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Working as a Library Technician

What Does a Library Technician 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.

How To Become a Library Technician

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 Salary$45,727
Job Growth Rate-3%

Library Technician Jobs

Library Technician Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Library Technician

Library Technicians in America make an average salary of $45,727 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $64,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Salary
$45,727

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range49k - 93k$68k$68,021
Salary Range49k - 91k$67k$67,359
Salary Range50k - 90k$67k$67,263
Salary Range45k - 89k$64k$63,584
Salary Range43k - 77k$58k$57,790
Salary Range40k - 74k$55k$55,123
$34k
$93k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Library Technician
Library Technician
City of Carlsbad
City of Carlsbad
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$34,43610/23/2020
$34,436
Library Tech-Innovation & Design Center
Library Tech-Innovation & Design Center
Dcsdk12
Dcsdk12
10/16/2020
10/16/2020
$33,18310/16/2020
$33,183
Library Technician
Library Technician
City of Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
City of Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
10/15/2020
10/15/2020
$104,35010/15/2020
$104,350
Library/Tech Para Educator
Library/Tech Para Educator
Calhoun Intermediate School District
Calhoun Intermediate School District
10/12/2020
10/12/2020
$23,24910/12/2020
$23,249
Library Technician
Library Technician
State of Minnesota
State of Minnesota
09/28/2020
09/28/2020
$37,90009/28/2020
$37,900
See More Recent Salaries

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Library Technician Demographics

Gender

female

62.7%

male

32.8%

unknown

4.5%

Ethnicity

White

66.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

10.0%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

52.4%

French

7.5%

German

6.8%
See More Demographics

Library Technician Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Associate

18.5%

Masters

17.2%

Top Colleges for Library Technicians

1. New York University

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

2. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

Tuition and fees
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

4. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Tuition and fees
$51,853
Enrollment
14,759

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$53,244
Enrollment
15,557

9. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME

Tuition and fees
$13,478
Enrollment
979

10. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Library Technician

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Library Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 31.9% of library technicians listed library materials on their resume, but soft skills such as reading skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Library Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a library technician. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Library technicians make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $70,450. Whereas in New York and Delaware, they would average $69,493 and $69,421, respectively. While library technicians would only make an average of $69,251 in Pennsylvania, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Library Technician Jobs:
266
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Library Technician Jobs:
117
Highest 10% Earn:
$128,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. West Virginia

Total Library Technician Jobs:
41
Highest 10% Earn:
$108,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Library Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a library technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless library technician 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 Write a Library Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless library technician 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.

View Detailed Information

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Top Library Technician Employers

1. LS&S
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$49,197
Library Technicians Hired: 
31+
2. DC Public Library
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$42,728
Library Technicians Hired: 
27+
3. Cumberland County Schools
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$37,646
Library Technicians Hired: 
23+
4. Shreve Memorial Library
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$41,817
Library Technicians Hired: 
19+
5. DeKalb County Public Library
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$43,096
Library Technicians Hired: 
17+
6. Cobb County Public Library System
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$38,346
Library Technicians Hired: 
17+

Library Technician Videos

Recently Added Library Technician Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020