View Vacancy -- Library Assistant - Operations Group - Arwen Tapping - LMB 737

Open Date
15/12/2017, 17:20
Close Date
14/01/2018, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
As this job does not fulfil the UK Government minimum salary criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.  At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK.  You can check your eligibility here:

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably X-ray crystallography of proteins, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

With the new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 6
£17,338 - £23,650 pro rata
Administration & Management
Part Time
Overall purpose:

To provide professional and proactive general support to the Library users at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).  Specifically providing administrative support to the Librarian and working effectively as part of a team to ensure the smooth operation within the Library.

The Library is a key resource for LMB scientists and other members of staff. In addition to running the physical Library space and managing access to a large number of electronic resources, the Library supports scientists with their information needs by obtaining papers and books as required. The Library also plays a central role for scientists in managing publications by processing all paperwork related to publication costs, including Open Access. The LMB Archive and Library together maintain a complete list of LMB publications.   The post of Library Assistant is actively involved with supporting LMB scientists through the provision of the above services.

Main duties & Key responsibilities:

To support the daily housekeeping and administration of the Library which include, but are not limited to the following:

•    To support LMB Library users by responding to a wide range of enquiries within agreed deadlines both via e-mail and in person.
•    To promptly act upon document requests by locating and contacting potential sources and sending received documents to the requester.
•    To support the publications process – assisting scientists by completing paperwork and arranging payment of publication fees in an accurate and timely manner.
•    To raise orders for books, Library resources and publication fees, sending invoices for payment and identifying and resolving any payment issues.
•    To assist users’ access to the Library collections and online resources.
•    To record book loans on an Excel spreadsheet and to e-mail users with overdue books to ask for their renewal or return.
•    To shelve books and print journals and ensure they are in the correct place in line with the in-house classification scheme.
•    To ensure that the Library and its collections are well-ordered, tidy and available for use.
•    To oversee the accurate cataloguing of books on the Library’s Filemaker Pro book catalogue database and ensure records are accurate and up to date.
•    To contribute to ensuring that the Library’s records of print and online journal holdings are up to date.
•    To maintain accurate records of orders, publications, new LMB staff and other related Library service activities using Excel spreadsheets.
•    To ensure stationery levels are maintained within the Library, ordering stock when necessary.
•    To conduct online bibliographic checks and searches and support the process to track and record LMB publications.
•    To carry out stock checks and re-organise book and print journal collections as required.
•    To deputise for the Librarian as appropriate for example sending subscription invoices for payment or liaising with publishers.

Working relationships:

•    This is a hands-on role and involves interactions with staff at all levels.
•    You will report to the LMB Librarian and will be part of the Library Team.
•    You will need to develop effective working relationships with LMB researchers and other LMB staff, so that you are seen as an effective member of the Library Team.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.  

Education / qualifications / training required:

Essential: Educated to A level standard or equivalent experience.
Desirable: Educated to Degree Level or equivalent experience.

Previous work experience required:

•    Experience of working in an office environment and providing general administration.
•    Experience of working in a user focussed service.

Desirable:  Experience of academic libraries.  

Knowledge and experience:

•    IT literate, especially Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), databases and the internet.
•    Ability to manipulate records and work on databases.

Information Handling:
Essential: Experience of gathering information from various sources to respond to enquiries.

•    Experience in maintenance of information and library print and online resources.
•    Experience of using library search tools such as catalogues, online databases and classification schemes.
•    Experience in assisting users with reference and research enquiries.

Project Management:
Desirable:  Experience of managing specific projects.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•    Polite, professional, approachable and consistent.
•    A positive attitude and willingness to adapt and learn new things.
•    Works well as part of a team.
•    Good organisation skills with the ability to adapt to regularly changing priorities and workloads.
•    Ability to capture fine details and ensure consistency of data in an efficient manner.
•    Ability to adapt to a changing work environment.
•    A desire to provide a high quality service and to commit to its continuing improvement.
•    An interest in science and libraries.

Verbal and written communication:
•    Excellent oral and written communication skills.
•    Ability to interact with staff at all levels.

Initiative and time management:
•    Ability to prioritise work and answer end users queries in a timely manner.
•    Ability to work to tight deadlines.
•    Ability to act on own initiative, but also to know when to seek advice.
•    Ability to provide accurate information and data.
•    A proven ability to work without or under limited supervision.

From April 2018, MRC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online .
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.