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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Technical Assistant
Top Careers After Technical Assistant
Hispanic or Latino13.1%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix13.8%
Washington State University12.4%
University of Houston6.0%
Iowa State University5.2%
George Mason University5.1%
New York University5.1%
University of North Carolina at Charlotte4.5%
Texas A&M University4.4%
Michigan State University4.4%
George Washington University4.1%
University of Missouri - Columbia3.8%
Middle Tennessee State University3.8%
Pennsylvania State University3.7%
Rochester Institute of Technology3.6%
University of Rochester3.4%
Southern New Hampshire University3.4%
University of Massachusetts Amherst3.4%
University of Florida3.3%
Georgia State University3.3%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Program Supplier Technical Assistant Engineer||MSX Americas, Inc.||Dearborn, MI||Sep 04, 2015||$101,504|
|Technical Assistant Wlto||International Paper||FL||Apr 01, 2016||$93,500|
|Technical Assistant, Global Purchasing||Xerox Corporation||Webster, NY||Oct 15, 2012||$80,500|
|Technical Assistant-Underwriting||Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc.||FL||Oct 01, 2013||$73,980|
|Site Technical Assistant||Danieli Corporation||Cranberry, PA||Aug 15, 2012||$70,200|
|Technical Assistant||Industrial Light & Magic, A Div of Lucasfilm Enter||San Francisco, CA||Sep 05, 2012||$65,490|
|Technical Assistant-Underwriting||Aspen Insurance Us Services, Inc.||Miami, FL||Oct 01, 2010||$65,000|
|Technical Assistant for Agriculture and Food Security||Adventist Development and Relief Agency International||Silver Spring, MD||Jun 19, 2016||$64,958|
|Technical Assistant, Rendering||Industrial Light &Magic, A Div of Lucasfilm Entert||San Francisco, CA||Sep 26, 2010||$63,716|
|Emergency Technical Assistant||Adventist Development & Relief Agency Internationa||Silver Spring, MD||Oct 24, 2016||$60,128|
|Emergency Technical Assistant||Adventist Development and Relief Agency International||Silver Spring, MD||Jul 14, 2015||$60,128|
|Technical Assistant||The Jones Group Inc.||New York, NY||Jul 16, 2012||$60,000|
|HSE Technical Assistant||AKZO Nobel Services Inc.||Chicago, IL||Oct 01, 2011||$60,000|
|Technical Assistant||Global Agora, LLC||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2010||$55,000|
|Technical Assistant||Intellisurvey, Incorporated||Ladera Ranch, CA||Sep 01, 2014||$53,760|
|Technical Assistant||Intellisurvey, Incorporated||Ladera Ranch, CA||Sep 10, 2014||$53,760|
|Technical Assistant||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Jan 01, 2010||$51,764|
|Technical Assistant II||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||May 30, 2016||$51,250|
|Technical Assistant II||University of Arkansas||Fayetteville, AR||Jan 05, 2016||$47,792|
|Technical Assistant II||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Jan 08, 2016||$47,150|
|Technical Assistant II||Whitehead Institute||Cambridge, MA||Mar 27, 2009||$46,675|
|Technical Assistant II||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Jun 15, 2015||$46,000|
|Technical Assistant I||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Mar 17, 2010||$45,573|
|Senior Technical Assistant||The University of Houston||Houston, TX||Jun 27, 2010||$44,096|
|Design Development and Technical Assistant (Fashio||Mas Design, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 28, 2011||$44,000|
|Design, Development and Technical Assistant (Fashi||Mas Design, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 01, 2011||$44,000|
|Technical Assistant||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Mar 03, 2011||$43,911|
|Technical Assistant||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research||Cambridge, MA||Feb 17, 2010||$43,054|
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