Library technicians and assistants have varying levels of education. Some have only high school diplomas, while others have specialized postsecondary degrees. Library technicians are more likely to have to have formal education beyond high school.
Most libraries prefer to hire library technicians who have a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. However, some smaller libraries might hire prospective technicians with only a high school diploma.
Courses required for an associate’s degree or a certificate in library technology include acquisitions, cataloguing, circulation, and automated library systems.
Usually, library technicians who work in public schools must meet the same requirements as teacher assistants. For more information, see the profile on teacher assistants.
No formal education is required for library assistants. Most libraries prefer to hire assistants who have earned a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, but some will hire high school students.
Library technicians and assistants can advance as they assume additional responsibilities in other areas of the library. Some eventually become supervisors and oversee daily library operations. To become a librarian, technicians and assistants need to earn a master’s degree in library science.
Computer skills. Library technicians and assistants use computers to help patrons research topics. Library technicians and assistants also use computers to maintain the library’s database of collections.
Customer-service skills. Library technicians and assistants interact with and help library patrons. They must be friendly, polite, and willing to help.
Information-ordering skills. Library technicians and assistants must be able to understand the organizational systems that their library uses so that they can correctly classify and find materials.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition