLC for serial copy and imports copy to Alma, or creates a serial provisional record in Alma before forwarding to serials catalogers.

Training and other duties

  • May assist in training or revising work of other acquisitions staff and special projects as necessary.
  • Performs other assignments, as needed, including assisting with the opening, sorting, and routing of East Asian materials receipts.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A high school diploma, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • One-year of experience in cataloging, acquisitions OR data entry.
  • Minimum 2 years’ library experience or other relevant experience (general office / clerical / customer service / retail) required.
  • Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
  • Working knowledge of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages and the ability to work with unfamiliar languages with the help of a dictionary.
  • Adaptability – Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
  • Agility  Is open to change and responds by adapting to work methods and behaviors; pays attention to changing circumstances and adapts to them.
  • Collegiality  Being helpful, respectful, approachable, and team oriented building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.
  • Computer Proficiency  Successfully uses multiple software programs independently. Software may include Microsoft Office, applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Access, email, and web browsers.
  • Data Entry  Possesses basic data entry skills.
  • Efficiency/Dependability  Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
  • Customer Service: Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands company products and services, maintains pleasant and professional image.
  • Working knowledge of one or more modern European Languages and the ability to work with unfamiliar languages with the help of a dictionary.
  • Ability to perform detailed work accurately while maintaining flexibility in handling variations in normal procedures
  • Planning: Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with company goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • College Degree
  • 3+ years experience in a library or equivalent environment, in particular an academic or research library.
  • Familiarity with standard library methods and procedures.
  • Previous supervisory or project coordination experience.
  • Experience with an integrated library system (ILS).
  • Familiarity with MARC data standards.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Explores alternatives to existing products and services; identifies opportunities to improve procedures and practices; shows imagination.

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

How to apply

Apply online

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Northwestern University is a private research university located on lakefront campuses in both Evanston and downtown Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern was founded in 1851. In fall 2008, Northwestern opened another campus in Doha, Qatar offering bachelor's degrees in journalism and communications in partnership with the Qatar Foundation.