Student Employment

Simpson Library has a number of employment opportunities that are open to University of Mary Washington students.  The positions are varied and challenging, covering services that range from working directly with the public to assisting in the maintenance of the library’s Web pages.  Simpson Library was the on-campus leader in the creation of a modest ladder in student assistant wages that rewards continuing employment in the library.  Several competitive scholarship opportunities are available to student employees.  Quite a few of our former student employees have found that the work experience in the library has allowed for the development of skills that make them attractive to the private sector.  Many of former student employees have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in library and information science.

Before a student is permitted to work in Simpson Library, he/she must first complete an application for student employment in the Office of Financial Aid in Lee Hall.  Students should indicate their preference for library employment on the application.  At the beginning of each semester, qualified students are assigned by the Office of Financial Aid.  However, there is usually a small turnover creating the need for a few students to be hired on an individual basis.  Interested students may contact Mrs. Carver in Room 202.

Job Descriptions by Department


Duties include bar-coding all materials that are received.  Checking the Library’s holdings using Virtua against bibliographic lists, journals, publisher catalogs, etc. as assigned by the Collection Development Librarian.  Preparing order cards for books that are selected for ordering.  Placing the “on order” status on bibliographic records downloaded into Virtua for new titles ordered.  Maintaining a complete file of all publisher catalogs.  Assisting with other tasks as needed.  Qualifications include computer literacy and attention to detail.  Must be able to work 10 hours per week between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Duties include searching authority records in VIRTUA and OCLC databases, recording authority id numbers.  Authors, subjects, series titles and corporate and conference names are searched.  Must have competency in computer searching and willingness to perform sustained periods of searching.  Accuracy and attention to detail are important.  Hours are scheduled between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Circulation/Reserve Desk

Duties include interacting with the library’s patrons to provide accurate and efficient service.  Services include locating and circulating materials from the standard and course reserves collections, collecting fees, sorting returns for shelving, and explaining library policy and procedures.  Assists patrons in locating current periodicals and microforms.  Troubleshoots and assists patrons in the use of copiers, microform machines, and vending card machines.  Is responsible for filing and keeping current periodicals and microforms in order.  Must be prompt and reliable, be willing to learn, display initiative, have a sense of team spirit, be computer literate, and work well with the public.  Weekly evening and occasional weekend work required.

Collection Maintenance

Duties include accurately reshelving library books, maintaining an assigned area in the circulating collection, shifting books, shelf-reading, and identifying books in need of repair.  Also assisting in checking-in materials, preparing carts for reshelving, fiche/film machine maintenance and helping with special projects as assigned.  Conscientiousness is very important, as well as an aptitude for detailed and accurate work.  This job involves physical work and the ability to move heavy carts is essential.  Students may arrange their schedules to work during the hours the Library is open.

Government Documents

Student assistants process State and Federal depository documents in various formats:  paper, microfiche, and electronic.  Duties include filing, shifting, shelf reading, electronic searching, and other tasks as assigned.  Qualifications involve computer skills, accuracy, detail oriented, and flexibility.  Hours are scheduled 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Duties include assisting patrons with the library’s catalog and various online databases, general reference questions, and print and Internet resources.  Other duties include shelf-reading and shelving reference books, checking the reference desk email account, assisting with book ordering by searching titles in the catalog, and working on special projects as assigned by the reference librarians.

Student aides in Reference are required to work between 8 and 10 hours per week. As part of those hours, each student is expected to work a 9 to midnight shift each week.

Preferred qualifications include effective communication skills; reliable and punctual; computer literate; and the ability to complete assigned work accurately and with minimal supervision.  Students who have competed LIBS101, Library and Internet Resources, will be given hiring preference.


Duties include receiving and preparing journals, newspapers and microforms for check-in.  Shelving and filing new materials.  Preparing outdated journals and newspapers for recycling.  Assisting staff person in preparing journals for binding.  Creating and attaching labels to microfiche envelopes and verifying packing slips for microforms received.  Posting and maintaining invoice payments to accounts payable records.  Assisting in other duties as needed. Students must be able to work 10 hours per week between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Special Collections and Archives

Duties include assisting with the sorting, processing, mending and filing of manuscript and university archival materials.  Student employee helps with library exhibits and other tasks as assigned.  This position requires reliability, initiative, computer literacy, and a willingness to learn new tasks and assist patrons.


Duties include: the maintenance of patron and staff computers, both hardware and software; decommissioning of computer hardware; and special projects that might require experience with CSS, HTML, and programming. A willingness and interests in learning new technology is essential. Students must be able to work 10 hours per week between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.