Library Assistant

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By Nsim Team


Although there are other paths you can take, a very effective route for becoming a library assistant is to follow these general steps:
1. Determine if this occupation is suited to your interests and qualities
2. Pursue a diploma or certificate in Library Science or Library Studies 
3. Find a suitable job and nail the interview
4. Move into roles of greater pay and responsibility as you gain experience


What is a Library Assistant?

Library assistants, also known as ‘library clerks’, support librarians and library technicians by performing administrative, clerical and operational duties within libraries.
 Some of their main functions include checking in and out material at the circulation desk, receiving payments for fines, shelving returned books and helping process new materials. They also assist with administrative functions for special programs and events held at the library. 


Eligibility Needed to Become a Library Assistant

Generally, those who employ library assistants prefer to hire candidates who have:
• At least a high school diploma (although in many cases current high school students are accepted)
• Related education or training, such as a diploma or degree in library science/studies
• Keyboarding and computer skills
• Volunteer or part-time work experience in a library
• Past work or volunteer experience in a public-facing, customer service or clerical capacity


Personal Traits Needed to Become a Library Assistant?

If you have the following personal qualities and professional interests, you should be a good fit for this profession:
• You have a keen interest in working in a library environment
• You have a keen interest in books and information sources 
• Patience, and a strong concern for customer service
• You can deal with stressful situations with tact and diplomacy
• You can learn new software applications quickly and adapt to changing technologies
• The ability to communicate effectively and deal pleasantly with library users and other stakeholders
• The ability to work with little supervision
• The ability to work as part of a team and take direction from supervisors
• An appreciation for detail and organizational skills
• The ability to maintain accuracy and persevere at tasks that may be repetitive
• You enjoy having clear and definitive processes to guide your work
• You enjoy taking a methodical approach to tasks such as re-shelving books and helping people find information


Who Creates Jobs for Library Assistants?

Although library assistants are obviously employed by libraries, there are many different kinds of libraries that employ them. In addition, they can also be employed by non-profit and research institutions. Overall, the following types of organizations might employ library assistants:
• Public libraries
• Public and private schools
• College, research and university libraries 
• Corporate, government, hospital, legal, prison, and other specialty libraries
• Publishers and broadcasters
• Museums and archives
• Not-for-profit organizations
• Information brokerage firms
• Information technology (IT) firms

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