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Senior Library Assistant - HMP Huntercombe OCC10406

Job Details:

Salary Range: £18,795 - £19,554 pro rata, per annum 

Work Location: HMP Huntercombe, Nuffield

Hours per week: 32 (The working hours are currently over four days. However, there is room for flexibility and the working week can be discussed at interview.  Alternatively, a job share for two people working 16 hours each per week can be considered)

Contract type: Permanent

Closing date: 05/05/2019

Interview date: Week commencing 20/05/2019 

Advert Text:

Oxfordshire library service provides library services to Foreign National prisoners at HMP Huntercombe under the terms of a service level agreement and the senior library assistant is responsible for helping the library co-ordinator in the day to day management of the service.  We are looking for a friendly, enthusiastic person with excellent communication skills to be part of the team running the library's prison library in South Oxfordshire. 
You will be working in the prison library providing excellent customer focused reading, lending and information services to the prisoners and staff, working in a small team, mainly dealing with enquiries and participating in a range of library support activities. An interest in and love of books would be an advantage but above all you must enjoy meeting and helping people. Experience of working in a similar environment or an understanding of working in this type of environment is essential.

Please call Neelam Rutti on 01491 643233 for an informal discussion or for more information.

Job Purpose:

  • To assist the Library Co-ordinator in providing excellent, customer focused reading, lending and information services to the prisoners and staff at Huntercombe Prison.
  • To encourage a love of reading, the use of books and to provide and promote information services and foster literacy

Role Responsibilities:

  • To assist the Library Co-ordinator in running the Prison Library, including working alongside the Prison Library Orderlies and other Prison staff in the provision and promotion of resources, and the continuing development of the use of the library
  • To discharge and issue books and other materials for readers, and to undertake associated counter duties
  • To enrol new readers
  • To assist readers with their enquires when appropriate
  • To shelve returned books and other materials and keep shelves tidy and in good order
  • To participate fully in other aspects of library support work, including: undertaking stock checks; carrying out minor repairs to and the re jacketing of books and other materials; ensuring the correct supply and display of newspapers and periodicals
  • To assist in keeping all areas of the library tidy, safe and in good order
  • To be familiar with and implement relevant security procedures within the prison
  • To undertake such other duties within the general responsibility level of the post as may be specified from time to time by the line manager or his/her representative


In the absence of the Library Co-ordinator, the Senior Library Assistant will:

  • Deputise for the Library Co-ordinator in their absence
  • Carry out a range of administrative tasks accurately and on time e.g. dealing with prisoners’ requests for resources
  • Allocate tasks to orderlies, and Library Assistants if applicable
  • Ensure the library meets Health and Safety, security and the behaviour standards required by the prison
  • Liaise with other prison services e.g. education, security, health etc.



Selection Criteria - Essential:

Educational achievements, Qualifications, Training and Knowledge:

  • Good general education to GCSE level (A-C grade) or equivalent
  • Good knowledge of books and information resources


  • It is not essential to have worked in a Prison enviorment before, but the ideal candiate will either have worked in a similair situation or would be willing to take on the challenges of working in such an enviorment

Job related competencies:

  • Ability and commitment to provide a helpful and effective service to all users of the library
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Good communicator - listening, verbal and written skills
  • Good standard of numeracy and literacy
  • Flexible approach to all situations
  • Methodical and organised and able to follow procedures
  • Aptitude for, or willingness to be trained in, IT skills including use if internet

Personal qualities:

  • Able to get on with all types of people

Equal Opportunities:


  • Commitment to, and understanding of, the principles of Equal Opportunities for all, in employment and the delivery of services

Selection Criteria - Desirable:


  • Experience of working in a public library
  • Understanding of working in a prison enviorment

Special requirements:

  • Able to speak other languages or an ability to communicate with non-English speakers


Our Organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults. We expect all employees, workers and volunteers to share this commitment. We will ensure that all our recruitment and selection practices reflect this commitment.

As a Disability Confident employer we guarantee an interview for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the job. We also guarantee interviews to care leavers who have completed further education and who meet the essential criteria for the job. For those leaving care without any further education we guarantee an interview for our apprenticeships. 

All posts, unless stated otherwise, are open to flexible working arrangements.

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