Jobs | Gladstone's Library


Assistant Librarian

Location                  Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF

Hours of work         Five days a week (9am – 5pm) with occasional evening & weekend events work

Contract                   Permanent

Gladstone’s Library is one of the UK’s most prominent independent libraries. Entirely self-funded, the heart of Gladstone’s Library is the Foundation Collection and Glynne-Gladstone Archive. Administered in Grade I-listed silent reading rooms, the collections comprise around 12,000 of William Ewart Gladstone’s personal books, approximately 150,000 titles in the main collection, 350,000 manuscript items in the Glynne-Gladstone Archive and 23 discrete smaller archives in related areas. The Reading Rooms are a bustling space with a diverse user group; unlike many similar institutions, it is free to join Gladstone’s Library as a Reader. Located in Gladstone’s Library’s west wing, the Reading Rooms, the collections, and their users are a core contributor to the Library’s self-funded existence. 

Reporting to the Director of Collections and Research and working in close collaboration with an Archivist, the Assistant Librarian helps to manage the space, collections and user services. Both rare book repository and public engagement space, it is a challenging area which requires a creative approach to management and administration, informed by knowledge of professional best practice. The Assistant Librarian also oversees a small team of Graduate Work Experience placements, helping to train the next generation of professionals. For the past six years the role has been occupied with developing and enshrining best practice and we now seek a candidate to safeguard the gains while continuing to develop and grow. The role will suit a qualified librarian with an ambitious approach, a bright manner and confident public speaking skills, who wishes to facilitate one of the UK’s most distinctive collections and reading rooms. 

Main responsibilities will include:

  • Collections management and development
  • Training and supervision of Graduate Work Experience students and volunteers
  • Cataloguing
  • Reader and User Services administration management
  • Outreach and Collection promotion 

Essential skills, experience and characteristics:

  • A postgraduate qualification in any area of library and information studies. Equivalent experience is also accepted.
  • A degree in a relevant area of the humanities
  • Proven cataloguing experience and work with a library management system such as Heritage
  • Enthusiasm for public engagement and interpretation of the collection
  • Commitment to best practice standards
  • Experience and passion for training para-professionals and volunteers 

Desirable skills, experience and characteristics:

  • Experience or knowledge of rare books
  • Experience of working in an historic environment
  • Some knowledge of Latin and/or a modern European language
  • Willingness to develop in-depth collection knowledge
  • Experience in Collection Development (acquisition, weeding, de-accessioning)

 What we will offer:

  • The opportunity to be an important part of a unique and growing organisation
  • Opportunity to work on the Library’s renowned events programme
  • A comfortable, sociable and stimulating work environment
  • A good work-life balance with regular hours (occasional events) and subsidised meals available
  • Free staff parking

Applications to be sent by email to

Closing date for applications is Tuesday, 7th January 2020. Interviews will take place on 13th and 14th January.

Start date: From 1st February (negotiable)

A full job description is available on request                                                   

Graduate Work Experience

Gladstone’s Library’s Graduate Work Experience programme is looking to recruit for a period of three months from Sunday, 2nd February 2020.

This post will suit up to three recent graduates looking for a career in libraries, archives, and information science, but who have not yet taken the committed step of a postgraduate scheme or traineeship. For more information on the Graduate Work Experience programme click here.

During the programme, the successful candidates will gain experience across the institution:

  • In our Reading Rooms, helping the team maintain one of the UK’s finest research collections. Candidates assist with many of the key operational tasks, such as cataloguing and processing items, archive inventory, digitising records, and handling new acquisitions. They also staff our Enquiry Desk, which is the public face of the Reading Rooms and the main point of assistance for our users. Candidates take a leading role delivering Glimpses;
  • In our Marketing department, drafting posts for social media, writing press releases, and assisting with the creation and delivery of the Library’s marketing programme;
  • Candidates take two evening ‘duty’ shifts (9.15pm – 10.30pm) per week. During this time they perform a security round.
  • Our Graduate Work Experience candidates play a vital role in Library life. They are seen as a key part of the Library’s residential community and we expect them to be on the premises at the Library throughout the placement, except for their agreed days and weekends off.

We are looking for candidates who are:

  • Accurate, flexible and committed to excellent customer service;
  • Reasonably adept at social media;
  • Capable with office programmes such as Excel;
  • Happy to work in a small team, and good at managing their own time;
  • Unfazed by public speaking;
  • Ready and willing to learn.

We are proud to say that many of those who have been with us in these positions go on to positions in libraries and archives, or join prestigious postgraduate schemes. For some accounts of what those on previous placements are up to now, please see here.


Three Graduate Work Experience students share a self-contained flat on the Library’s first floor. All living costs are included in the placement – utilities, Wi Fi, laundry, and food. You will receive expenses of £100 per month.

There is a rota of overnight duty shifts. These include a lock-up (9.15-10.30pm) and the overnight custody of the on-call phone (used only in the event of emergency such as fire). The hour lock-up and any emergency response are contracted at £9.00 per hour.

Please note:

This is a full-time position on a rolling rota. It includes some evening and weekend working.  

The closing date for this position is 9am on Monday, 6th January 2020

Interviews will be held on Sunday, 12th and Monday, 13th January 2020. This will include an overnight stay.

To apply please send a CV and Covering Letter to or Elizabeth Newmarch, Gladstone's Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF.