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What Library Technicians and Assistants Do

Library technicians and assistants help librarians acquire, prepare, and organize materials. They also do other tasks that are needed to run a library.


Library technicians and assistants typically do the following:

Library technicians and assistants are usually supervised by a librarian. Library technicians may have more responsibilities than library assistants, such as administering library programs and overseeing lower-level staff.

Library technicians and assistants in smaller libraries have a broad range of duties. In larger libraries, they tend to specialize in a particular area. The list that follows gives examples of types of library technicians and assistants, based either on the type of library they work in or the type of work they do:

School library technicians and assistants work in school libraries. They teach students how to find and use library resources, and they help teachers develop curriculum materials.

Special library technicians and assistants work in libraries in government agencies, corporations, law firms, and medical centers. They search library resources, compile bibliographies, and provide information on subjects of interest to the organization.

Braille-and-talking-books clerks help library patrons who have vision problems. They review patrons’ lists of desired reading material, and locate large-type, Braille, or audiobook versions of the materials to give to patrons.

Bookmobile library technicians and assistants operate bookmobiles, which are trucks that are loaded with books. Bookmobiles travel to locations such as shopping centers, schools, and nursing homes to provide library materials in a more convenient manner. Library technicians and assistants drive the bookmobiles to each location and interact with patrons, answering questions, collecting returns, and checking out materials.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition