Job of the Week: Library Assistant III

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring a library assistant position (posting 725988) through the MSU Libraries Unit. 

This support staff position is part of the copy cataloging team of the MSU Libraries (MSUL). The team focuses on cataloging and metadata services and they are searching for a highly focused, detail oriented candidate to search for, evaluate, and edit descriptions of library resources for the MSUL catalog. Any new member of the copy cataloging team will work with other Technical Services staff and contribute to timely access of library materials. They will catalogue a variety of monographic resources using existing records which require moderately complex editing decisions in order to ensure accuracy and bring into compliance with national standards and library system requirements. The selected candidate will also participate in inter-team projects and special working groups as needed. For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

Applicants interested in this role should have knowledge normally acquired in the first two or three years in college, technical, vocational or business school, or one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in an office setting. Other requirements include experience in record keeping; data entry and retrieval; database, spreadsheet, word processing, composing, editing and proofreading web pages; knowledge of library automation support; recent experience in an academic library, large public library or large government library; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The desired qualifications include familiarity with library services platforms and OCLC Connexion; experience searching, reviewing and editing MARC records; some knowledge of national cataloging standards; reading-level proficiency in a non-English language; attention to detail; ability to work autonomously; aptitude for learning, remembering and consulting the various standards, policies, procedures and best practices that govern copy cataloging work; experience serving the needs of library patrons; and experience working with bibliographic information. 

A day in this position could involve reviewing materials acquired by MSUL, searching databases and comparing a range of data points and performing routine tasks in library software systems to make materials accessible to library users. The working hours are 40 hours per week scheduled Monday through Friday, 7am through 7pm. To apply for this position, you must submit a resume. Cover letters are optional. 

To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply by September 7 here. Find all the latest job postings at

The MSU Surplus Store is Back!

A special hidden gem on campus is back for the fall, and the possibilities are endless for your home, office and learning! That’s right, the Michigan State University Surplus Store has reopened, and on Fridays from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM you can go in person to check out what’s in stock and on sale. 

Operating under Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, the Surplus Store is a great resource for MSU students, employees and faculty. Store employees take the time to visit buildings and facilities across campus to see where there are items in a surplus and whatever is no longer needed, take it to their store, give it the love it needs, and then resell to the campus community for a reduced rate.

The store also prides itself on their zero waste policy, meaning that if they collect something that cannot be resold, they recycle it for parts at their onsite recycling center. If you are interested in learning more about the center, visit their website here

As employees are gearing up to head back to the office at MSU, or planning for another semester at home, give your space a spruce-up with a new desk, a computer monitor or a bookshelf. If the item you purchased is large and heading to your on-campus space, the store will deliver it to your department for free. Maybe you are looking to pick up a new hobby this year. Use the Surplus Store to grab a new pair of running shoes and hit the trails, a raised garden plot to grow flowers, herbs, or pumpkins for the fall season or a camera and tripod to take pictures of our beautiful campus. Whatever you may be looking for this fall, make sure you check what’s new and for sale by visiting

Did you know you can shop at the MSU Surplus Store online? With both an eBay Account and an Amazon Storefront, you can use your rewards and Amazon Prime on items at the store. The biggest feature on these online sites are textbooks, so if you are a student or have a student at home, visit these sites before purchasing your books at full price somewhere else!

As the Surplus Store works towards a zero waste benchmark, it partners with other departments to get there, too. One of these departments is the Forestry Department, where artisans create new products out of tree waste from campus and surrounding areas. Check out the beautiful pieces you can purchase here. If you are interested in buying produce and other food items that are locally sourced through the MSU community, you can do that here. Grab honey from Spartan bees, maple syrup from Spartan trees or frozen meat from the large meat packaging program on campus. 

If you have any questions about the surplus store, you can visit their website or go inside at 468 Green Way, East Lansing during their open hours. The Surplus Store continues to collect thousands of items per month for members of the Spartan community so take advantage of that during the upcoming school year!

Job of the Week: Human Resources Generalist

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring an administrator position (posting 726022) through the Department of Human Resources. 

This support staff position is housed primarily on the Solutions Center customer service team that interacts with all HR stakeholder groups to answer questions, problem solve and educate stakeholders on requirements related to MSU policies, work rules, contracts, systems and regulations. The position may cross-train and work with other teams in HR. Some of the position’s specific tasks include explaining and applying federal and state laws, union contracts, and university policies and procedures to provide information, advice and resolve issues for administrative departments, employees and retirees through multiple modes of communication. The staff member will also investigate and respond to inquiries concerning HR issues, which include but are not limited to employment, benefits and eligibility and enrollment, time, attendance and pay, retirement and internal and external audits. Some of the systems that the staff member will be working with include the HR-Payroll System, the Applicant Tracking System, Equifax and the multiple HR databases. Record keeping, including employee records, job posting records, criminal background checks, compliance information and other HR relevant records, is an important part of the position. Finally, any research and special projects including outreach and education are included in the job. For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

Applicants interested in this role should have knowledge equivalent to a normal four-year college degree program in human resources or a related social science, business or related field as well as six months to one year of related and responsible work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The desired qualifications include adaptability, deadline orientation and self motivation with the candidate exhibiting excellent customer service skills. It is desired but not required for the candidate to have some knowledge or experience using some HR-related systems including but not limited to those listed above. Some HR-specific certifications are also desirable. A resume and cover letter should be submitted upon application and references may be requested at a later date. 

To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply by August 24 here. Find all the latest job postings at

Leadership Blog Series: Team Essentials

Written by Sharri Margraves, Director for HR Organization and Professional Development

Before you had your first formal leadership role, did you believe you would “finally” have the power and authority to get things done the way you want them, when you want them? Or did you think, “What have I done?”

One of the most significant adjustments in leaning into leadership is that there are multiple ways to handle situations, and there are many variables with respect to authority, responsibility and empowerment. Cohesive teams communicate and build trust and one of the most critical teams is the relationship you have with other leaders in your unit.

Your Role in the Team

The truth of the matter is that we all play different team roles across our careers and in every position. Consider this: what have you done to make a new leader (especially new to MSU) welcome and valued, especially when that leader is also a peer? How we participate and engage with others can change depending on the circumstances and our own beliefs about our roles and the influence we carry, but trust me, everyone is watching what you do and say to make your team and colleagues successful.

Leadership expert, John Maxwell, shares that leaders lead up, across, and down in a complex system of teams. Can you picture a leader who leads only through power? A leader who made it very difficult for a new colleague, or minimally, less than helpful? Likewise, you can likely picture an effective leader that does not have positional authority yet is very effective.

Regardless of position, title, or role, everyone has leadership capabilities that can be developed, practiced and honed when they consider leveraging the skills and talents of the team. Helping others see the importance of their roles and contributions will help maximize effectiveness, results and enjoyment for the whole team.

Define Your Strengths and Areas for Growth

Remember, it takes patience and practice to develop. How would you rate yourself on the following questions adapted from HIGH5 leadership?

  1. I take responsibility for the teams I’m on and don’t play the blame game.
  2. I listen more than I talk in team meetings.
  3. I don’t interrupt others or talk over them. I add to the conversation, acknowledging and building on   others’ contributions.
  4. I am reliable and consistent, and my work is on time and of good quality.
  5. I help others if they are struggling.
  6. I can focus on positive solutions rather than making others feel wrong.
  7. I have a connection with the people on the team, knowing about their lives and what is important to them.
  8. I bring enthusiasm and energy to the team rather than bringing people down.
  9. I have worked hard to build trust between me, all my teams, and my organization in general.
  10. I can apologize to my team.

Another helpful resource is the free Team Roles test from Psychology Today. Take this 20-minute assessment to help you summarize your strengths in being a team player. As it’s not geared specifically to leaders, the quiz covers a wide range of team-based situations to share with your staff.

