Paraprofessional posts tend to be more closely involved in dealing with users, directly or by phone; managing, developing and operating library procedures; and dealing with enquiries within laid-down guidelines. Professional posts tend to have more autonomy and allow wider use of discretion and judgement. They are as much concerned with the planning, development and evaluation of services as they are with their operation. The following checklist is illustrative rather than exhaustive.
A range of professional roles and tasks is set out in the right-hand side of the grid and a similar range of paraprofessional duties is set out on the left-hand side. It is unlikely that many posts will span the entire range of either column: some may relate to only a few of the duties and responsibilities. In many cases posts will have a mixture of professional and paraprofessional aspects. However it is the balance of responsibilities that matters--does the balance lie more to the left-hand [paraprofessional] side of the grid, in which case the Affiliated Membership category is appropriate, or to the right-hand [professional] side, when Ordinary Membership would be appropriate?
If you have difficulty in using the checklist or need any further information please contact the Membership Department at the Library Association. firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.fdgroup.co.uk/members.htm
Library Association Affiliated Membership Checklist
Customer Care/User Education
- Issuing, discharging and reservation of materials.
- Enquiry work, within established guidelines and with support of a senior member of staff.
- Assisting with library promotional activities. (eg. storytelling; authors' evenings etc).
- Inducting users in the use of the library.
- Shelving and shelf-tidying.
- Purchase and acquisition of new library materials.
- Developing library procedures; documenting them; and implementing them (eg. procedure for dealing with overdue items; reserved items; library income etc).
- Routine Online/CD Rom searching (as with enquiries).
- Display and exhibition work.
- Collection and compilation of management information statistics (eg. numbers of issues, number of visits; income collected etc).
- Reporting and/or ordering repairs to library buildings/furnishings or equipment.
- Safe keeping and banking of library income.
- Supervision of other library assistants or support officers.
- Training of other library assistants or support officers.
Customer Care/User Education
- Marketing of services to user groups.
- Production of bibliographies and readers' guides.
- Designing user education programmes and managing their implementation.
- Satisfying user enquiries using the detailed knowledge of a subject or a collection.
- Responsibility for the selection and disposal of library material for part or whole of a library collection.
- Expert knowledge of literature within collection or part of collection, and of subject area generally.
- Researching the needs of user groups.
- Autonomy and accountability in determining strategies to deal with information enquiries.
- Design/customisation, implementation and development of cataloguing and classification systems, including the development of thesauri.
- Cataloguing and classification of complex material to a high standard of specificity.
- Assessing the performance of the library service, or part of the library service; advising on improvements; and managing their implementation.
- Producing development plan for the library service or part of the library service.
- Specification implementation and development of a automated systems.
- Representing the library at meetings, working groups etc within the organisation that the library is part of.
- Representing the library or its parent institution on external bodies or at external meetings.
- Advising on the design or refurbishment of a library area.
- Devising and implementing a human resources strategy for the library service.