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. 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Circulation Clerk, Library Aide, Library Assistant, Library Associate, Library Clerk, Library Media Technician, Library Specialist, Library Technical Assistant (LTA), Library Technician, Page Technician
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- 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.
- Enter and update patrons’ records on computers.
- 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.
- Maintain and troubleshoot problems with library equipment, including computers, photocopiers, and audio-visual equipment.
- Check for damaged library materials, such as books or audio-visual equipment, and provide replacements or make repairs.
- Collect fines and respond to complaints about fines.
- Train other staff, volunteers, or student assistants and schedule and supervise their work.
- Conduct reference searches, using printed materials and in-house and online databases.
- 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.
- Issue identification cards to borrowers.
- Review subject matter of materials to be classified and select classification numbers and headings according to classification systems.
- Process interlibrary loans for patrons.
- Order all print and non-print library materials, checking prices, figuring costs, preparing order slips, and making payments.
- Send out notices about lost or overdue books.
- Retrieve information from central databases for storage in a library’s computer.
- Verify bibliographical data for materials, including author, title, publisher, publication date, and edition.
- Plan and conduct children’s programs, community outreach programs, and other specialized programs, such as library tours.
- Organize and maintain periodicals and reference materials.
- Claim missing issues of periodicals and journals.
- Compose explanatory summaries of contents of books and other reference materials.
- Design, customize, and maintain databases, web pages, and local area networks.
- Sort and deliver library mail and packages.
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- Data base user interface and query software — Ex Libris Group Aleph; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access ; National Library of Medicine Medline (see all 6 examples)
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Library software — Online Computer Library Center OCLC; SirsiDynix Symphony; WebClarity Software BookWhere; WorldCat (see all 8 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
- Word processing software — HandyFile Find and Replace Text Aid Kit; Microsoft Outlook ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
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- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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- 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.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Process library materials.
- Provide information to the general public.
- Help patrons use library or archival resources.
- Maintain operational records.
- Classify materials according to standard systems.
- Distribute instructional or library materials.
- Assist other educational professionals with projects or research.
- Inspect materials or equipment to determine need for repair or replacement.
- Maintain computer equipment or software.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Direct activities of subordinates.
- Search information sources to find specific data.
- Train staff members.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Organize informational materials.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Develop library or archival databases.
- Deliver items.
- Sort mail.
- Confer with others to conduct or arrange operational activities.
- Operate audiovisual equipment.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
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- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 43% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 37% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 35% responded “About half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Time Pressure — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 31% responded “Moderate results.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 25% responded “Important.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations 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 these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: CSE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — 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.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
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- 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.
- 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.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$17.79 hourly, $37,010 annual|
|Employment (2020)||93,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Little or no change|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||13,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association of Law Libraries
- American Library Association
- Medical Library Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Library technicians and assistants
- Special Libraries Association
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