Library Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a library assistant. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a library assistant.
Who is a Library Assistant?
A library assistant is a qualified paraprofessional with training in libraries and information who helps librarians with the gathering, preparing, and arrangement of information. They also help library users find information. Because of the increased use of computerized information storage and retrieval systems, library technicians are now helping with technical tasks that were formerly handled only by librarians, such as cataloging. Particularly in tiny village libraries, a library technician could be the sole employee (or one of the few) on duty. They might manage librarians, assistants, and volunteers in bigger libraries, as well as assist in running certain departments. The function of the library technician is expanding and evolving as a result of libraries’ increased use of new technologies (such as automated databases, CD-ROM, the Internet, and virtual libraries).
A library assistant is not the same as a librarian. While Library Assistants offer clerical assistance to Library personnel and customer service to patrons, Librarians are in charge of managing the library’s collection and assisting users in finding specific resources. Visitors can be directed to librarians by library assistants if they have complicated research or information science queries. The library’s book selection and technological resources are curated by librarians, who also guide library assistants on how to keep them properly arranged. The literacy, instructional, or entertainment activities that Library Assistants assist staff with are also created by librarians. Library clerks and assistants issue and receive materials, sort and shelve books, and teach patrons about the library’s policies and procedures. They also carry out administrative duties. Libraries or other institutions that offer library services hire library clerks. Good library assistants are approachable and knowledgeable about the structure of libraries. They are passionate about giving back to their community and facilitating access to information for others. The greatest library assistants aspire to become librarians in the future and advance their education. Successful library assistants enjoy reading and passing along book recommendations. When shelving books, they are meticulous and very organized, making sure that each item is put in its right location so that the next customer can quickly locate what they’re looking for.
There are library assistants at corporate libraries, public libraries, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and bookmobiles. One of the best ways to break into the area of librarianship is to work as a library assistant. It’s an opportunity to learn about the various kinds of libraries and how they operate as well as the available various kinds of information. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to interact with and meet people from all walks of life who visit the library for information. You might wish to think about turning into a licensed library technician as your career develops (CLT). Your ability to carry out the responsibilities of a library technician is demonstrated by this certification. Entry-level positions are frequent for library assistants. As they gain expertise, they might move on to supervisor or lead library assistant jobs, which carry more responsibility. Some library assistants might transition into related fields like librarianship, archival work, or museum work. A master’s degree in library science is often required for those who want to work as librarians. Some library assistants who have a bachelor’s degree in a different subject and have had some on-the-job training may be qualified for jobs as assistant librarians. As they take on more duties in different parts of the library, library assistants can advance. Some go on to manage day-to-day library operations as supervisors.
Library Assistant Job Description
Below are the library assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a library assistant job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Sort publications, books, and other literary things before putting them back on the correct racks and storage spaces.
- Collect items from customers who took books and DVDs from the library when they are returned.
- Maintain a catalogue of the library’s holdings.
- Find library resources, such as periodicals, books, magazines, and electronic resources, and help with the production, routing, editing, and approval of a range of online documents.
- Help patrons find reading or research materials, and show them how to use computers, scanners, and photocopiers.
- Create new accounts, provide library cards, and keep library equipment in good working order.
- Show people how to use the library’s resources.
- Instruct customers on how to use computer systems, card files, and other reference sources.
- Prepare purchase requests, place supply orders, and then handle and distribute materials and supplies across the library after delivery.
- Keep track of all new and used items received, issued, stored, and returned. File records by the library’s filing system.
- perform clerical tasks such as sorting mail, taking calls, filing, copying, word processing, and mailing letters; keep regular contact with supervisors about changes; and, if necessary, look for ways to streamline operations.
- Produce monthly reports.
- Open and close the library after regular business hours.
- Secure equipment.
- Deal with problems or disruptive customers, or refer them to the supervising librarian.
- Assist library users with finding books, using internet resources, and conducting research using library databases.
- Keep track of the objects in the library.
- Plan library programming to attract visitors.
- Aid librarians in expanding library holdings.
- A Bachelor’s degree.
- Some expertise working in customer service.
- Computer literacy basics.
- Exceptional organizing abilities.
- Good problem-solving skills and an eye for detail.
- Excellent interpersonal abilities.
- Outstanding communication skills both verbally and in writing.
- Prior clerical experience is an added advantage.
- Ability to push and pull wheels-on things weighing between 60 and 80 pounds.
- A 50-pound weight limit for lifting and carrying.
- Good understanding of library practices and processes.
- Communication skills: In addition to teaching clients how to use the library’s resources, library technicians and assistants must pay attention to and comprehend their customers’ needs.
- Interpersonal skills: Throughout the day, library assistants interact with a wide range of people, including students, teachers, researchers, other library employees, and volunteers. You can work with others productively and professionally if you have excellent interpersonal skills.
- Detail-oriented: Library technicians and assistants must pay special attention to making sure that information and materials are arranged properly and by the organizational structure of the library. Detail-oriented work is required while cataloguing and processing library materials.
- Organizational Skills: The many various forms of information that library assistants frequently have to track include library materials, student records, and other crucial papers. For a library assistant, being able to arrange your workspace and files is crucial.
