Student Employment

The University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill employs over 400 Student Assistants each year in many different departments. The job descriptions of Student Assistants working in the University Libraries encompass a wide range of opportunities such as:  filing, typing, editing, shelving books, assisting patrons, checking books in/out, maintaining stacks, enforcing library policies, reserve processing, acquisitions, cataloging, online searching, maintaining operational hours, working with local databases, and other special projects. Student Assistant positions allow students to learn more about the library system while gaining a hands-on experience with the operations of libraries.

Student Assistant Resources

Job Vacancies
Application (Word Format)
Application (PDF)
Student Assistant Employment Brochure
Map of the University Library System

Benefits of working as a Student Assistant


  • No experience required
  • On campus employment makes getting to class a lot easier
  • Flexible hours scheduled around your classes
  • Gain experience to begin building your resume
  • Learn successful researching tips (which will come in handy for that term paper due next week!)
  • Competitive pay with merit increases available after two semesters

Student Assistant Pay Rate

The starting rate for Student Assistants is $7.25 per hour. Student Assistants are eligible for a merit increase of $.50 after completing two semesters of employment.

Student Assistant Employment Eligibility

To be eligible for student employment, you must be a registered student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You will need to provide documentation to accompany an I-9 form (see List of Acceptable Documents for I-9 Form)), and must complete State and Federal tax forms and a Selective Service Registration Compliance form. These forms are available in the Library Personnel Office once an offer for hire has been made.

Application Process for Student Assistant Employment

To apply for a Student Assistant position in the University Libraries, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Complete a Student Assistant Employment Application. (Applications are available online in a Word Document or in PDF and in the Library Personnel Office).
  • Visit the individual library or department(s) for which you are seeking employment. (There is no limit on the number of departments to which you can apply for employment. It is suggested you make multiple copies of your application for distribution.)
  • Submit your application to the hiring supervisor for review.
  • The supervisor will make the hiring decisions and will contact you for an interview.
  • If you are the selected candidate, the supervisor will complete the bottom portion of the Student Assistant Application, and you will need to visit the Library Personnel Office with the proper documents for completing necessary paperwork, prior to starting work.

Potential Employing Departments

Student Assistant positions are posted online on the Libraries’ Job Opportunities webpage. The departments below are also the primary employing units for Student Assistants. You may contact individual departments to inquire about job openings.

Circulation (962-1053)

Located in Davis Library, Student Assistants employed by the Circulation Department assist patrons with check out and renewal of materials; answer simple informational questions; discharge, sort, and shelve materials; and assist with other duties as needed. Evening and weekend hours may be available.

Branch Libraries

Located in buildings across campus, the departmental libraries are specialized, subject-based libraries. Student Assistants in the departmental libraries assist with a wide range of duties in a much smaller setting. Duties may include circulation, assisting patrons with questions, working with reserve materials, discharging, sorting and shelving materials, and other duties as needed. Evening and weekend hours may be available. For job openings contact individual libraries.

Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library is the primary library for the UNC-CH Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and UNC Hospitals. Student Assistants in the Health Sciences Library help with a wide range of duties, which may include circulation; helping patrons with basic questions; special projects such as creating spreadsheets or designing signs and staff training materials; pulling journals; shelving books; scanning; photocopying articles; and basic book repair. Evening, weekend, and academic break hours may be available. To learn more about these positions, please contact the User Services Department (962-0800) or the Interlibrary Loan Department (966-4998).

Research & Instructional Services (962-1151)

Located in Davis Library, the Main Library Reference Department employs Student Assistants who work primarily on the Reference Desk answering questions and assisting patrons. Student Assistants in the Reference Department may also work in processing and shelving positions in Documents and Reference, as desk assistants in Microforms, and as Student Assistants in the Maps section of the Reference Department. Student employees in this department receive extensive training in reference materials, both in print and online. Evening and weekend hours may be available. Some student positions in the Reference Department are paid at a higher rate. To learn more about these positions, please contact the Reference Department.

Wilson Special Collections

Located in Wilson Library, Special Collection departments include Manuscripts, Photographic Archives, the North Carolina Collection, and the Rare Book Collection. Student Assistants in Special Collection departments work with rare and unique library materials and assist with circulation, reference, and directing patrons. Weekend hours may be available. You may contact individual departments to inquire about job openings.

Technical Services

The Technical Services departments include Acquisitions, Catalog, Collection Development, and Preservation. Located in Davis Library, student employees in these departments assist with searching print and online resources to aid in the selection, acquisition, and cataloging of newly acquired materials and preparing materials for circulation. You may contact the individual departments about job openings.

Undergraduate Library (962-1355)

The Undergraduate Library (and UL Media Resources Center) employs Student Assistants to assist with circulation duties. Student Assistants in the UL work with materials in a number of formats (print, electronic, video, audio) and assist with the course reserve collections. Evening and weekend hours may be available. Some student positions in the Undergraduate Library are paid at a higher rate. To learn more about these positions, please contact the Undergraduate Library.

Work-Study Employment Information

Funded primarily by the federal government, Federal Work-Study Programs allow students in need to earn part of their financial aid through employment on campus and in community service agencies. Students approved for Work-Study Programs may select from a variety of jobs to meet their interests, skills, and career plans.

The University Library employs Federally-funded Work-Study students through the Office of Scholarships & Student Aid. Incoming Work-Study students are hired in the University Library at the S2 pay level. The University provides higher salaries to returning Work-Study students to provide compensation for experience and also to retain experienced students as employees. In that context, the following hourly rate schedule for returning Work-Study students has been established:

1st year:   $8.30
2nd year:   $8.55
3rd year:   $8.80
4th year:   $9.05

Students can refer to the Work-Study Website for more information on how to obtain a Work-Study position.