Deal with People
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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