What Do Library Technicians Do?
Library technicians provide valuable service to patrons. They help patrons navigate library holdings, help them determine the best resources for their individual needs, and answer questions related to research topics. Library technicians also keep the libraries running smoothly by shelving books, checking books in and out, and driving bookmobiles. There is expected to be an 8% increase in available library technician jobs over the next few years, with about 6,630 positions opening annually.
Library Technicians Skills and Abilities
For this position, you will need to know alphanumeric filing. You will also need clerical skills in order to manage files and use library databases. Library technicians need good customer service skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. You will need to have good English language skills, including grammar and composition rules, and you may also need knowledge regarding law and government, depending on the type of library you work for. You should have good critical thinking sills and the ability to read people well in order to understand subtle cues, which will help you determine what sort of service they need. It is also important to have active listening skills.
Library Technicians Duties
Technicians are involved in all different facets of the library. They check books in and out to patrons, shelve books after patron use, and retrieve and process books for interlibrary loans. They also help patrons use equipment like computers and microfiche. They answer questions about library services, both in person and over the phone. They may follow up on overdue books, and process new books for use. For this job you would also update patron records, order library materials, train and supervise staff and volunteers, and keep periodicals and other reference materials neat and orderly. Sometimes you will act as an intermediary between a patron and a librarian, by determining the patron’s needs and then getting him or her connected with the appropriate person. You will also handle money by collecting fines, and you may perform routine scans of library materials in order to determine which books need repair.
Library Technicians Tools and Technology
Those employed in this position use cash registers, barcode scanners, and desktop computers. They also use carts, microfiche and microfilm readers, and bookmobiles. In addition to standard software like Microsoft Office and Adobe, library technicians also use specific library software, such as Dynix Digital Library, Millennium, Ex Libris, and OCLC.
Education and Training for Library Technicians
Most library technicians have college credit with no college degree. However, some have just a high school diploma or equivalent, and less than 4% haven’t graduated from high school. Quite a few employees have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, while just over 1% have doctoral degrees. The training for this position is largely on the job, though some employees do take instructional programs like library and archives assisting.
Library Technicians Salary
A library technician’s hourly rate ranges from about $9.18 to $24.13, and the yearly salary is usually between $19,100 and $50,200. Factors that contribute to individual salaries include the type of library you work for, as well as the particular region. Pay is also dependent upon how long you’ve worked in the field.
Library Technicians Jobs by Geography
Maine, the Virgin Islands, and New York currently have a negative percentage of new jobs opening in this field. Kentucky, Utah, and Georgia are expected to have the biggest increase in new jobs. California, New Jersey, and New York currently have the highest number of overall workers in this category. The future of libraries is somewhat tenuous given the increase in electronic research; however, libraries are likely to be in existence in some capacity for the foreseeable future, particularly in universities.