Library Technicians

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Also known as:
Cataloging Library Technical Assistant, Library Acquisitions Technician, Library Cataloging Technician, Library Circulation Technician, Library Technical Assistant, Serials or Bindery Library Technical Assistant

ABOUT LIBRARY TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Library technicians occupy the top spot on a librarian's support staff. They free librarians up for other tasks while helping to acquire, prepare, and organize materials. They also guide library users to the information they need. In larger libraries, technicians often specialize in an area, such as audio-visual equipment or the reference or periodicals sections.

In smaller libraries, they handle a range of duties, from helping librarians with customizing databases to helping patrons wade through a computer cataloguing system. In schools, they instruct teachers and students how to use the library computers to access data.

In government and the business world, they conduct searches and prepare abstracts. Technicians are usually supervised by a librarian. A typical day may include hours spent in front of a monitor or bending and stretching to replace books and materials. Job requirements vary widely, from a high school diploma to a specialized college degree.

Library technicians earn higher wages than other full-time library assistants because of their computer skills. Advances in technology point to expanding opportunities for this paraprofessional in the future.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Compile data and create statistical reports on library usage.

Compile and maintain records relating to circulation, materials, and equipment.

Take actions to halt disruption of library activities by problem patrons.

Train other staff, volunteers, or student assistants and schedule and supervise their work.

Enter and update patrons' records on computers.

Collect fines and respond to complaints about fines.

Provide assistance to teachers and students by locating materials and helping to complete special projects.

Check for damaged library materials, such as books or audio-visual equipment, and provide replacements or make repairs.

Process print and non-print library materials to prepare them for inclusion in library collections.

Conduct reference searches, using printed materials and in-house and online databases.

Deliver and retrieve items throughout the library by hand or using pushcart.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting 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.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and 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.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
TOP SKILLS
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.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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.