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Become A Library Technician

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Working As A Library Technician

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

  • $42,380

    Average Salary

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.

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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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Library Technician jobs

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Library Technician Career Paths

Library Technician
Technician Operations Manager Account Executive
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor English Instructor Instructor
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Librarian Home Health Aid Front Desk Agent
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Analyst All Source Intelligence Analyst
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Archivist Office Manager Event Coordinator
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Assistant Adjunct Instructor Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Information Specialist Project Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Librarian Legal Assistant Office Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Reference Librarian Assistant Director Office Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Reference Librarian Media Specialist Project Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Librarian Specialist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Specialist Specialist Account Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Archivist Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Strategist
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Librarian Office Manager Program Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Library Technician Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    65.4%
  • Male

    32.4%
  • Unknown

    2.2%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    11.3%
  • Asian

    7.1%
  • Unknown

    1.7%
  • Black or African American

    0.7%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    47.4%
  • French

    7.2%
  • German

    6.2%
  • Japanese

    6.2%
  • Mandarin

    5.2%
  • Hindi

    3.1%
  • Russian

    3.1%
  • Portuguese

    3.1%
  • Dutch

    2.1%
  • Korean

    2.1%
  • Ukrainian

    2.1%
  • Chinese

    2.1%
  • Czech

    2.1%
  • Persian

    2.1%
  • Vietnamese

    1.0%
  • Marathi

    1.0%
  • Romanian

    1.0%
  • Cantonese

    1.0%
  • Filipino

    1.0%
  • Dakota

    1.0%
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Real Library Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head of Library Tech. Services (Assoc. Prof. FAC. Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA Aug 28, 2014 $72,450
Head of Library Tech. Services (Assoc. Prof. FAC. Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA Jun 15, 2014 $72,450
Library Technicians Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ Apr 21, 2009 $59,718
Associate Director for Library Technology Holy Names University Oakland, CA Sep 23, 2013 $58,000 -
$64,600
Library Technician Marsh & McLennan Shared Services Corporation Boston, MA Feb 05, 2016 $55,000 -
$70,000
Library Technicians Institute of Buddhist Studies Berkeley, CA Apr 18, 2014 $40,477

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Top Skills for A Library Technician

NewLibraryMaterialsCustomerServiceOnlineCatalogCirculationDeskLibrarySystemLibraryPatronsOclcLibraryCollectionLibraryResourcesInternetShelfReferenceMaterialsDataEntrySuperviseReferenceQuestionsVoyagerElectronicResourcesStudentWorkersCompleteSpecialProjectsMillennium

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Top Library Technician Skills

  1. New Library Materials
  2. Customer Service
  3. Online Catalog
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigated missing material not officially checked out and analyzed database to locate duplicate copies of any new library materials.
  • Employed through various temporary agencies in customer service positions
  • Created the library's online catalog database.
  • Worked at the Circulation Desk and supervised student circulation workers.
  • Utilize Microsoft Office, Aries, Destiny library system, and various other software programs.

Top Library Technician Employers

Library Technician Videos

Career Options With a Library Technician Certification

Library Technicians

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