Library Specialist – Music & Performing Arts Library

Library Specialist – Music & Performing Arts Library

Music and Performing Arts Library (MPAL)

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Job Summary (1020969)

Processes newly received materials; sends and receives materials from Preservation for binding; maintains serials collection; processes materials for course reserves. Works an average of ten hours per week at MPAL’s service desk.


Collection Processing and Maintenance

  • Processes incoming material shipments, sorting items appropriately for cataloging, shelf preparation, serials check-in, etc.
  • Processes items in PDF score workflow, working with Acquisitions, Cataloging, campus printing, Preservation, and unit librarians and resolving issues as needed.
  • Processes materials (such as music scores and parts) to and from Preservation department for binding, including placing work orders in Alma.
  • Downloads, formats, and generates call number labels for materials catalogued by Music Cataloging. Screens for errors, reconciles problems with unmatched or missing labels and materials. Matches labels to materials and applies to items in adherence with customary practices. Works with Music Cataloging to establish uniform labeling procedures and resolve problems.
  • Applies property stamps or labels, security strips, and other labeling or markings, or supervises student workers in these tasks.
  • Places patron requests in Alma on items they have requested for purchase and notifies patrons when items are available.
  • Updates online bibliographic records with new barcode, location, or other information to resolve problems as needed.
  • Routes items to CMS for transfer or withdrawal.
  • Assists with stacks maintenance, including shifting, shelf-reading, and inventory work and communicating with stacks manager about stacks issues such as crowding or disorder.
  • Carries out shelving as needed.

Public Service

  • Works shifts at the MPAL service desk to perform public service activity including circulation of library materials, loanable technology items, course reserves, bookable spaces, and authorizes special permission loans.
  • Pages items from closed stacks and the hold shelf as needed per patron request.
  • Assists patrons with circulation transactions and renewals, I-Share and ILL requests, and questions regarding their library account.
  • Understands, interprets, and communicates library policies and procedures to patrons (faculty/ instructors/ students) through email, phone, and in person.
  • Offers directional as well as reference assistance in person as well as via phone.
  • Assists patrons in finding and using MPAL’s physical and electronic collections and resources in the catalog and on the shelf.
  • Makes appropriate referrals of patrons with intensive reference and instruction needs to subject specialists. Refers other problems (e.g., i-card issues, facilities issues, and fulfillment and billing questions) to unit, Library, or campus staff as appropriate.
  • Troubleshoots printing, scanning and other technology questions, including microfilm readers/scanners, A/V equipment, loanable technology items, and wi-fi access.
  • Shares in supervision of student assistants at service desk and provides direction on shelving activities or other projects if needed.
  • Covers shifts as needed due to coworker absences.
  • Serves as assistant for hiring and training of student assistants and as backup for student payroll.

Serials maintenance

  • Checks in new periodicals, adding holdings to check-in files (spreadsheet and Alma).
  • Prepares new serial issues for shelves by marking, stripping, and labeling appropriately.
  • Processes items to and from preservation department for binding at appropriate intervals, creating work orders in Alma.
  • Coordinates with Acquisitions staff to resolve problems with non-received serials. Searches shelves, searches UlrichsWeb and vendor databases (e.g., EBSCO and Harrassowitz), and follows up on subsequent receipt, updating records as needed.
  • Maintains alphabetical periodical shelving area. Identifies and continuously updates alphabetical lists and shelving sequence when periodicals undergo changes of titles.
  • Identifies and corrects serial status and location information as needed.   
  • Assists with processing items for unit’s serials contributions to the BTAA Shared Print Repository.
  • Assists unit librarians with annual serials renewal assessment.

Course reserves

  • Processes physical course reserve materials and works with teaching staff in the School of Music, departments of Dance and Theatre, and other units as appropriate, to ensure that reserves are available in a timely manner.
  • Assists teaching faculty with locating digital equivalents in Library-licensed resources such as article and media streaming tools for use in course reserves.
  • Communicates need for materials orders for reserves use to unit librarians.


  • Participates in committees and attends meetings in unit, within Library, or in the University community to promote library or campus goals.
  • Other related duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

1. High school diploma or equivalent.

2. Any combination totaling two (2) years (24 months) from the following categories:

A. Work experience in a library or equivalent setting.

B. College course work in any field as measured by the following conversion table

  • 30 semester hours equals one (1) year (12 months)
  • Associate’s Degree (60 semester hours) equals eighteen months (18 months)
  • 90 semester hours equals two (2) years (24 months)
  • Bachelor’s degree (120 semester hours) equals three (3) years (36 months)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience reading sheet music.
  • Experience with musical terminology.
  • Experience reading (bibliographic level) modern European languages (especially German).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of printed music and its formats and their uses.
  • Detailed knowledge of the integrated library system (Alma), specifically for circulation and material maintenance duties.
  • A thorough working knowledge of library procedures and policies as they pertain to circulation and collection maintenance.
  • A thorough understanding of library classification filing rules (DDC and LC).
  • Facility using the library’s public online catalog and other research tools.
  • Basic knowledge of audio-visual equipment to assist patrons.
  • Ability to troubleshoot public printing and scanning in the Library, including a digital microform reader.
  • Knowledge of computer file systems (G and H drives) and software such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Google Calendar.
  • Organizational skills for maintaining records and statistics about work activities.
  • Excellent public service, verbal, and written interpersonal skills to interact with a diverse community of coworkers and patrons.
  • Initiative and good judgment for handling patron inquiries, student staff queries, and other work.
  • Ability to work independently, to analyze and adapt to varied and changing operational situations is essential.

Appointment Information

This is a 100% full-time Civil Service Non-Exempt Library Specialist position, appointed on a permanent basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the close of the search.  Annual salary is $44,167.50.  

For more information on Civil Service classifications, please visit the SUCSS web site at

Work Schedule: 9:30-5:30pm Monday-Friday; occasional evening or weekend hours may be required

Immigration sponsorship is not available for this position

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on October 31, 2023.  Please create your candidate profile, upload a cover letter, resume, academic credentials (unofficial transcripts or copy of diploma may be acceptable) for all degrees attained, names and email addresses of three professional references by the close date.  In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. If required by the position, transcripts or other documentation of credentials are to be provided no later than the first day of employment.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal.