Immersed in the dusty stacks, fingers running along book spines in search of an elusive title, a library technician spots their prey— just the book they were looking for! Library technicians and assistants are on a quest to keep libraries up to date and functional in our fast-paced, information-driven world. Library technicians and clerical library assistants help librarians with many aspects of library operations. They assist patrons, organize library materials and resources, and perform clerical and administrative tasks. Academic library technicians and assistants help students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities access resources and information related to their coursework and research. Public library assistants work in municipal libraries that serve their communities. School library technicians show students how to find and use resources, maintain textbook collections, and help develop curriculum materials. There are also special libraries held by government agencies, corporations, museums, law firms, and medical centers, which employ these workers. Library technicians and assistants typically work part time. Though very similar to technicians’ work, clerical library assistants focus more on the administrative aspects of library operations. Most library technicians need to earn a certificate in their field or an associate’s degree. Library assistants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and are usually trained on the job.
What they do:
Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books or other media; remove or repair damaged books or other media; register patrons; and check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who assist with providing services in mobile libraries.
On the job, you would:
Reserve, circulate, renew, and discharge books and other materials.
Answer routine telephone or in-person reference inquiries, referring patrons to librarians for further assistance, when necessary.
Help patrons find and use library resources, such as reference materials, audio-visual equipment, computers, and other electronic resources and provide technical assistance when needed.
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Education and Training
teaching and course design
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
looking for ways to help people
changing what is done based on other people's actions
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
group things in different ways
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Online Computer Library Center OCLC
WebClarity Software BookWhere
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.