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Library Associate/Trainer, Reserves (Porter)

Department: Library, Circulation Services Effective Date: May 1, 2012


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Manager, Resource Sharing and Reserves

General Accountability

The incumbent is accountable to the Manager, Resource Sharing and Reserves, for providing technological expertise to the campus by assisting with the installation, maintenance and support of software used in the delivery of the reserve service. S/he is also responsible for overseeing and providing the Porter Library’s reserves service. S/he is also responsible for training the Library Clerk: Reserves at the Porter Library to assist with the processing of reserve material, and for training staff on the use of the TRELLIS online circulation system. In addition s/he assists with the provision of circulation services to library patrons while working the Circulation Desk

Nature and Scope

The Circulation Services department operates at two sites, Davis Centre and Dana Porter, and is responsible for three broad areas of activity: lending services, collections maintenance, and resource sharing and reserves. The Library Reserves service is a unit within  Resource Sharing and Reserves: it supports teaching through the provision of course materials in electronic and physical formats. It is a high-demand, time-sensitive service that is continuously changing as both the electronic course management and the copyright environments change, and which accordingly requires ongoing training and skill development.

The incumbent is accountable to the Manager, Resource Sharing and Reserves for working closely with other units in the Library, in IST and within the TriUniversity Group, to develop, test, maintain and troubleshoot the technologies used in reserve service delivery, such as Ares and the campus Learning Management System. He/she has access to and maintains the administrative interface of Ares and works closely with the Co-ordinator of Library Communications and Web Management to develop and maintain  the many HTML pages that provide guidelines and instructions to users of the Ares system.

The incumbent has primary responsibility for overseeing the daily operations of the Porter Library reserves services, as well as for processing reserves material and for maintaining accurate records. In order to process materials for reserves, the incumbent has knowledge and understanding of the following technical areas: the circulation and cataloguing modules of the integrated library system; document scanning and manipulation; locating, understanding, and editing specialized urls; managing content via the campus content management system; creating and maintaining copyright records in a spreadsheet or database. The reserves staff also run established reports using Cognos software to assist in management of the collection and to notify faculty members of reserve usage. In addition the incumbent manipulates the dimensions and measures within the reserve Cognos cube to extract data needed for a variety of reporting needs.

The incumbent works closely with instructors and teaching assistants, and works also with course developers from the Distance Education office, as well as with staff from other departments and other Tri University Group of libraries, in order to obtain and process materials for reserves. The incumbent also interacts regularly with students.  S/he must have excellent customer service and communication skills, as well as a very good understanding of the entire chain involved in the authentication and delivery of electronic content to the end-user, in order to be able to explain the process by which library materials can be accessed from a number of web gateways, such as the campus course management system, and to know when he/she is able to provide frontline trouble-shooting of problems or must consult with staff in the Library’s Systems department to resolve technical issues. 

In close co-operation with the counterpart position at the Davis Library, the incumbent creates and updates procedures, assists in the regular maintenance of statistics, and serves as resource person to staff within the department, as well as to staff within other campus libraries, on matters pertaining to Reserves.  S/he trains full-time staff at these other libraries, and also assists in providing to these staff ongoing updates on changes in policies and practices.

The incumbent also understands, and consistently applies and communicates to instructors the copyright policies and practices associated with paper as well as electronic reserves. For reserve requests requiring copyright clearance, the incumbent researches the appropriate contact and requests permission from various external resources such as copyright clearing-houses, publishers, or individual copyright holders. This involves working with the preferred communication method of the external resource, such as using the rights management system of copyright clearing-houses, or using fax, email, or web forms, or making follow-up phone calls.

The incumbent requires excellent attention to detail in order to ensure that material is processed both accurately and within the published timelines of the reserves service. The consequences of problems or delays can cause an entire class to be without essential materials at critical periods, such as exam time. At the beginning and end of term, the incumbent may assist in directing other staff temporarily assisting with processing reserves, and requires skill in coordinating the activities of others to ensure that workflows and records are correctly maintained at these periods of intense activity.

In addition to Reserves and related responsibilities, the incumbent trains full-time and casual staff in the use of the TRELLIS online circulation system and contributes to the assessment of the trainee on his/her performance with the system. S/he participates in revising training procedures and in providing review sessions.

The incumbent also shares with other members of the department the tasks associated with providing circulation services by working a daily shift at the circulation desk. As a front-line service provider and trainer, he or she is expected to apply high-quality customer service skills as trained in the department. On occasion, and to fill in for an absent Evening, Weekend, or Weekend-Evening Supervisor, the incumbent may be required to work an evening or weekend shift, which includes supervising the work of casual staff.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Develop in-depth knowledge/keep informed of the technologies used in reserve service delivery at the University of Waterloo.

Provide instructional sessions on the use of these technologies for other reserve staff, and provide on-going technical support.

Oversee others and directly process reserves to a high standard of accuracy and timeliness.

Train staff assigned to work in reserves.


Ensure consistent application of copyright policies and practices, and communicate this to individual faculty members and teaching assistants.


Contact external sources to obtain copyright permissions for mounting electronic reserves.


Develop and update procedures associated with the processing of reserves.


Create and maintain records in an electronic reserves database.


Follow-up on new methods of processing and new issues that arise with respect to the linking of electronic content or the application of copyright, and make recommendations to the Manager.


Trouble-shoot and resolve technical problems related to the reserve service delivery and the interface between Ares and learning management systems.


Train and support in reserves full-time staff from other campus libraries.


Direct the work of staff that temporarily assist with basic processing of material going in and out of the reserve collection.


Compile and maintain reserves statistics.


Train full-time and casual staff in the use of the circulation system.


Provide service at the circulation desks and through various assigned duties.


Supervise and organize the work of the casual staff when called upon to work evenings or weekends when the supervisor is unavailable.


Working Conditions