What Do Library Assistants, Clerical Do?
Library assistants are highly valued by librarians and everyone who comes in for your assistance. You will be primarily in charge of sorting and shelving all the books and other materials that come in accordingly. In addition to working with books, you may also be utilizing slides, microfilm and other forms of electronic media. People depend on you as well as librarians to locate desired materials, so you need to be familiar with your work’s layout. You may also be asked to register a patron, so he or she can get a library card.The need for librarians is only to grow over time, so it only makes sense that there is going to be a growing demand for library assistants over the next several years. 6,440 job openings are projected to occur every year for the next decade, and that translates to 15% growth annually.
Library Assistants, Clerical Skills and Abilities
A large portion of your job is going to require a variety of clerical tasks, so you need to be comfortable with managing files, performing word processing procedures and doing anything else asked of you. Since you will be coming into contact with the general public frequently, you need to have a friendly demeanor and offer superior customer service to everyone who walks in. The ability to communicate effectively is crucial in this line of work because you need to direct people to the proper location of the library. The ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously is critical, and you may need to make judgment calls concerning what task is most important.
Library Assistants, Clerical Duties
Some of the administrative tasks you can expect to perform on a regular basis include answering the phone, delivering mail and photocopying materials. You will mainly be tasked with ensuring the day-to-day duties of the library are carried out, and that can include handling disruptive patrons and settling any disputes that come up. You may also be asked to handle the library’s reservation system. Depending on what kind of background you are coming in with, you may also handle some of the library’s finances and do some of the bookkeeping. Other vital duties include:
- Storing records in the appropriate places.
- Ordering supplies as needed.
- Helping with security.
- Inspecting books and other materials for damage.
- Keeping track of inventory.
- Packaging items for shipping.
- Performing research for librarians.
Library Assistants, Clerical Tools and Technology
You will need to familiarize yourself with the kinds of software your specific workplace utilizes. That can include information retrieval and database software. You will also routinely be using cash registers and bar code readers. It can also be beneficial to know your way around braille devices.
Education and Training for Library Assistants, Clerical
Although librarians need a Master’s degree, library assistants can generally get a job with just a high school diploma. However, people of all sorts of education levels can be found in the industry. You will likely need to go through a little bit of training on the job in order to get used to working with this particular library’s system.
Library Assistants, Clerical Salary
Individuals who are just starting out in the field can expect to make around $8.35 an hour. However, you can quickly work your way up the ranks, and some of the highest paid library assistants in the country make over $38,000 a year.
Library Assistants, Clerical Jobs by Geography
Local government and schools have the greatest need for qualified library assistants, and the states where you are going to see the greatest levels of employment for this occupation include California, Ohio and New York. If you are interested in potentially pursuing a career as a librarian, then this job is a great way to see if it is right for you.