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Become A Library Specialist

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Working As A Library Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Deal with People

  • $45,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Library Specialist 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 Specialist

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 4.0 years
Library Supervisor 3.7 years
Library Associate 3.2 years
Library Technician 3.0 years
Librarian 2.9 years
Specialist 2.6 years
Library Assistant 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Library Specialist
Internship 9.6%
Volunteer 4.2%
Teacher 3.3%
Librarian 3.3%
Assistant 3.1%
Cashier 3.1%
Clerk 2.8%
Top Careers After Library Specialist
Teacher 7.6%
Librarian 7.6%
Volunteer 6.0%
Cashier 3.6%
Specialist 2.8%

Do you work as a Library Specialist?

Library Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

61.0%

Male

28.0%

Unknown

11.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

4.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.1%

French

21.6%

German

10.8%

Japanese

5.4%

Swedish

2.7%

Portuguese

2.7%

Romanian

2.7%

Cantonese

2.7%

Mandarin

2.7%

Dari

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%

Urdu

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Italian

2.7%
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Library Specialist Education

Schools

San Jose State University

12.2%

University of North Texas

8.6%

Drexel University

7.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

6.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.8%

University of Utah

5.8%

Emory University

5.0%

University of Phoenix

5.0%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.3%

Kent State University

4.3%

University of Arizona

4.3%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.6%

University of Connecticut

3.6%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

Illinois State University

2.9%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.9%

Temple University

2.9%

Indiana University Bloomington

2.9%
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Majors

Library Science

13.8%

Library Science And Administration

13.8%

Business

10.9%

English

7.9%

History

5.6%

Psychology

4.7%

Information Sciences

4.7%

Elementary Education

4.1%

Sociology

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Writing

3.5%

General Studies

3.2%

Education

2.9%

Communication

2.9%

Management

2.6%

Fine Arts

2.4%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Political Science

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

Economics

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.9%

Masters

34.7%

Other

13.6%

Associate

7.7%

Certificate

6.1%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$45,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$25,000
Min 10%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Palo Alto, CA
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Library Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Library Specialist in the United States is $45,512 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $25,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $82,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Library Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Library Specialist

  1. Library Materials
  2. Customer Service
  3. Circulation Desk
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed detail-oriented physical preparation of library materials such as books and media.
  • Perform daily reference/customer service duties for college students.
  • Provided in-person and telephone reference and circulation desk service.
  • Process Inter-Campus and Inter-Library Loans.
  • Hire, train, supervise and monitor work flow of 5 to 10 student workers.

How Would You Rate Working As a Library Specialist?

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Top Library Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Library Specialist Employers

Library Specialist Videos

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