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Administrative Assistant, Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, MA

Countway Library of Medicine Administrative Assistant

Hours per week: between 12 and 16

Pay per hour: $31.00

Manager: Alison Richardson (contact information here)

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The Countway Library of Medicine which is an alliance of Harvard Medical and the Boston Medical Libraries under the direction of the Countway Director is seeking a part-time Administrative Assistant to support the essential governance and administrative functions of the Boston Medical Library (BML) under the direction of the President and the supervision of the Countway Associate Director and Executive Assistant. The position requires a proactive individual with strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills with a desire to take on new challenges. An interest in medical history and supporting a physician-based organization is also preferred but not required. Principal duties and responsibilities include:

  • Annual fellowship renewal process; Send renewal notices, record payments, update library access privileges, send annual fellowship packets for approximately 150-200 fellows of the BML.
  • Facilitate meetings; Schedule, order catering, facilitate, and take detailed meeting minutes at all meetings of the Board of Trustees and its Committees.
  • Process checks and invoices; Record all checks and prepare for BML accountant, record invoices and submit to BML treasurer for approval and payment
  • Applications for fellowship; Receive and process all applications for BML fellowship. Send welcome packets and answer all incoming questions about the fellowship. Administrative support for fundraising efforts.
  • Annual audit and financial files; Work with BML accountant to gather all information for annual audit and serve as liaison to auditors during annual on-site visit. Keep accurate record of all financial, governance and administrative paperwork for each fiscal year.
  • Website and membership database management; The BML needs a new website and database. Work with the President and the board to contract on a new website and implement a database to track all fellowship status and contact information for efficiency.
  • Event planning; plan and execute the BML's lectures and events. This includes publicity, catering, travel arrangements for speakers, booking rooms & media services, parking arrangements, etc.
  • Day-to-day administrative duties including mail, donation acknowledgements, telephone answering, key officers' schedules. HarvardKey/login troubleshooting, and more.
  • Performs special projects and other duties as assigned by President or Board of Trustees.


A large portion of this role will include developing and maintaining office processes for more efficient workflow and organization and working with the Countway staff and those of partner organizations. Applicant must be self-motivated with strong communication skills. Must have strong computer skills including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Gmail/Outlook). Database and Web skills are preferred.  

About the Boston Medical Library:

The first Boston Medical Library (BML) was founded by Doctors John C. Warren and James Jackson in 1805. The Boston Medical Library was reconstituted in 1875 by Dr. James Chadwick with Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes as its President and incorporated in 1877. In 1960, the Boston Medical Library and the President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard University) entered into an agreement to combine the collections, services and administration of the Boston Medical Library and the Harvard Medical Library in a new building known as The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Each of the two original institutions continues collecting and ownership of its holdings. The combined library ranks as one of the largest medical libraries in the world with one of the richest collections.


The BML mission, revised in 2004, is "to be a Library for the dissemination of medical knowledge, the promotion of medical education and scholarship, and the preservation and celebration of medical history, and thereby to advance the quality of health and healthcare of the people." The Boston Medical Library serves as a resource for the lifelong learning of practicing physicians of Massachusetts which has been its founding and continuing mission, besides serving the medical school faculties and students of Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 1947, the Boston Medical Library formally became the library for the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS).


A Board of Trustees nearly half of which is appointed by the MMS manages the BML. This group meets regularly and has fiduciary responsibility for a significant endowment which provides partial support for the Countway Library as a whole. The Boston Medical Library is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization.


About the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine: 

The Countway Library was created by a 1960 agreement between Harvard University and the Boston Medical Library and the physical library coming into existence in 1965.  It serves the constituencies of both the parent organizations which includes the Harvard Medical, Dental and Public Health Schools and other related organizations and on the BML side, BML Fellows, Massachusetts Medical Society Members, Practicing Physicians and Dentists and the students of the other 3 Medical Schools in Massachusetts- Boston University, Tufts University and University of Massachusetts.  The Director of the Countway Library serves as the Countway Librarian for the Harvard Medical and the Boston Medical Libraries accountable to both the parent organizations.


Basic Qualifications: College degree preferred, or an equivalent of educational plus experience in an office environment. 


Additional Qualifications: Three plus years related experience with proven office administration and customer service skills required. Solid working knowledge of office processes and business policy development, and of related computer software and electronic communications tools. Proven interpersonal skills with experience providing complex administrative support in a high-profile environment with tact and diplomacy.

Pre-professional Positions