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Librarian Resources: Student Employment

Guidelines For Hiring Student Employees

Creating or Updating a Job Description

Job descriptions must adhere to Federal guidelines governing job postings.

  • Consider the major duties and responsibilities for the position. However, rather than only what students will do in the position, also consider what students will learn. This language will be helpful later as you advertise the position and discuss it with interview candidates. You may find it helpful to refer to the NACE competencies or the library's overall goals for student employment.
  • Carefully consider what prior experience, if any, is necessary for the position. Student employment is an opportunity for students to develop skills.
  • For determining a student’s rate of pay, refer to the library’s pay scale for student employees.
    • Student assistant: Begin at $8 per hour, with a possible $0.25 increase per year with a good evaluation
    • Named positions (DSSFs, interns, PRMs, and checkout desk shift supervisors): Begin at $10, with a possible $0.25 increase per year with a good evaluation.

If a student switches between positions, such as a student assistant to an intern for a semester, the higher hourly rate will only apply during their time as an intern, DSSF, PRM, or student supervisor.

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Student Assistant $8.75 $9.00 $9.25 $9.50
Intern, DSSF, PRM, and Student Supervisor $10.00 $10.25 $10.50 $10.75

Posting Positions in Handshake

  • Openings should be posted in Handshake for at least 7 days and adhere to Federal guidelines governing job postings.
  • You should keep the federal description on file within your department.
  • If you need access to Handshake, contact Career Engagement (717-337-6616).
  • Career Engagement asks that an application deadline should fall within normal business hours (8:30-5 pm, Monday-Friday).
  • If you have special application instructions for candidates, you may include those at the bottom of the position description in Handshake.
  • For detailed instructions, see the Posting a New Job in Handshake documentation from Career Engagement.


  • To have a position description updated on the library student employment webpage, email the necessary updates to
  • If you are interested in having the position advertised on the website or social media, please contact the members of the marketing committee (Meggan, Amy L., Betsy, Klara, Eyoel, or Mary).
  • You may advertise the available position to students through whatever method you deem necessary (Digest, etc.) as long as the position is posted in Handshake.
  • To increase the diversity of your applicant pool, consider what offices/department/people may be good places to share the job advertisement. If you have other student workers in your department, consider asking them to share the position in clubs or organizations.
  • Possible offices may include:
    • Office of Multicultural Engagement
    • International Student Services
    • Academic Advising
  • Relevant student organizations may include:
    • African Student Association,
    • Asian Student Alliance,
    • Black Student Union, 
    • China Culture Club,
    • CPS gender discussion group,
    • CPS race discussion group,
    • Environmental Club,
    • Hillel, 
    • International Student Services (to students),
    • Latin American Students’ Association,
    • PRISM (formerly Outer Space),
    • Steminists,
    • Vietnamese Student Association, 


  • Before you begin to interview candidates, create a set list of questions that align with the position’s central responsibilities. You can ask follow-up questions, but this will provide a common interview experience for all job candidates and help to reduce bias in the interview process.
  • Consider creating scoring rubrics for your application review and interviews that align with your questions and the position’s central responsibilities.


Hiring – College Processes

Important:  The steps on this page apply ONLY to students who are working on campus for the first time.  


Hiring First-Time Student Employees (Never Completed Hiring Paperwork)

Supervisors must submit the New Student Employee Hiring Form for all students who have never completed hiring paperwork with the College. Please make sure you are checking with students to make sure that they have not worked in any other offices/departments on campus.

All first-time employees are required to complete employment paperwork after accepting an offer of employment. SES utilizes DocuSign to provide secure electronic packets for students, which can be found in their Handshake account under Career Center _ Resources _ Student Employment New Hire Paperwork.

Federal Law requires paperwork to be completed no later than 3 days from their first day of work (see 3 below for I-9 exception); otherwise, the student must stop working, and will not be paid until the required paperwork is submitted.

Packets include the following documents:

  1. Student Confidentiality Agreement – By signing this form, students are acknowledging that they may have access to confidential information regarding other students, employees and/or the business of the College and that it is their responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of all such information and not to share any such information with any unauthorized third persons.
  2. Worker's Compensation Forms – The workers' compensation laws provide wage loss and medical benefits to employees who cannot work (including student employees), or who need medical care, because of a work-related injury. To ensure that students understand what benefits they are entitled to as a Gettysburg College student employee, they are required to read and sign the appropriate worker’s compensation forms.
  3. Federal I-9 Form - This form verifies a student’s identity and employment authorization eligibility in the United States. The first part of the I-9 form must be completed on the first day of work. While a student can begin this document electronically, they must schedule an appointment through Handshake for “Student Employment Paperwork” to verify the I-9 in person within 3 days of starting work. Original documentation is necessary to process the I-9 form, outlined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  4. Tax Forms – W-4 and local income tax withholding forms. *For International Students, these forms will be sent via DocuSign by Payroll.
  5. Direct Deposit Authorization Forms – Paychecks are paid via direct deposit. Payment can be deposited in as many as four checking and/or savings accounts.

