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Become An Assistant Librarian

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Working As An Assistant Librarian

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Librarian Do

Library technicians and assistants help librarians with all aspects of running a library. They assist patrons, organize library materials and information, and perform clerical and administrative tasks.

Duties

Library technicians and assistants typically do the following:

  • Loan library materials to patrons and collect returned materials
  • Sort and reshelve returned books, periodicals, and other materials
  • Catalogue and maintain library materials
  • Handle interlibrary loans
  • Register new patrons and issue library cards
  • Answer routine reference questions
  • Teach patrons how to find and use library resources
  • Maintain computer databases used to locate library materials
  • Answer the phone, organize files, and perform other routine clerical tasks
  • Help plan and participate in special programs, such as used-book sales, story times, and outreach programs

A librarian usually supervises library technicians and assistants. Library technicians and assistants usually help patrons find information and organize library materials. However, library technicians typically have more responsibilities than do library assistants, such as administering library programs and overseeing lower level staff.

Library technicians and assistants in smaller libraries have a broader range of duties. In larger libraries, they tend to specialize in a particular area, such as user services or technical services. Technicians and assistants specializing in user services assist library patrons with locating resources and information. Those specializing in technical services research, acquire, catalog, and process materials to be added to the library’s collections.

The following are examples of types of library technicians and assistants:

Academic library technicians and assistants help students, faculties, and staff in colleges and universities access resources and information related to coursework or research projects. Some help teach students how to access and use library resources. They may work at service desks for reserve materials, special collections, or computer labs.

Public library technicians and assistants work in community libraries to serve members of the public. They help patrons find books to read for pleasure; assist patrons with their research; and teach patrons how to access the library’s resources. Some technicians in public libraries may help plan programs for users, such as story time for children, book clubs for teens or adults, or other educational or recreational activities.

School library technicians and assistants show students how to find and use library resources, maintain textbook collections, and they help teachers develop curriculum materials.

Special library technicians and assistants work in libraries in government agencies, corporations, museums, law firms, and medical centers. They assist users, search library resources, compile bibliographies, and provide information on subjects of interest to the organization.

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How To Become An Assistant Librarian

Most library technicians need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. Library assistants typically need a high school degree and usually learn through short-term on-the-job (OTJ) training.

Education                                                                                               

Most libraries prefer to hire library technicians who have a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. However, some smaller libraries might hire prospective technicians with only a high school diploma. Certificate and associate’s degree programs in library technology include coursework in acquisitions, cataloguing, circulation, reference, and automated library systems. In some cases, library technicians who work in public schools must meet the same requirements as teacher assistants.

Most library assistants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Library assistants usually receive some short-term OTJ training to learn about libraries and library resources.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Library technicians and assistants need to listen to and understand patrons’ needs, provide clear answers to questions, and teach them how to use library resources.

Detail oriented. Library technicians and assistants must pay close attention to ensure that library materials and information are organized correctly and according to the library’s organizational system. Cataloging and processing library materials also requires attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Library technicians and assistants provide customer service to library patrons and work with librarians, teachers, or researchers.

Technology skills. Library technicians and assistants use computers to help patrons research topics. They also use technology to maintain the library’s database of collections.

Advancement

Library technicians and assistants can advance as they assume additional responsibilities in other areas of the library. Some eventually become supervisors and oversee daily library operations. To become a librarian, technicians and assistants need to earn a master’s degree in library science.

