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Become A Library Clerk

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Working As A Library Clerk

  • 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

  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Library Clerk 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 Library Clerk

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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Library Specialist 3.9 years
Library Associate 3.2 years
Library Clerk 3.0 years
Media Clerk 3.0 years
Circulation Clerk 2.9 years
Library Page 2.3 years
Library Assistant 2.2 years
Library Aide 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Library Clerk
Cashier 12.2%
Internship 8.4%
Clerk 5.4%
Volunteer 4.9%
Secretary 3.9%
Assistant 3.0%
Teacher 2.6%
Tutor 2.2%
Top Careers After Library Clerk
Cashier 10.8%
Internship 6.7%
Clerk 4.5%
Volunteer 4.4%
Teacher 3.4%
Secretary 3.3%
Librarian 3.2%
Assistant 2.6%

Do you work as a Library Clerk?

Library Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

63.9%

Male

26.1%

Unknown

10.0%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

18.8%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.5%

French

11.1%

Mandarin

5.1%

Chinese

4.3%

German

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Hindi

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Korean

1.6%

Portuguese

1.6%

Italian

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Greek

0.8%

Swahili

0.4%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Marathi

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Khmer

0.4%

Malay

0.4%
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Library Clerk Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

San Jose State University

9.7%

Brigham Young University

6.7%

Texas A&M University

6.7%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.9%

South Texas College

5.0%

Ashford University

4.7%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.7%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4.4%

University of North Florida

4.1%

University of North Texas

4.1%

Florida State University

4.1%

New York University

3.8%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.8%

Wayne State University

3.5%

Saint Louis Community College

3.5%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.5%

Fordham University

3.5%

State University of New York Albany

3.5%

Pasadena City College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.6%

English

9.0%

Psychology

8.3%

Library Science

6.2%

Liberal Arts

5.3%

Accounting

5.0%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

History

4.7%

Library Science And Administration

4.4%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Elementary Education

3.9%

Education

3.5%

Communication

3.3%

Nursing

3.2%

General Studies

3.1%

Legal Support Services

3.1%

Fine Arts

2.9%

Computer Science

2.9%

Sociology

2.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.5%

Other

23.3%

Associate

14.1%

Masters

13.9%

Certificate

5.3%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

1.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$30,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$17,000
Min 10%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$30,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
City of South San Francisco
Highest Paying City
South San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Virginia
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Library Clerk make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Library Clerk in the United States is $30,282 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $17,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $51,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Library Clerk?

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Top Skills for A Library Clerk

  1. New Patrons
  2. Library Materials
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed registration and welcome of new patrons including library tour and explanation of borrower services.
  • Prepared new library materials for entry into computer system.
  • Provided customer services to student/faculty body; transported literary journals and books to designated areas.
  • Develop customer interaction and promotional skills via telephone service and/or e-mail service on circulation desk.
  • Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned, and file catalog cards according to system used.

How Would You Rate Working As a Library Clerk?

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