Job: Library Assistant

2/5/15 – Library Assistant
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations, Beirut, Lebanon

Sarah P’s comments:  This position is very specialized as it requires fluency in both Arabic and English.  If you are interested in United Nations positions or volunteering please read Chapter 7 of my book and visit the Resources area of the blog (UN Resources are near the end of the Chapter list).


Special Notice

Appointment against this post is on a local basis; candidates shall be recruited in the country of the duty station, irrespective of nationality and length of time the candidate may have been in the country. If no suitable candidate is identified, overseas candidates will be considered subject to a passing grade on the relevant entry-level examinations at the duty station.

The candidate is responsible for any expenses incurred in order to take the examination and, in the event of an employment offer, any costs relating to travel and relocation to the duty station.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers In accordance with established rules and procedures.

Organizational Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Library Unit, Conference Services Section (CSS), Administrative Services Division (ASD) of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The Library Assistant will work under the direct supervision of the Chief of Unit and the general guidance of the of the Director of ASD.


Within delegated authority, the Library Assistant will be responsible for the following duties: 1 – Assists in the review of sources to identify appropriate materials that meet the information needs of the Organisation and its information clientele;

2 – Assists in cataloguing operations, in particular, performing copy-cataloguing functions;

3 – Assists in development and maintenance of relevant databases, keeping data accurate and current, and preparing new material as needed;

4 – Initiates claims and obtains updated materials, in connection with research requests by library patrons;

5 – Provides statistical data for assessing usefulness and relevance of posted materials;

6 – Provides technical support and instruction to library patrons in using electronic resources and reference tools;

7 – Prepares new material for inclusion in appropriate web pages, and databases;

8 – Provides technical support for library digitization operations, e.g. processing & uploading ESCWA publication for the Official Document System (ODS) according to the related standards;

9 – Assists in management of library accounts;

10 – Co-ordinates work and/or participates in training of junior support staff;

11 – Organizes and maintains library business records according to the corporate archiving standards;

12 – Assist in the division digital preservation project;

13 – Provides administrative support for the section and unit chief and undertakes other duties as assigned.


Professionalism – Knowledge of library operations, including editorial standards and cataloguing. Ability to undertake relevant research, maintain records in a systematic fashion and retrieve necessary materials with maximum speed and accuracy. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.

Teamwork – Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client Orientation – Considers all those to whom services are provided to be ‘clients’ and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


High school diploma or equivalent.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of experience in library work, archives, information network administration or related field.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. Arabic is also a working language of ESCWA. For this post, fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic is required.

Assessment Method

The shortlisted candidates will undergo the United Nations Administrative Support Assessment Test (ASAT) and a written assessment related to the functions of the post in addition to a competency-based interview. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


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