Library technicians carry out the day-to-day tasks of operating a library. They are sometimes referred to as a library assistants, as they often work under or are supervised by a librarian. Sometimes, however, in smaller libraries they may be the only person on staff. The daily tasks of a library technician include assisting readers in the use of library catalogs, classification of materials, data input to assist in acquiring materials, assisting in the provision of reference services, and determining circulation procedures. Additionally, technicians typically compile records, sort and shelve books, remove or repair damaged books, and replace materials in shelving areas.
The educational requirements for a library technician are generally less than what is normally required for a librarian. While a librarian position typically requires a master's degree in library science, a library technician usually only requires a library technician certificate or a two-year associate's degree from a community college in library technology. Some positions will only require a high school degree.
Technicians must possess the ability to follow library policies and procedures, especially as related to issuing library cards, checking out items, collecting fines and fees, and processing new materials. They also must be comfortable with the use of computers and working with the library computer systems to manage library card holder records and add new items to the online catalog. Excellent customer service skills are also required. This includes dealing with a variety of customer needs, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. The ability to communicate clearly with patrons, co-workers and supervisors is also desired.
Library Technician Tasks
- Check materials in and out of the circulation process.
- Compile records; sort and shelve books; remove or repair damaged books.
- 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.
- Replace materials in shelving area or files.