Library Technician

What Does a Library Technician Do?
Library technicians help librarians organize and run the library so that library patrons may enjoy the facility to its fullest. They are responsible for the routine daily operation of the library, such as consulting with the librarian about getting new materials for the library, managing interns and volunteers, and handling library programs. They assist library patrons and answer their questions, such as directing them to the materials they are seeking or helping them to use the book search tools. They also handle keeping the shelves of materials organized. Some technicians are also responsible for preparing volumes of periodicals for binding, keeping track of interlibrary loans, and preparing invoices. As many libraries now run on automation so that library patrons can register for library memberships and return books themselves without the assistance of a library technician, many more technicians can now focus on other tasks in the library other than record keeping. They also promote library services to young children and promote book mobiles.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Library Technician?
The prospects for library technicians are positive. With more automation in the library system, such as allowing library patrons to sign up and pay their fines through a computer rather than with a librarian, and card catalog searches that allows for library patrons and library workers to easily find materials, more tasks can be handed over to library technicians rather than librarians. This will encourage more libraries to hire technicians rather than librarians, as they can accomplish just about the same amount of work as a librarian with less pay. In addition to job openings that will become available due to library expansion, more job openings will also spring up as current library technicians either retire, advance to become librarians, or leave the industry altogether. Employment opportunities for library technicians are expected to grow nine percent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Library technicians earn an average wage of $13.86 per hour, according to the most recent information available from the Bureau.

How Can I Become a Library Technician?
The education requirements for library technicians vary from library to library. Some libraries will hire workers with at least a high school diploma whereas other libraries will only hire technicians who have at least an associate degree in a liberal arts field. Aspiring library technicians should earn an associate degree because this higher education level will provide them with more favorable job prospects. An associate degree typically takes two years to earn. Students should take courses in literature, English, and other classes that will build their skills in working with people and with library materials. They should also learn about library organization, library circulation, cataloguing, and other job-specific skills. Many additional skills are taught on the job site after the library technician completes the associate degree program and is hired. Library technicians who work in public schools must fulfill the same requirements as a teacher assistant to work in the school.