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Career profile Library Technician

Also known as Circulation Clerk, Library Aide, Library Assistant, Library Associate, Library Clerk, Library Media Technician, Library Specialist, Library Technical Assistant (LTA), Library Technician, Page Technician

Library Technician

Also known as Circulation Clerk, Library Aide, Library Assistant

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Social
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$23,110 - $61,650 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Reserve, circulate, renew, and discharge books and other materials.
  • Answer routine telephone or in-person reference inquiries, referring patrons to librarians for further assistance, when necessary.
  • Help patrons find and use library resources, such as reference materials, audio-visual equipment, computers, and other electronic resources and provide technical assistance when needed.
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What does a Library Technician do?

Library Technicians assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference.

In addition, Library Technicians

  • compile records; sort and shelve books or other media; remove or repair damaged books or other media; register patrons; and check materials in and out of the circulation process,
  • replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files,
  • includes bookmobile drivers who assist with providing services in mobile libraries.

What kind of tasks does a Library Technician perform regularly?

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

  • Reserve, circulate, renew, and discharge books and other materials.
  • Answer routine telephone or in-person reference inquiries, referring patrons to librarians for further assistance, when necessary.
  • Help patrons find and use library resources, such as reference materials, audio-visual equipment, computers, and other electronic resources and provide technical assistance when needed.
  • Deliver and retrieve items throughout the library by hand or using pushcart.
  • Process print and non-print library materials to prepare them for inclusion in library collections.
  • Enter and update patrons' records on computers.
  • Catalogue and sort books and other print and non-print materials according to procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
  • Provide assistance to teachers and students by locating materials and helping to complete special projects.
  • Compile and maintain records relating to circulation, materials, and equipment.
  • Take actions to halt disruption of library activities by problem patrons.
  • Check for damaged library materials, such as books or audio-visual equipment, and provide replacements or make repairs.
  • Maintain and troubleshoot problems with library equipment, including computers, photocopiers, and audio-visual equipment.
  • Collect fines and respond to complaints about fines.
  • Conduct reference searches, using printed materials and in-house and online databases.
  • Train other staff, volunteers, or student assistants and schedule and supervise their work.
  • Compile data and create statistical reports on library usage.
  • Design posters and special displays to promote use of library facilities or specific reading programs at libraries.

The above responsibilities are specific to Library Technicians. More generally, Library Technicians 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.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a Library Technician salary?

The median salary for a Library Technician is $37,010, and the average salary is $39,630. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Library Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Library Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Library Technicians earn less than $23,110 per year, 25% earn less than $28,080, 75% earn less than $48,400, and 90% earn less than $61,650.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Library Technicians is expected to change by 0.1%, and there should be roughly 13,400 open positions for Library Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$37,010
Typical salary range
$23,110 - $61,650
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
0.1%

What personality traits are common among Library Technicians?

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 Technician are usually higher in their Conventional and Social interests.

Library Technicians 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 Technicians typically have strong 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 Technician tend to value Relationships, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Library Technicians 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 Technicians moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Library Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

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 Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, cooperation, and integrity.

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

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Library Technicians need?

Library Technicians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Library Technicians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Library Technicians

  • 2.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 31.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 18.5% completed some college coursework
  • 8.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 27.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 11.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.0% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Library Technicians

Library Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administrative, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Library Technicians 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.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Important Abilities needed by Library Technicians

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

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.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Library Technicians

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

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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.