- Computer Literacy: You may be expected to execute basic computer functions as an assistant, such as typing, using a mouse, and accessing a website. It’s crucial to be knowledgeable about applications like Google Docs, Excel, and Microsoft Word.
- Patience: Library employees frequently assist visitors who are unfamiliar with utilizing computers or other library tools. When assisting customers who require assistance using the technology or resources of the library, patience is crucial.
- Attention to detail: Maintaining files and records may fall under your purview as an assistant. For you to accurately update files and records, you must have superb attention to detail. Additionally, you can be in charge of document scanning and filing, so pay close attention to detail here as well.
- Technology skills: Using computers, library assistants and technicians can assist patrons with their topical research. The collection database at the library is also kept up to date using technology.
How to Become a Library Assistant
Step 1. Earn a high school diploma or equivalent
Some smaller libraries will accept applicants with only a high school diploma as library assistants. However, the majority of libraries prefer to hire someone who has an Associate Degree or Certificate in Library and Archives Assisting. Some libraries don’t require formal training or a college degree for their librarian assistants. However, the majority call for at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. With a GED or other diploma equivalent, you can also work as a librarian assistant. The majority of libraries want to hire library assistants who have an associate’s degree or postsecondary credential. Some smaller libraries, nevertheless, might take applicants for technicians who just have a high school diploma. Coursework in automated library systems, circulation, reference, and cataloging is included in certificate and associate’s degree programs in library technology. When employed in public schools, library technicians sometimes have to adhere to the same standards as teacher aides.
Step 2. Learn about library sciences
Although a degree in library sciences is not required, any information you may have in this field would be beneficial to include on your resume. This not only teaches you more about the subject you’ve selected, but it also demonstrates your eagerness to pick up new abilities and develop yourself. Consider conducting an internet search to find the best library science course for you since there are several available online. As an alternative, some neighborhood libraries might offer courses on pertinent subjects; as such, look into what’s available in your region.
Step 3. Go for training
To learn about libraries and library resources, library assistants typically take some brief OTJ training.
Step 4. Become a member of a professional association
It could help your career to join a professional group like the American Library Association (ALA). You can network to identify employment openings through organizations like the ALA. You can advance your career by taking advantage of other networking possibilities, such as locating a possible mentor. You might learn more about the nuances of the job or practical advice on how to carry out chores more quickly by networking with other professionals.
Step 5. Volunteer
When employing librarian assistants, the majority of libraries don’t demand experience. But if you want something to add to your resume when you apply, think about doing a volunteer job. Many libraries offer volunteer roles to assist with upkeep or management programs. Making relationships in the industry while working as a volunteer at a library gives you the chance to land a full-time job. Reading to children, tutoring, and other educational or youth-based programs are beneficial volunteer opportunities outside of the library for those interested in becoming librarian assistants.
Step 6. Get an Entry-Level Position as a Library Assistant
You’ll normally start your job as an entry-level Library Assistant once you’ve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in library science or a closely related discipline. Typically, a four-year bachelor’s degree in a related field is required to work as a library assistant. You could wish to look into certification in certified k8 self-contained depending on the kind of library assistant position you’re pursuing.
Step 7. Advance in Your Library Assistant Career
There are various stages in the Library Assistant career path after entry level. To advance to the position of senior library assistant, it may take two years as an entry-level library assistant. To advance in your library assistant profession, you need to have amassed roughly two years of experience at each level. To develop your Library Assistant profession, you might need to complete further coursework, earn a higher degree, like a Master’s in a related field, or obtain specialized certifications.
Where to Work as a Library Assistant
Places to find employment as A library assistant are: Several special libraries, including those in hospitals, businesses, and prisons.
- Research organizations like HSRC and CSIR.
- Community libraries
- Colleges, universities, and technological universities.
- Government agencies
- Provincial governments
- Private businesses
Typically, library assistants will work under the supervision of librarians and library technicians, carrying out a variety of activities, some of which may involve helping library users. This can include everything from refilling shelves to helping with community initiatives to checking in and out items. While some jobs can be completed at a desk, others necessitate frequent up-and-moving. Library assistants mostly work indoors, except those who operate bookmobiles. They work at a desk or on a computer for most of their time. The majority of them also spend time categorizing or reshelving volumes in the library, which may involve bending or extending to get to the shelves. They might be employed in a range of places, including the children’s area, the reference desk, the circulation desk, or the audio-visual section. In school libraries, library aides are on duty throughout regular school hours. Weekends, evenings, and some holidays are when those working in public or college libraries are open. They work regular business hours in corporate libraries, although they could also be required to put in extra time. The locations they cover will determine the schedule of the bookmobile’s library aides.
Library Assistant Salary Scale
The pay for library assistants varies according to their years of experience, level of education, and the type of library they work in. Additionally, they might be given advantages like paid time off and health insurance. In America, the average yearly compensation for library assistants is $27,402. In Nigeria, the average salary for a library assistant is 220,000 NGN per month. From 105,000 to 365,000 NGN are paid in salaries.