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 Expand
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 Expand
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
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
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
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Train other staff, volunteers or student assistants, and schedule and supervise their work.
Maintain and troubleshoot problems with library equipment including computers, photocopiers, and audiovisual equipment.
Provide assistance to teachers and students by locating materials and helping to complete special projects.
Process print and non-print library materials to prepare them for inclusion in library collections.
Answer routine telephone or in-person reference inquiries, referring patrons to librarians for further assistance, when necessary.
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.
Help patrons find and use library resources, such as reference materials, audiovisual equipment, computers and other electronic resources, and provide technical assistance when needed.
Reserve, circulate, renew, and discharge books and other materials.
Deliver and retrieve items throughout the library by hand or using pushcart.
Organize and maintain periodicals and reference materials.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
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.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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).
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
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.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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