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Working As a Circulation Assistant

  • 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

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Circulation Assistant 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 A Circulation Assistant

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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Average Length of Employment
Library Associate 3.2 years
Circulation Clerk 2.9 years
Library Clerk 2.9 years
Library Page 2.3 years
Circulation Worker 2.3 years
Library Assistant 2.2 years
Library Aide 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Circulation Assistant
Internship 15.2%
Cashier 9.6%
Volunteer 8.3%
Assistant 4.2%
Server 3.1%
Tutor 2.8%
Associate 2.0%
Top Careers After Circulation Assistant
Internship 13.7%
Cashier 6.7%
Volunteer 5.4%
Assistant 3.8%
Server 3.4%
Teacher 3.0%
Associate 2.7%
Tutor 2.6%

Do you work as a Circulation Assistant?

Top Skills for A Circulation Assistant

  1. Patron Accounts
  2. Interlibrary Loan Materials
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained patron accounts and collected overdue fines.
  • Processed Interlibrary Loan materials and assisted in various special projects.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities and customer service, assisting patrons in finding printed documents and online resources.
  • Offered general advice to library users on library materials to enable them to pursue their studies/research/teaching effectively.
  • Provided customer service to library patrons at the circulation desk -- Shelved and indexed library materials in circulation West Virginia State University

Circulation Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,238 Circulation Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Circulation Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Circulation Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

62.4%

Male

28.6%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.4%

French

17.9%

German

7.6%

Mandarin

6.0%

Chinese

5.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Italian

4.0%

Russian

3.3%

Portuguese

3.3%

Korean

2.3%

Cantonese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Arabic

1.3%

Hindi

1.0%

Greek

0.7%

Carrier

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Turkish

0.3%
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Circulation Assistant Education

Schools

The Community College of Baltimore County

7.4%

Towson University

6.6%

University of Phoenix

5.9%

Florida State University

5.5%

University of Houston

5.5%

University of Virginia

5.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.1%

Kent State University

5.1%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.1%

Skidmore College

4.7%

Ohio State University

4.7%

Harvard University

4.7%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

4.3%

Simmons College

4.3%

University of California - San Diego

4.3%

Dominican University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.3%

Franklin Pierce University

4.3%

Knox College

4.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.3%
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Majors

Business

13.2%

English

11.5%

Psychology

10.0%

History

7.9%

Communication

5.6%

Fine Arts

4.8%

Library Science And Administration

4.5%

Library Science

4.3%

Political Science

4.3%

Writing

3.7%

Law

3.7%

Accounting

3.4%

Biology

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.3%

Sociology

3.2%

Nursing

3.1%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Elementary Education

2.4%

Music

2.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.7%

Masters

17.1%

Other

16.1%

Associate

6.5%

Certificate

2.9%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.3%
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