Organization and Professional Development Resources

A number of options—everything from short videos to live, online courses—are available through OPD to assist you in developing as a leader. Looking for further assistance? Contact OPD at for additional course information and customized solutions for you and your team.


Maxwell, John. The 360° Leader. Summary and excerpt available at

HR Welcomes Colleagues and Students Back to Campus

Dear Spartan Colleagues,  

We are pleased to welcome everyone to a new academic year. While some added safety measures, including indoor masking and vaccination, have been put in place to protect all of us, we expect a more typical fall semester for our students. Our university is a space for them to engage with peers and faculty for the best possible learning experience and development opportunities. In addition to our first-year students, some of our second-year students will be on campus for the first time—experiencing dorm life, taking in the beauty of the Red Cedar River, and attending exciting campus events. With these added safety measures, we can minimize the spread of COVID-19 and give these Spartans a great start to their academic year. More information regarding these safety measures, including the vaccine verification and exemption forms, can be found on the Together We Will site.

We all have spent the last year and a half navigating our daily lives, careers, education, families, and more during a global pandemic. If you are experiencing the effects of this challenging time, you are not alone. Many resources are available to us—the Wellbeing at Work guide, the Employee Assistance Program and more information can be found on this page of the Together We Will site. As always, and especially during this time, it is important to practice grace and empathy toward our colleagues, students, and visitors. The pandemic has greatly affected all of us in different ways. We are all doing our best—let’s continue to work through this together.  

On behalf of MSU Human Resources and Academic Human Resources, we want to thank each of you for your continued work and dedication to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. These are challenging times, but Together We Will. We wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year. 

Go Green!  

Richard Fanning, J.D., SHRM-SCP 
Interim Associate Vice President and Director of the Office of Employee Relations 
MSU Human Resources 

N. Suzanne Lang, PhD 
Associate Provost and Associate Vice President 
Academic Human Resources 

Job of the Week: Health Care Representative

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring a clerical technical position (posting 724587) through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

This support staff position will begin in the Veterinary Medical Center receiving and routing telephone calls and taking and relaying messages. The staff member will also work at the reception desk to greet, register and direct clients to the correct waiting areas. The position also includes creating, reviewing and updating electronic client and patient health records, creating new appointments in the electronic scheduling system, collecting payments and accurately documenting them and communicating and listening to provide outstanding customer service. For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

The expected qualifications for this role include a high school education and at leastone year of related experience in a medical office or clinic. This can also be fulfilled with any combination of education and experience deemed to be equivalent. The desired qualifications for this role include experience in processing multiple calls using phone etiquette, communication and computer skills, proper grammar and spelling and even experience as a veterinary assistant or technician. A resume is also required for the application and work hours are a standard 8 AM to 5 PM.

To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply by August 17 here. Find all the latest job postings at

Becoming a More Effective and Influential Team Member

We often use the word “team” to describe just about any combination of people, but a true team is not simply a set of individuals. A group of individuals still has personal ego concerns — there’s a primary focus on self, while true teams remove that element. A team’s work is focused on a larger goal or purpose, with everyone understanding the greater good to the work being performed.

Real teams can be difficult to create and don’t last forever, often being designed for a specific project or objective. If you recently watched the Tokyo Olympics, you likely saw this in action. Teams that won gold medals in basketball, soccer, and relay races will almost certainly not be composed of the exact same individuals for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The good news? A group of individuals can become a team, no matter whether the individuals are all working in the same physical space, remotely, or in a hybrid set-up. Your attitude about, and approach to, being part of a team can have an impact on the entire team’s success. Read on for key strategies you can utilize to become a more effective team member.

You Can Make the Difference

Regardless of your role on a team, there are ways to develop into a better team member. Not only does this lead to a more successful team, but it can ultimately make the team experience more productive and even enjoyable for you as an individual.

