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Senior Information Assistant

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Senior Information Assistant

  • Location:


  • Sector:

    Knowledge & Information Management

  • Job ref:

    ML - 26523

  • Job type:


  • Salary:


  • Contact:

    Mark Leigh

  • Contact email:

  • Posted:


  • Duration:


  • Startdate:


Senior Information Assistant



35 hours a week


About the company


Sue Hill Recruitment are delighted to be working in partnership with The Royal College of Surgeons, who are seeking to recruit a Senior Information Assistant to join their Library Team.


The library is part of the RCS England Library and Archives department and exists to support the professional and clinical information needs of RCS England Members and Fellows, trainees, and examination candidates, based in the UK and internationally, via the provision of an extensive range of information services and resources.The library also supports RCS England staff, external researchers, academics and members of the public.


The Senior Information Assistant will be a key member of the library team, with responsibilities for supporting the delivery of high-quality and customer-focused library services, and activities that are delivered from the library and remotely via the Internet.The post holder’s principal duties will be divided between direct customer-facing support activities for Members and Fellows, RCS staff, and external researchers, and non-customer facing technical and administrative activities that support service and resource delivery.


Customer-facing support activities include welcoming visitors to the library, providing assistance and support to library users, and answering in-person and remotely submitted enquiries.Non-customer facing activities include supporting the professional customer-facing and collections management duties of the Assistant Librarian, Customer Services Manager and Library Collections Manager, supporting the production and delivery of the Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows resource, and undertaking general business support activities and administrative and clerical duties.


Key Tasks & Responsibilities:

Main Responsibilities

·        Contribute to the delivery of an efficient, effective, friendly and responsive on-site library service for Members and Fellows, trainees, researchers, and other visitors.

·        Contribute to the smooth and effective functioning of the Members’ Library and the Research Suite, ensuring that the information needs of library users are fully met.

·        Assist in the provision of user-focused, high quality physical and virtual services to support the information needs of our audiences, and in the development of effective working practices required to deliver these.

·        Work to improve the user experience, to help market and promote user services and to contribute to audience development across Library and Archives.

·        Provide assistance and support to the Assistant Librarian, the Customer Services Manager, and the Library Collections Manager with processes, activities and projects as required.

·        Provide administrative support required for the efficient and timely production and delivery of the Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows resource,

·        Undertake general business support and administrative and clerical activities.


Enquiry and Reading Room Services


·        Work as part of a team, to supervise the use of the library to ensure an efficient, effective and secure on-site service, including invigilation of researchers using Library and Archives material to agreed professional standards in the Research Suite.

·        Participate in enquiry desk duties, assisting with in-person and distance requests (telephone/email/web) involving both current and historical collections and services to all our audiences, in accordance with service level targets.

·        Ensure that the Members’ Library and Research Suite are maintained in a tidy and orderly manner and that all equipment is functioning correctly.


Customer Services


·        Participate in the development of customer services policies and procedures for shared, pan-domain service delivery for members and researchers.

·        Support and take part as needed in the article supply and inter-library loans services.

·        Assist the Customer Services Manager with the planning and implementation of appropriate user research and feedback gathering to identify user needs to inform decision-making in collection and related service developments.

·        Assist the Customer Services Manager and relevant staff with the library’s content and presence on the College website and intranet.

·        Take part in the development of the library’s blog and presence on social media.

·        Take part in the creation and implementation of user leaflets, guides and promotional materials and activities.

·        Assist in the efficient collection and use of key service statistics and performance indicators and help develop good practice in this area.


Collections Management


·        Provide administrative support to the Library Collections Manager for the selection and acquisition of print and digital books, journals, and other items for the library, e.g. submitting orders, processing invoices.

·        Provide support for collections preservation and conservation activities where necessary, including binding, repairs, and digitisation.

·        Support the Assistant Librarian in the development of research aids, including subject source lists and information guides.

·        Retrieve books and other library materials from the library store rooms that are required for use by library users.

·        Re-shelve books and other library materials on shelves (including high shelves) and in the library store rooms, and assists with the tidying of the reading rooms.

·        Receipt of library materials ordered from off-site stores and processing of items to be returned from off-site stores.

·        Other collection management support tasks as required, e.g., maintaining collection management statistics, labelling, boxing, journal ‘check in’ administration and shelving.


Support for Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows of The Royal College of Surgeons of England


·        Work and liaise with the Lives of the Fellows editorial team and the Customer Services Manager to produce and deliver the Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows service.

·        Provide support to the Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows Committee, including distribution of committee papers, preparation and distribution of the agenda, and taking minutes of meetings.

·        Monitor the Lives inbox – answering enquiries and responding to the editorial team and acts as chief liaison point for all telephone, postal and e-mail enquiries.

·        Add and maintain content on the Lives website, as directed by the Customer Services Manager.

·        Liaise with the Membership Engagement team regarding the reporting of deaths of Fellows and the monthly deaths list.


Business Support and General Activities


·        Provide support to the Library & Archives department by processing, submitting orders and invoices using the College Proactis finance system, including reports on departmental budget supported by the Information Assistant.

·        Assist with organisational and administrative duties as required by the L&A Department including support for key governance Committee meetings supported by the Information Assistant.

·        Provide health and safety training and support for new starters in the Library and Archives Department and periodic refresher training and support as required.

·        The post holder is expected to represent the College in a professional manner in relation to his or her responsibilities and in ensuring their own continuing professional development.

·        The post holder is expected to undertake such duties appropriate to the grade, as may be required.

·        The post holder may be required to work out of normal hours to support departmental or college related events and activities (e.g. courses support).




·        Educated to first degree level (or equivalent) in any subject

·        Experience or knowledge of library, archives or other information-centred work

·        Experience of using automated library management systems such as Symphony

  • Experience of collections related duties (e.g. acquisitions, cataloguing, stock management etc.)

·        Experience as a user of using automated library catalogues and/or other bibliographic tools, and of using online resources to plan and carry out research

·        Sound organisational aptitude, together with the ability to prioritise workload, meet deadlines and work on own initiative where appropriate

·        Experience of project-based work and working to deadlines

·        Experience in a customer facing service environment

·        Strong IT skills, including MS Office (word processing, spreadsheets).

·        Commitment to high levels of customer service and care.

·        Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and a proven ability to work as part of a team and liaise with a wide range of colleagues and customers

·        Ability to work methodically and accurately to agreed standards and criteria and with attention to detail.

·        A flexible approach to duties in a changing service environment and a willingness to embrace change.

·        Able to work independently and as part of a team – a good team player.

·        Able to learn – seeks and assimilates new knowledge, willing to learn from mistakes.




  • A relevant professional, vocational or academic qualification.

  • Understanding/experience of metadata concepts e.g. tagging.

  • Experience of producing information leaflets and promotional materials.

  • Understanding of copyright issues.

  • Some knowledge of or interest in web authoring and using information technology to support practice and learning, including HTML and Web 2.0 technologies.