Library Assistant: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Library Assistant

Published Sep 09, 2009

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Library Assistants run circulation desks at libraries as patrons borrow and return library items. They also serve as the front-line help desk for questions about books, videos, periodicals and Internet availability at the library. Read this article to learn more about the training and education required to be a Library Assistant.

Library Assistant Career Summary

Library Assistants aid librarians with various circulation desk tasks, such as organizing library items, checking inventory for damage, ordering additional books or other resources and assisting patrons with checking out and returning library materials. They also welcome new patrons by issuing new library cards. Library Assistants track inventory for librarians through the library's electronic database and know exactly to whom each item has been assigned. Assistants sort and re-file books and other materials to their specific location on the bookshelves. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics,, Library Assistants in school libraries work normal school hours. However, public libraries require Assistants to work weekends, evenings and occasionally holidays. Often, these positions are part-time.

Education Required to Become a Library Assistant

Most Library Assistant positions require no formal education, although an interest and knowledge of books and related topics is beneficial. Many public libraries hire high school or college students. Knowledge of computers and other electronic resources is essential because most libraries have electronic card catalogues for searching and checking out library materials for patrons. Clerical and customer service experience is often beneficial for employment.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Library Assistant

There are no certifications necessary to become a Library Assistant. However, job training is vital to entering this field. This training often occurs after employment as been secured. It may include shelving library materials, entering new materials into the electronic databases and assisting patrons with their library cards. Library Assistants may also train under librarians as they assist them with hosting summer reading programs and various book clubs throughout the year. Training may also include researching grant or funding information for the library.

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