  • Set the tone — What’s the current mood of the team? What’s your current mood toward the team? What kind of mood do you want to set? Notice any differences and set the tone for the team in ways that can help shift the team to be closer to the desired state.
  • Develop and maintain a positive mindset — Although sometimes easier said than done, focus on the benefits of working on a team. Concentrate on team members’ positive aspects. Accept mistakes, learn from them, and then move on.
  • Be proactive — Identify opportunities for action. Be sure to gain approval or acceptance from the rest of the team.
  • Demonstrate respect — Acknowledge others’ rights to hold differing opinions. Use nonjudgmental, objective language.
  • Work collaboratively — Share pertinent knowledge with the team. Consider the team’s needs, not just your own.

Being a Good Virtual and Hybrid Team Member

Virtual and hybrid teams have become more and more common and can present unique challenges to working together as a unified team. Working from various locations requires each member of a team to possess a specific set of skills and characteristics that allows the team to function effectively. It’s important to develop and consciously improve these skills and traits so that you can contribute more effectively as a team member regardless of where everyone on your team is located.

  • Be independent and disciplined — It’s up to each team member to be accountable and professional. Plan and confirm daily goals and stick to deadlines. Think ahead, anticipate needs and make sure you have what’s needed to complete tasks with minimal support.
  • Learn to manage complexity and uncertainty — You may also face greater uncertainty regarding roles and responsibilities. Strive to be tolerant, flexible, and ready to take the initiative to get what you need to complete your work. Stick to designated workflows and established processes, and be able to discern when to make independent judgments and when to wait until a next move is approved or specific information becomes available.
  • Be proactive, cooperative, and able to network — Take the first step, communicating with others as soon as problems arise and seek advice, insight, information, and consensus on solutions. Working in a different space than your teammates makes it easier to ignore issues or put off responses, so it’s especially important to be proactive and follow up. Form good team relationships and participate in regular virtual or in-person meetings, even when work is going smoothly.
  • Be comfortable with technology — You’ll generally rely more on a wide range of tools to communicate, share documents, and collaborate — for example, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, cloud storage, and internal file-sharing and project management platforms. All team members must be able to use suitable tools to present and share information.

Although we often have no choice of who’s on our teams, there are always strategies we can use to be an effective and influential team member. Learn more using the self-paced elevateU resources below and contact Organization and Professional Development at regarding individual and department offerings that can lead to greater team success.

Recommended elevateU Resources

Back to School Discounts 2021!

It’s August, which means it’s time for back to school shopping, and MSU Benefits Plus has you covered! All benefit eligible employees can log into the MSU Benefits Plus portal with their ZPID, which can be found on EBS, and check out these discounts, plus more to get you and your family heading back to school in style without paying full price.

Technology: Be prepared for a new year like no other with laptops and tablets that move where you work.

  • Apple: Employee pricing on everything you purchase
  • HP: Up to 50% off your purchase
  • Dell: Up to 30% off using the Member ID PS113067902
  • Lenovo: Up to 68% off
  • MSU Tech Store: Purchase all kinds of tech with prices exclusive to MSU staff, faculty, and students

Cell Phone Plans: Stay connected with everyone in your life with a new or upgraded cell phone plan.

  • T-Mobile: $10 off select plans with “Work Perks”
  • AT&T: 17% off eligible plans with FAN number 2392567 and proof of employment
  • Verizon: Varying discounts with proof of employment

Education: Make learning lifelong or get your kids a jumpstart on their education in many ways with these education discounts.

  • Spartan Bookstore: 10% off new and used books when you show your ID
  • Student Book Store: 10% of your whole purchase (excluding computer software and calculators) when you show your ID
  • Penn Foster: 10% off career focused, online training
  • La Petite Academy/Tutor Time: 10% enrollment with proof of employment
  • Community Music School: 5% of all classes

Clothing and Accessories: Look your best back in the office or from your web camera without paying full price.

