Library Clerk Job Description

Library Clerk Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a library clerk. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a library clerk.


Who is a Library Clerk?

A library clerk – sometimes called a library assistant – is the person responsible for helping library users find the information or services they need. A library clerk may work in a school library, a public library, or even a private library. They do not usually work alone but work in a team led by the head librarian.

They are often responsible for helping visitors find what they need in the library.

Libraries are usually divided into sections so that materials are easily accessible to visitors. These sections usually include reference books, periodicals, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature. The library clerk is normally expected to be familiar with all these sections and their sub-sections. In very large libraries, a library clerk may specialize in a particular area of reading material.

Helping people find the information they need is usually the main task of the library clerk. He or she often stands at the entrance to the library, greeting and offering assistance to visitors as they arrive. If the visitor is unfamiliar with the library, the library clerk usually gives a general introduction to the library system. Then he/she will take the visitor to a filing cabinet or computer to show them how to search for the information they need.

The reference section is the place where the library clerk is most helpful to people. Since most of the books in this section cannot be taken out of the room, unlike most books in an ordinary library, the library clerk is usually responsible for keeping track of the reference books and making sure it is returned to the office promptly after use.

Another important task of the library clerk is to process new books in the system. He or she is usually required to be able to catalog and enter books into a computer file or system. This involves entering a large amount of data, including publisher, author, page count, genre, and classification codes provided by the Dewey Decimal System and the Library of Congress. After processing incoming books, the clerk may have to arrange them properly with similar books and alphabetize them by title or author, depending on the section of the library.

In addition to assisting visitors and checking in books, a library clerk is often required to help keep the library clean and tidy and to maintain a calm and peaceful environment conducive to reading and study. They may also be required to keep up to date with periodicals, remove old material and distribute it to other areas. In some libraries, the library clerk may also be required to track and return overdue books.

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required for this job. Good organizational skills and computer skills are desirable qualities for aspiring library clerks.


Library Clerk Job Description

Below are the library clerk job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a Library Clerk include the following:

  • Maintaining the library catalog by adding new items and deleting obsolete ones.
  • Handling materials returned by visitors, including scanning books into the computer system and placing them back on the shelves.
  • Assisting library users by providing information about materials in the library collection that may be of interest to them.
  • Assisting library staff with clerical tasks, such as maintaining library records and cataloging new materials.
  • Answering the telephone and providing information or assistance to library users over the phone.
  • Processing interlibrary loan requests by ordering materials from other libraries and coordinating delivery with the requesting library.
  • Providing basic computer support services, such as setting up new accounts, troubleshooting, and repairing damaged disks.
  • Providing reference services by helping visitors find information using library resources such as encyclopedias and databases.
  • Updating databases and files.
  • Sorting and storing books.
  • Registering new visitors.
  • Purchasing and cataloging new materials.
  • Maintaining records and sending out overdue notices.
  • Registering and borrowing various library materials.
  • Assisting visitors when needed.



A library clerk should generally have the following qualifications:


Although there are no specific educational requirements for an entry-level library clerk position, most employers prefer at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in library science.

Training and experience

Many employers provide on-the-job training for newly hired library clerks. This training usually includes learning about specific computer programs and databases used by the library, as well as the organization’s policies and procedures.

Certification and licensing

Certifications are not usually a requirement for employment as a librarian, but they can demonstrate your commitment to the profession and allow you to apply for higher positions.


Essential Skills

  • Interaction with the public

Most of the time, library clerks communicate with visitors and encourage them to use the library’s resources. They often do outreach work, providing information about library services, offering reading materials, or inviting visitors to attend library events. Strong communication skills are essential for working with visitors, as they allow you to communicate with them in a friendly and informative manner.

  • Classification

Classification of library materials is an important skill for library clerks. Classification involves assigning a number to each book, DVD, or other item in the library so that visitors can find them easily. Library clerks also use classification skills when sorting books by subject and author. This allows visitors to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently.

  • Technology

Technology skills are important for the library clerk as they enable the use of the software and hardware used in the library. This includes the use of computers, scanners, printers, and other library equipment. It is also useful to know how to use library databases and online resources to help visitors find what they need.

  • Organization

Organisation is the ability to keep track of files, folders, and other information. As a library clerk, you may be responsible for keeping an entire collection of books or other materials. Strong organizational skills will help you quickly find the documents you need when visitors ask for them, and to ensure that all your documents are properly filed.

