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Library Assistant: Career Information


Female student sitting on library floor at college campus
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Library Assistant Job Description:

A library assistant (also referred to as a library assistant, clerical) helps librarians and library technicians organize materials and make them available to the public.

Employment Facts for Library Assistants:

Library assistants held about 122,000 jobs in 2008.

Educational Requirements for Library Assistants:

To work as a library assistant one needs a high school diploma or GED. Training usually takes place on the job, but some employers prefer to hire candidates who have had prior clerical experience. Computer skills are extremely useful as libraries are usually automated.

Advancement Opportunities for Library Assistants:

Library assistants start their careers performing simple tasks such as shelving books and periodicals. Eventually they will perform more advanced tasks which may include working at the circulation desk. Those with greater experience may become library technicians.

Job Outlook for Library Assistants:

Employment of library assistants is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018.

How Much Do Library Assistants Earn?:

Library assistants earned a median hourly wage of $11.05 and a median annual salary of $22,980 in 2009.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much library assistants currently earn in your city.

A Day in a Library Assistant's Life:

On a typical day a library assistant will:

  • issue library cards to library patrons;
  • work at the circulation desk, lending and receiving library-owned material;
  • inspect returned material for damage;
  • repair damaged books, magazines, etc.;
  • sort and shelve material;

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Library Assistants, Clerical on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/library-technicians-and-assistants.htm (visited November 29, 2010)
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Library Assistants, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/43-4121.00 (visited November 29, 2010).

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