  • 20% off and free shipping when you use the code SHOESDOTCOM
  • Dress Barn: 30% off all bottoms when you use the code LOVEBOTTOMS
  • Glasses USA: 20% off all online orders with the code SpartansRule
  • Brooks Brothers: 15% of all future purchases when you register for a corporate membership (Organization ID: 12455 Pin Code: 54530)
  • Sears: $5 off $50 purchases with the code SEARS5OFF50

All of these discounts and even more visit the HR Website or the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Employees can also call Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575 with any questions. Back to School is on at Michigan State!

Job of the Week: Service and Maintenance

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring an On-Call Service Maintenance position (posting 697062) for the Landscape Services Department within Infrastructure Planning and Facilities.

This support staff position assists in a wide variety of routine manual labor tasks related to general landscaping. This includes plant and tree care including preservation and treatments; grounds maintenance operations; mowing lawns and landscaped areas; collecting and disposing of debris; operating equipment used in landscape maintenance and construction; cutting weeds, brush and grass using hand and power equipment; performing landscaping installations including material, signs, site furniture, edging and boulders; operating trucks and trailers; transporting trees and plants; de-icing sidewalks; updating and maintaining MSU’s plant database; and participating in campus cleanup after sports events. This position will engage in High Performance, leading edge practices, which are innovative in their approach to increased Stewardship and Service Excellence For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

The expected qualifications for this role include a knowledge of tools, method, materials, and equipment used in grounds maintenance, a good driving record, the ability to work in variable weather conditions, frequent lifting of up to or more than 75 pounds, knowledge of computer terminology and the ability to use and access to the internet and mobile devices. The desired qualifications include experience in ground maintenance and snow removal, experience with the program ArcGIS Collector Application, a creative and innovative approach to learning and working, and a positive attitude toward teamwork. A resume must be submitted to complete an application.

To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply by August 31 here. Find all the latest job postings at

Fall 2021 Professional Development Courses

Whether you’re working from a remote workspace or transitioning back to campus, HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD) has a variety of online, live courses to help you reach your professional goals. New courses designed to assist with the university’s return to on-site work are now available for registration in addition to other popular classes around a variety of topics.

New Course Offerings

  • Conflict Management and Non-Escalation | August 30 AND 31: The primary goals of this course are conflict resolution, de-escalation, crisis management, and everyone’s safety. This training will prepare participants to apply skills to real-life situations and to retain those skills over time. Registration closes August 13.
  • Building Cohesive Teams | September 15: Explore strategies to increase team cohesiveness and establish positive day-to-day interactions to enhance communication, build team awareness and cultivate trustworthiness in the work culture.
  • Managing and Leading Across Locations | September 29: Teams working from multiple locations may encounter a unique set of challenges. In this course, you’ll learn the difference between managing and leading and what effective leadership entails in this new environment.
  • Strategic Planning | October 13: Identify how to move from ideas to action in this hands-on workshop. Participants will gain a foundational base for implementing strategic planning in a unit.
  • Performance Management for Hybrid Teams | October 27: While the overall goal of performance management is the same across all types of settings, it is important to consider how the process should be adapted to better support and develop employees working in hybrid teams. Learn tips and strategies for developing strong and high performing hybrid teams using MSU’s Performance Excellence process.

Additional Instructor-led Course Offerings

Many more professional development classes are being offered over the next few months. Learn more about select courses below and view all current Organization and Professional Development courses on the HR website.

Business Analysis

  • Process Mapping Series | Begins September 1: Gain the knowledge and skills needed to confidently begin your process improvement journey. Explore the basics of process mapping and key terminology with hands-on exercises and an opportunity to begin using the interactive process mapping tool, Promapp.


Customer Service

Human Resources


Personal Development

  • Identify and Maximize Your Strengths | September 2: Complete a CliftonStrengths Assessment to learn more about your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, so that you can discover what makes you exceptional and maximize your potential.
  • READY, Set, Change! | September 9: Discover a framework to help you guide yourself and others through common change management scenarios including new programs, technological platforms, and systems.

Employees may use available educational assistance funds toward course fees, if any. Ready to enroll? Visit the EBS Portal for registration and reach out to OPD at with any questions.