Library & Archives Assistant: Job Description

The Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there.  Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.  It makes grants in four core program areas (Higher Learning, Arts and Culture, Public Knowledge, and Humanities in Place).  The Foundation seeks a library & archives assistant to provide administrative, library, and archival support in the Foundation's library and archives.


The library & archives assistant is a full-time position that reports to the Foundation's director of library and archives, and works closely with other staff within the library.

The library & archives assistant will have an opportunity to acquire experience in a small, specialized library that supports the Foundation through research and information services centered around a collection of primary and secondary sources in the humanities, arts, higher education, and philanthropy.  In addition to carrying out recurring, time-sensitive responsibilities key to maintaining the library and archives, the library & archives assistant will be an active partner in the library’s multifaceted support of Foundation research and learning.  We are seeking a thoughtful, motivated, energetic, and collaborative person with well-developed communication competencies and exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.  This is an ideal position for an individual enrolled in or considering a graduate program in library and information science.


The library & archives assistant's responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Assist in maintaining the library's collection, including processing and adding new material, removing unneeded materials from the collections, and receiving and returning interlibrary loan items
  • Assist with document management through scanning, copying, and document processing and filing
  • Open and sort mail for department
  • Check-in, shelve, and distribute newspapers, magazines, and journals
  • Record departmental expenses and maintain records for internal reporting
  • Contribute to research, learning, and information projects
  • Help to create historical and other educational material for staff
  • Perform fact-checking and proofreading
  • Update content on the Foundation's intranet
  • Assist with the records management processes within the Foundation, which includes document storage
  • Provide support to the library staff in processing archival records
  • Assist with the organization, storage, and discoverability of electronic records by applying naming conventions and adding metadata
  • Provide core support to the director of library and archives in the administration of their responsibilities
  • Provide departmental support for meetings and events
  • Undertake such additional tasks as the needs of the library may entail


The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A bachelor's degree, with experience working in a library or archives setting, either as an employee or as a researcher
  • A high degree of competency in the MS Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and the ability to learn new applications quickly
  • Experience with a content management system or web publishing platform
  • Familiarity with library research tools, including library catalogs, and databases such as JSTOR
  • Facility with and interest in learning new technology
  • Ability to serve as a detail-oriented, problem-solving, self-motivated partner in a service-oriented team
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills; competence in spelling, grammar, editing, and proofreading
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with all in an effective, courteous, and diplomatic manner
  • Enthusiasm, initiative, follow-through, precision, good-will, flexibility, curiosity, and commitment to collegiality
  • Genuine interest in libraries, archives, and research
  • Eagerness to grow and to learn in the role, including through external enrichment opportunities
  • Interest in disciplines in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Contact Information

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume here.  The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.