Supervisors must send an email to each student who is working on campus for the first time. 

(Example below provided by Center for Career Engagement):

Dear Student,

Congratulations on your new position.  As a new hire, you must do the following:

  • Fill out the new hire paperwork (located in Handshake under Resources)
  • Make an appointment in Handshake (under Career Center/Appointments)
  • Take your acceptable forms of identification to your appointment 
  • Update me on any delays in processing your paperwork.

If you have any questions about the process, you may contact Student Employment Services at X6616 or

After the student has submitted the appropriate paperwork to the Career Engagement office, supervisors will receive an email prompting them to create the student’s CNAV time sheet. Forward this email to Edith so she knows she can create the timesheet.


International Students

  • Newly hired international students will need to get a social security number.  The Center For Career Engagement will make sure they complete the additional steps as part of the paperwork process.  There's nothing extra that supervisors need to do.
  • International students can only work a maximum of 20 hours a week on campus during the academic year when classes are in session. During break periods students can work full time.

Students' Change of Address, Tax, or Banking Information

  • If a student has worked for the College before, even if it was in a different department, they will not need to complete the hiring packet. However, if a student's home address, tax information, and/or banking information has changed, they will need to resubmit their W-4 and Direct Deposit forms.

More Information

The Center for Career Engagement has everything supervisors need on a Microsoft Teams Channel called Student Employment Services (SES).  If you don't have access, email Becca Barth ( and ask her to add you.  

  • On the SES Team channel, under Supervisors and then Files, you'll find a spreadsheet called Status Updates.   You can check this if you're waiting to hear if a student has completed their paperwork and is now able to work.

Hiring - Library Processes

Once you have hired your student(s), you should complete the library's updated Student Personnel Action Form in order for Edith to create the students' timesheets.
  • The form should be completed each semester for every student you supervise.  This is a change from past practice, and it will allow Edith to keep accurate data.  In the past, we only had to submit a PAF for new hires or when a student had a change in pay or  position.  
  • To access the form, you will be prompted for your login and password.
  • After submitting the PAF, send an email to Edith alerting her that a new PAF is available so she can create or modify the timesheet
  • If students need access to folders on the S or Z drives, please submit a ticket to the IT Helpdesk.
  • In May, after graduation, send Edith a list of all students whose timesheets should be deactivated 


Frequency and Process

Student employees should have some sort of formal performance evaluation at least once per year. These can be used internally within the department as needed. You do not need to share these with Career Engagement or other campus offices. Although you will likely develop a workflow that works within your department, it may follow this process:

  1. Supervisor provides written feedback to student employee
  2. Student employee reads supervisor's feedback and provides a self-reflection
  3. Supervisor reads the student employee's reflection
  4. Supervisor and student employee meet to discuss the evaluation and set goals (if student will be returning.)
  5. Supervisor and student employee each keep a copy of the evaluation.

Evaluation Templates

Library departments may evaluate their students more than once a year. We have shared a few templates below that can be modified as needed based on the information that's beneficial to your department. The templates include options for general feedback and student reflection on their performance, individual goals, connections to courses, and broader career competencies (informed by NACE competencies).

Career Readiness

As part of their performance evaluation, student employees should be asked to reflect on their growth in a number of career readiness competencies. Learning to identify and describe transferrable skills gained and developed in the library allows students to leverage their library experience in future job applications and interviews.

The Office of Career Engagement encourages all campus employers to use the framework developed by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). This organization has established eight Career Readiness Competencies:

  1. Career & Self-Development
  2. Communication
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Equity & Inclusion
  5. Leadership
  6. Professionalism
  7. Teamwork
  8. Technology

The next tab provides a helpful set of library-related outcomes matched to each of the eight competencies. If you're uncertain what these competencies would look like in your students' work, the list is a great place to begin.

Guide for Students

When writing their reflections for the performance evaluation, students might find it useful to refer to a guide defining each of the NACE competencies. We have provided one document below that can be used with students.

Overall Goals for Library Employment

The following are the broad goals that we have for students during their employment in Musselman Library. While students' work is essential and valuable to provide our operations, services, and collections, students benefit in their academic work and professional goals. Our internships and other student positions also provide exposure for those interested in the wide range of information professions.