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Assistant Librarian Demographics

Gender

Female

61.1%

Male

27.8%

Unknown

11.1%
Ethnicity

White

60.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

7.9%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.3%

French

15.8%

Arabic

6.3%

German

4.5%

Japanese

4.5%

Chinese

4.1%

Italian

3.6%

Mandarin

3.2%

Hindi

2.7%

Bengali

1.8%

Russian

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Swahili

0.9%

Telugu

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Swedish

0.5%

Romanian

0.5%
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Assistant Librarian Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.5%

University of South Florida

6.9%

San Jose State University

6.5%

Simmons College

5.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.5%

University of North Texas

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.6%

Ashford University

4.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Florida State University

4.6%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.6%

University of Maryland - University College

4.1%

Illinois State University

4.1%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.1%

Pratt Institute-Main

4.1%

University of Alabama

3.7%

Ohio University -

3.7%

Kent State University

3.7%

Hunter College of the City University of New York

3.7%
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Majors

Business

13.4%

Library Science

12.3%

Psychology

8.7%

Library Science And Administration

8.1%

English

6.7%

History

5.7%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Accounting

4.3%

Education

4.1%

Elementary Education

3.6%

Communication

3.4%

Fine Arts

3.3%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Nursing

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Biology

2.9%

Law

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

General Studies

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.8%

Masters

23.5%

Other

19.7%

Associate

9.9%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$41,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$22,000
Min 10%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$41,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
University of Washington
Highest Paying City
Hayward, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does an Assistant Librarian make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Assistant Librarian in the United States is $41,304 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $22,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $77,000.

Real Assistant Librarian Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Assistant Librarian California State University, Fresno Fresno, CA Aug 01, 2015 $72,456
Assistant Librarian University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Nov 01, 2016 $66,310
Assistant Librarian (Digital Services) Western Connecticut State University Danbury, CT Aug 24, 2015 $66,000
Assistant Librarian University of Notre Dame Du Lac Notre Dame, IN Jan 01, 2014 $65,000
Assistant Librarian University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Jul 22, 2014 $62,610
Assistant Librarian-Pharmacy Liaison University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Apr 15, 2016 $62,067
Assistant Librarian The University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Jan 02, 2015 $62,000
Assistant Librarian University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Dec 14, 2015 $62,000
Assistant Librarian University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Dartmouth, MA Jan 01, 2011 $62,000
Assistant Librarian University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Aug 28, 2014 $61,000
Senior Assistant Librarian California State University, Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA Sep 01, 2009 $60,132
SR. Assistant Librarian California State University, Stanislaus Turlock, CA Nov 01, 2011 $58,500
Senior Assistant Librarian University at Albany Albany, NY Mar 07, 2011 $58,344
Assistant Librarian University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Sep 22, 2014 $57,000
Senior Assistant Librarian Saint Peter's University Jersey City, NJ Jul 08, 2014 $56,867
Assistant Librarian University of Oregon Eugene, OR Sep 15, 2014 $56,800
Assistant Librarian Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT Nov 18, 2011 $56,604
Assistant Librarian Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT Oct 28, 2011 $56,604
Chinese Studies Assistant Librarian University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Jun 01, 2016 $55,578
Senior Assistant Librarian University at Albany, Suny Albany, NY Apr 08, 2011 $54,466
Assistant Librarian Arizona State University Tempe, AZ Aug 15, 2010 $50,000
Assistant Librarian Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Jan 05, 2012 $49,200
Assistant Librarian, Digital Content Services Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY Jan 07, 2016 $49,173
Assistant Librarian Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Jun 01, 2012 $49,000
Senior Assistant Librarian University of Washington Seattle, WA Feb 01, 2010 $48,972

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Top Skills for An Assistant Librarian

  1. New Patrons
  2. Library Materials
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Register new patrons, set up, and alter files for future use in gathering reading material.
  • Performed a needs assessment for users in determining appropriate library materials.
  • Designed a character and logo for the library Skills Used Microsoft Office Customer service Data entry Data management Instruction and presentation
  • Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned, and file catalog cards according to system used.
  • Supervised library workers while operating circulation desk and assisting patrons with book selections.

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Top 10 Best States for Assistant Librarians

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Washington
  4. Oregon
  5. Wyoming
  6. California
  7. Massachusetts
  8. South Dakota
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Nevada
  • (17 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (114 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)

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