Library technicians work under the supervision of a librarian and assist with various duties needed to run a library such as helping shelve and organize materials and do administrative and clerical tasks. They also help people find the books and reference material they are looking for. They may be employed by university libraries, companies, schools, or public libraries typically on a part-time basis.
Watch a video to learn what a library technician does.
How to Become a Library Technician
Library technicians usually require a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree in library technology. These programs include coursework in acquisitions, circulation, reference, automated library systems, and cataloging. If a library technician works in a public school they may need to have the same requirements as teacher assistants. You can gain additional education by earning a master’s degree in library science in order to become a librarian.
If you want to get your foot in the door, you can also start as a library assistant. Library assistants may only need a high school diploma and then receive on-the-job training.
Job description of a Library Technician
Along with organizing and shelving books, they also loan library materials to people and issue people library cards. They are able to answer routine questions people have and help them find and use library resources. They may help plan special programs like storytimes, used book sales, and outreach programs, and participate in them as well. Library technicians answer phones, perform routine clerical tasks, organize files, and maintain computer databases. There are also specialty library technicians that typically work in libraries for government agencies, museums, corporations, medical centers, or law firms.
Library Technician and Assistant Career Video Transcript
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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Library Technicians and Assistants.
National Center for O*NET Development. 25-4031.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.