What does a library technician do?
Library technicians perform a variety of duties such as helping library users locate many different references, arranging and maintaining materials, and handling loan requests from other libraries. They also prepare volumes for binding, prepare invoices, retrieving information for computer databases, and carry out routine cataloguing and coding of library materials. Library technicians often supervise support staff and market the services provided by the library. The take part in reader programs, outreach programs, and book sales. Some library technicians run and maintain audiovisual equipment including tape and CD players, videocassette and DVD players, and projectors. Some library technicians operate bookmobiles where they transport materials offsite to many different locations such as schools, hospitals, shopping centers, nursing homes, and other public places.
What kind of training does a library technician need?
Library technicians need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer candidates with postsecondary training. Many library technicians have a certificate or associate degree in library training. Certificate and associate degree programs provide courses in library subjects and liberal arts. Students typically learn about a variety of topics such as the organization and operation of libraries and the ordering, processing, locating, cataloguing, and circulating procedures of a variety of library materials. Library technicians also typically learn how to use library automation systems. Many aspiring library technicians volunteer in libraries to gain practical experience. Library technicians must stay up to date on the current advancements in the field and often complete continuing education courses on a regular basis.
What are the prospects for a career as a library technician?
Employment of library technicians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increasing use of library automation and electronic information systems will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for library technicians with specialized training. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace library technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do library technicians make?
As of November 2009, the average annual salary for library technicians is $35,000; average annual library technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a library technician is a great choice for people with a strong interest in providing library services. Library technicians must have a solid knowledge of library procedures, databases, circulation systems, and automation systems. Good patience, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, and self-motivation are desirable characteristics. Library technicians must have excellent communication skills and ability to help a variety of library patrons. They must be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.