Academic Benefits
  • You will sharpen your skills as a researcher and learn to make the most of Musselman Library’s resources
  • You may become an ambassador for the library to peers, faculty, and the campus community
Career Preparation 
  • You will learn to recognize the career readiness competencies
  • You will learn to articulate your job in a vocabulary that identifies the transferrable skills for resumes and cover letters
Exposure to Libraries, Archives, Museum, and Cultural Heritage Organizations
  • Develop a basic knowledge of the operations and resources of an academic library.
  • Exposure to the wide variety of jobs related to information and libraries, archives, and museums.
  • Gain firsthand experience in how archives and museums organize and care for collections, conduct object research, catalog and process artifacts, and digitize materials.
  • Design and deliver public programming for diverse audiences
  • Understand how libraries and archives support the research needs of students, faculty, and community members

Position-specific Learning Outcomes

As a college library, we are in a unique position to connect students’ employment to their academic experience and their professional goals. While the federal job description required for all positions requests detail about what students will be doing, for your own framing of the position with students and for evaluations, we encourage you to think about what students will learn rather than just what they will do.

Each position in the library will have learning outcomes that are unique to your department and students’ roles and responsibilities. The learning outcomes listed below are a starting point to draw upon for planning what type of employment experience you will provide, how you discuss the position with students, and for student evaluations.

Academic Benefits
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
    • Apply reasoning and logic to analyze issues, make decisions, and solve problems
    • Understand how to solve problems effectively and efficiently
    • Develop research skills to find, interpret, and use information
    • Awareness of library services, resources, collections, and exhibits
  • Digital Technology
    • Use technology to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals
    • Apply appropriate use of technology for different situations and audiences
    • Identify and use appropriate technology to accomplish a given task
  • Oral/Written Communication
    • Develop written and verbal communication skills
    • Demonstrate ability to communicate verbally with individuals or groups
    • Communicate in writing that has a clear organization, uses appropriate terms, and is readable, clear, and concise
  • Teamwork and Problem Solving
    • Develop capacity for teamwork and collaboration
    • Demonstrate ability to negotiate conflict effectively
    • Recognize that individual work and contributes to larger library mission
Career Preparation
  • Communication
    • Ability to communicate effectively with others one-on-one or in groups
    • Demonstrate emerging/advanced customer service skills
    • Respond to the needs and questions of others in a timely, patient, and courteous manner
    • Use effective listening skills to answer and triage questions at service points and record interactions with patrons
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
    • Communicate with co-workers and supervisors to address challenges and offer suggestions for improvement
    • Demonstrate ability to collaborate with colleagues and delegate work as needed
    • Shows ability to motivate and empower others
    • Be accountable for individual and group responsibilities
    • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting
  • Equity and Inclusion
    • Demonstrate empathy when addressing needs of a diverse population
    • Work cooperatively with individuals with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and points of view
    • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
    • Make decisions and solve problems using sound reasoning and judgement
    • Proactively anticipate needs and prioritize action steps
    • Multi-task well and adjust as needed
  • Professionalism  
    • Attendance, punctuality, dependability
      • Demonstrate ability to be punctual, dependable, and responsible to others
    • Quality of work
      • Demonstrates accuracy, thoroughness, and competence in work
      • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations
    • Time management
      • Develop effective time management skills
      • Create goals and action steps for achieving project outcomes
    • Confidentiality 
      • Demonstrate ethical behaviors such as confidentiality, timesheet integrity, and copyright compliance
  • Career and Self Development
    • Show an awareness of own strengths and areas for development
    • Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback
    • Display curiosity and seek out opportunities to learn
  • Leadership
    • Ability to assist when others need help or information
    • Adopt view of self as ambassador for library and library resources
    • Motivate others by encouraging them and building mutual trust
    • Serve as a role model by approach tasks with confidence and a positive attitude
  • Technology
    • Able to learn new and unfamiliar technologies based on prior experience
    • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies
    • Use training, documentation, and prior experience to troubleshoot technology problems and issues to find solutions

Student Handbook / Contract

Student Handbook / Contract

As you're onboarding and training new student colleagues, consider updating our creating a new student employment handbook. Sections could include:

  • Introduction
    • Learning outcomes
    • Library Mission Statement
    • Library Diversity & Inclusion Statement
    • Description of department
    • Listing of department staff with contact information
  • Job Description
  • Conduct at work
    • Attendance
    • Customer Service
    • Appearance
    • Use of computers and cell phones
    • Expectations during partial closure
    • Exceptions to the regular schedule
    • Timesheet management
    • Annual evaluation
    • Opportunities for promotion
    • Consequences for poor performance
  • Emergency Procedures
    • Fire / Medical 
    • Tornado / Severe Weather
    • Active Shooter
  • Guide to the Library
    • Lower Level
    • Main Level
    • Second Level
    • Third Level
    • Fourth Level
  • Patron Privacy Document
  • Student Employee Contract