Library Assistant Salary
Job Description for Library Assistant
Library assistants participate in all aspects of library circulation and patron service duties. Their primary responsibility is to ensure all patron needs are met. This includes assisting patrons in general library services such as signing up for library cards, using the library catalog, and navigating the library’s various areas. They answer basic circulation and reference questions and assist patrons in finding materials they are searching for, as well as direct patrons to reference librarians for more complex questions. They may troubleshoot library equipment such as computers, copiers, and printers if they malfunction. Library assistants check in and check out materials and manage hold requests, as needed. They return materials to their proper location on the shelves, and occasionally “shelf read” to check that material on the shelves are in the correct order. Library assistants may help to open or close the library, depending on their schedule.Read More...
Library assistants work in a moderately busy public-service environment. They may work a part-time or full-time schedule, according to library needs. The majority of their time is spent at the circulation desk of the library, checking in and out materials and answering patron questions. Occasionally, they will re-shelve materials, assist a patron away from the desk or troubleshoot equipment. Library assistants generally work under the direct supervision of a circulation supervisor or other librarian who is available for questions or patron referrals.
Library assistants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. This is an entry-level position and typically requires no direct experience, although some customer service experience may be preferred. Some more advanced library assistant positions may require additional training such as a bachelor’s degree or prior library experience.
Library Assistant Tasks
- Compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm.
- Process new materials including books, audiovisual materials, and computer software.
- Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title.
Common Career Paths for Library Assistant
At the upper end, Library Assistants who move into a Library Director role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Library Directors is a much higher $55K per year. It is quite typical for Library Assistants to transition into roles as Librarians or Reference Librarians, where reported median earnings are $16K and $16K higher per year.
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Popular Skills for Library Assistant
Library Assistants seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Filing, Adobe Photoshop, and Collection Development are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 42 percent, 34 percent, and 21 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Activities for Children and Inter-library Loan. Those familiar with Customer Service also tend to know Microsoft Office.
Pay by Experience Level for Library Assistant
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Library Assistants, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $26K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $29K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $30K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $32K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Library Assistants, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 65 percent above the national average. Library Assistants can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+61 percent), Los Angeles (+37 percent), Atlanta (+29 percent), and San Diego (+28 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Dallas, 12 percent below the national average.
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