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How to Become a Library Assistant

Written by

George D. Baker

Date

August 14, 2014

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Libraries are very useful public facilities that enable people to find a wide variety of information resources for a variety of purposes. Trained support staff is required for the effective function of libraries. Library assistants help organize resources so they are readily available to patrons.

What does a library assistant do?

Library assistants help librarians and other staff with a variety of tasks to ensure the organization of resources. They often work at the circulation desk registering new patrons, answering questions, and collecting and checking out books and other materials. When someone is requesting to check out materials, library assistants scan the items and the person’s library card and stamp the due date or print out a receipt with the due date. They check returned items for damage and scan them back into the system. They also send out notices for overdue materials. Library assistants are responsible for sorting and returning them to their appropriate storage areas. They also help patrons locate materials or perform computer searches. They often contact other libraries for desirable materials and put items on hold for patrons to check out at a later time. Sometimes library assistants perform repairs such as taping torn pages and removing ink markings.

What kind of training does a library assistant need?

Library assistants usually need at least a high school diploma. Most library assistants learn their skills through on the job training. Some employers prefer candidates with clerical experience and computer skills. Most employers provide on the job training where new library assistants learn the procedures, expectations, and policies of the facility. New library assistants typically start out by performing simple tasks and move on to more advanced responsibilities as they gain experience. Library assistants may complete additional training when new equipments or procedures are introduced.

What are the prospects for a career as a library assistant?

Employment of library assistants is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% through 2016 (1). The increased construction of new libraries will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good because many people retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons every year.

How much do library assistants make?

As of this year, library assistants with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $21,778 and $33,087. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $24,053 and $35,899 (2).

A career as a library assistant is a great choice for people interested in library facilities and helping patrons with resources. Library assistants must have a solid knowledge of library materials. They must be able to pay close attention to detail and enjoy repetitive tasks. Good organization, patience, and ability to help others are desirable characteristics. Library assistants must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they deal with a variety of people.

Becoming a Library Assistant Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Want to know what the 10 top liberal arts schools are?

Are you serious about becoming a Library Assistant? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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