Library Assistant Job Description
Library assistants help librarians by performing administrative duties within a library.
There is a lot of work that has to be done to keep a library running smoothly, and library assistants play a vital role in ensuring that the library runs as it should.
The exact responsibilities for library assistants vary depending on the library. In large libraries, assistants normally specialize in working in a particular area of the library. In small libraries, their responsibilities tend to be very broad.
In all environments, library assistants help the library’s patrons find the materials they’re looking for. They also spend a great deal of time organizing the library, by sorting and shelving books and other materials that have either been returned or misplaced.
Some library assistants also work at the front desk of a library, where they check out books and accept fines for overdue books.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a librarian, working as a library assistant while in high school or college can be a great way to determine if the occupation is the right fit for you.
Work Environment and Schedule
Library assistants are employed at libraries of all types. Most work for local public libraries, but there are also opportunities for employment at colleges and other school libraries.
The work schedule varies greatly depending on the type of library you work for. For instance, college libraries are normally open seven days a week, and maintain very long hours. Working nights and weekends is almost always required.
If you’re working for a library in an elementary school, you will be able to maintain more regular working hours from Monday through Friday.
Most library assistants work part time, but there are opportunities for full time employment as well.
How to Become a Library Assistant
Some libraries require their library assistants to have a high school diploma, while others are willing to hire students who are still attending high school.
With work experience, library assistants are able to advance into more advanced positions within a library. However, the opportunities for advancement are limited without taking some college coursework.
If you want to become a library technician, you will need to earn an associate’s degree or certificate in library technology.
If you have aspirations of becoming a librarian, then a master’s degree in library science is required.
There are currently 116,100 library assistants in the United States, with 6,410 new library assistant job openings created each year.
Library Assistant jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Library Assistant Salaries
Library Assistant salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most library assistants make between $18,900 – $30,500 per year, or $9.08 – $14.65 per hour.