a dark blue TraitLab logo
Pricing Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Library Assistant

Also known as Acquisitions Assistant, Cataloging Assistant, Library Aide, Library Assistant, Library Associate, Library Circulation Assistant, Library Clerical Assistant, Library Clerk, Library Services Assistant

Library Assistant

Also known as Acquisitions Assistant, Cataloging Assistant, Library Aide

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$19,650 - $45,930 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Service Orientation
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audio-visual equipment.
  • Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
  • Enter and update patrons' records on computers.
Is Library Assistant the right career path for you?

Would Library Assistant be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Library Assistant and hundreds of other career paths.

Create your free account

What does a Library Assistant do?

Library Assistants compile records, and sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm.

In addition, Library Assistants

  • locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title,
  • register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.

What kind of tasks does a Library Assistant perform regularly?

Library Assistants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audio-visual equipment.
  • Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
  • Enter and update patrons' records on computers.
  • Locate library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures.
  • Manage reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-of-date items.
  • Answer routine inquiries and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.
  • Lend, reserve, and collect books, periodicals, videotapes, and other materials at circulation desks and process materials for inter-library loans.
  • Instruct patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems.
  • Inspect returned books for condition and due-date status and compute any applicable fines.
  • Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned and file catalog cards according to system used.
  • Perform clerical activities, such as answering phones, sorting mail, filing, typing, word processing, and photocopying and mailing out material.
  • Register new patrons and issue borrower identification cards that permit patrons to borrow books and other materials.
  • Process new materials including books, audio-visual materials, and computer software.
  • Review records, such as microfilm and issue cards, to identify titles of overdue materials and delinquent borrowers.
  • Provide assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and audio-visual and other materials.
  • Send out notices and accept fine payments for lost or overdue books.
  • Maintain library equipment, such as photocopiers, scanners, and computers, and instruct patrons in proper use of such equipment.
  • Repair books using mending tape, paste, and brushes or prepare books to be sent to a bindery for repair.
  • Schedule, supervise, and train clerical workers, volunteers, student assistants, and other library employees.
  • Take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons.
  • Prepare, store, and retrieve classification and catalog information, lecture notes, or other information related to stored documents, using computers.
  • Select substitute titles when requested materials are unavailable, following criteria such as age, education, and interests.
  • Prepare library statistics reports.
  • Deliver and retrieve items to and from departments by hand or using push carts.
  • Assist in the preparation of book displays.

The above responsibilities are specific to Library Assistants. More generally, Library Assistants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Library Assistant salary?

The median salary for a Library Assistant is $28,730, and the average salary is $30,740. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Library Assistant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Library Assistants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Library Assistants earn less than $19,650 per year, 25% earn less than $23,240, 75% earn less than $36,570, and 90% earn less than $45,930.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Library Assistants is expected to change by -0.6%, and there should be roughly 13,400 open positions for Library Assistants every year.

Median annual salary
$28,730
Typical salary range
$19,650 - $45,930
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-0.6%

What personality traits are common among Library Assistants?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Library Assistant are usually higher in their Conventional, Realistic, and Social interests.

Library Assistants typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Library Assistants typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Library Assistants typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Library Assistant tend to value Relationships, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Library Assistants strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Library Assistants moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Library Assistants somewhat value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Library Assistants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as cooperation, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Library Assistants, ranked by importance:

Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Library Assistants need?

Working as a Library Assistant usually requires a high school diploma.

Library Assistants need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Library Assistants

  • 1.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 15.2% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.9% completed some college coursework
  • 11.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 35.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Library Assistants

Library Assistants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administrative, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Library Assistants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Library Assistants

Library Assistants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Library Assistants need abilities such as written comprehension, oral expression, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Library Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Library Assistants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Library Assistants frequently use skills like service orientation, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Library Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.