Library assistants help librarians with the daily tasks of running a library. The daily tasks a librarian assistant completes include:
register new members with new library cards
loan library materials to members
collect materials returned by members
help library members find resources in the library
put back returned books
answer the phone
plan and take part in special library programs like story time and used book sales
The majority of library assistants work for public libraries run by the local government. Others work for colleges, universities, elementary schools and secondary schools. Most library assistants work part-time. Those who work in the school system will typically work during regular school hours. Assistants who work in colleges or universities will also work evenings and weekends.
Library Assistant Job Education Requirement
While smaller libraries will hire library assistants who hold a high school diploma, larger libraries prefer that their assistants hold an associate degree or postsecondary certificate. The typical classes that a library assistant will need to take to earn their degree or certificate include cataloging, reference, circulation, and acquisitions. Library assistants who work in public school libraries will often have to hold the same certifications as teacher assistants. Library assistants will also receive short on-the-job training to learn about the library and how to use the resources in the library.
Those looking to hire library assistants typically look for people who have good communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills, and are up-to-date on their computer skills.
Library Assistant Job Market
The job market for library assistants is expected to grow around 15 percent over the next 10 years. As computers and other online databases make their way into more libraries, the need for head librarians decreases because this technology allows assistants to complete the same job. Additionally, library assistants will often use their experience in the library to apply for jobs higher up the chain of command like a library director, leaving positions open for those just starting.
Library Assistant Job Salary Information
The median hourly wage for library assistants is $11.27 an hour. The top 10 percent of assistants can earn more than $18.41 an hour while the bottom 10 percent of assistants earn about $8.21. Those working at universities and colleges typically earn the most $15.47. This is followed by those in the public school system earning $12.96 an hour and those in the local public library earning $12.08 an hour.