  • Communication

Communication skills are necessary for both library clerks and other library staff. They use their communication skills to communicate with library users, answer questions about library resources and explain how to access digital materials. Library clerks also use their communication skills when completing documents or sending emails on behalf of the library.

  • Circulation

Circulation is the process of borrowing and returning library materials. Library clerks must know how to distribute books, films, CDs, and other materials so that library users can find what they need. Circulation involves knowing the location of each item in the library system and keeping track of it when it is returned. Library clerks also use circulation techniques when they borrow materials from the library themselves.

  • Advising readers

Reader advisory skills are important skills that library clerks must possess. This requires the ability to recommend books based on the reader’s interests, age, or reading level. Library Clerks also use their reader advisory skills when they suggest materials to readers who need help finding information. This skill requires knowledge of different genres, authors, and subjects to make informed recommendations.

  • Customer service

Customer service skills are important for library clerks as they interact with visitors regularly. They need to be friendly and welcoming, and knowledgeable about the resources the library has to offer. They also often help visitors find what they are looking for in the library’s collections or online.

  • Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are the ability to communicate with others and understand their emotions. Library clerks often work directly with visitors, so they must be friendly and approachable. They must also have good listening skills to answer questions accurately and help visitors find what they are looking for.

  • Cataloging

Library staff must be able to create and maintain a catalog of books, DVDs, CDs, and other library materials. This requires excellent organizational skills as well as the ability to read and interpret information on the covers of books or DVDs. They also need to be able to use library management software that allows them to enter data on each item into a database so that visitors can find what they are looking for.

  • Problem-solving

Problem-solving is the ability to identify and solve problems. As a library clerk, you may encounter problems when visitors have questions about how to use library resources or when they cannot find what they are looking for. It is important to be critical and to find solutions that satisfy the readers. For example, if a visitor is overdue for a book, you can suggest other materials on the same subject or offer an alternative book format to read.

  • Interlibrary loan

Interlibrary loan is a service that allows readers to request books from other libraries. Library clerks use this skill when visitors request materials that are not in the library’s collection. It is important to know how to navigate the interlibrary loan system and how to find resources for readers. You may also have to give instructions to readers on how to use the system if you do not have time to respond to their requests yourself.

  • Collection development

The library clerk needs to know how to build a collection of books, films, and other materials. They need to be able to find the right resources for readers according to their interests and age. To do this, they need to know the different types of media and what each represents. They also need to keep track of what they have borrowed and when it is due to be returned, to ensure that there is always something available for those who want to borrow it.

  • Attention to detail

As a library clerk, you may need to check the accuracy of data entered into computer systems or the tracking of books by number. Attention to detail can also help you remember important information on invoices or book requests so that you can provide accurate information.


How to Become a Library Clerk

  1. Get a higher degree

To begin a career as a library clerk, a bachelor’s degree in library science or a related field is usually required to remain a competitive option for employers. During your studies, focus on developing industry skills so that you are well prepared when applying for entry-level positions and when applying for jobs. An internship as a library clerk may be necessary to complete a Bachelor’s degree and gain the necessary field skills before entering the workforce.

  1. Choose a specialization in your field

As a library clerk, you may have to choose a specialization in your field. Determine the part of the library field you feel you are good in and continue to take active steps to develop your chosen library clerk specialization.

  1. Getting an entry-level library clerical position

After earning a bachelor’s degree in library science or a related field, you can then begin your career as an entry-level library clerk. You can also become a library clerk after completing a four-year bachelor’s degree in a related field.

  1. Advancing your career as a library clerk

After entry level, there are several levels of career progression for a library clerk. It may take two years of work as an entry-level library clerk to advance to a senior library clerk position. To progress up the career ladder to each advanced library clerk position, it takes about two years of experience at each level. Additional education, a master’s degree in a related field, or special certifications may be required to advance on the library clerk career ladder.

  1. Continuing Education for Career Development as a Library Clerk

Not all industries and companies require continuing education to advance your career as a library clerk. However, obtaining such a degree can help you move more quickly into higher-paying positions.


Where to Work as a Library Clerk

Library clerks work in all types of libraries, including public, school, university, and special libraries. They usually work during regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to accommodate library schedules. Library clerks generally perform a variety of tasks, such as shelving books, checking books in and out, helping visitors find materials, and assisting with reference and research.


Library Clerk Salary Scale

The average annual salary of a Library Clerk in the United States and Canada is $38,527 and $46,439 respectively. In the United Kingdom, the average annual salary of a Library Clerk is £24,265.

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