Library Technician Certificate and Degree Program Summaries

Prospective library technicians may earn a certificate or associate's degree to gain the fundamental knowledge of the organization, location and maintenance of various library resources.

Essential Information

Certificate and associate's degree programs in library technician training offer students the necessary training required to organize and manage library resources and information. Exposure to the technologies and cataloguing systems employed by libraries is part of both programs' coursework. Associate's programs may provide internship opportunities at the end of the program for hands-on experience. Skills gained from either program can be applied to continued education in a bachelor's or master's degree program for librarians.

  • Library Technician Program Levels: Certificate, Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma
  • Program Lengths: Certificate programs are one year; Associate's degrees are two year programs
  • Other Requirements: Internship may be required for associate's degree

Library Technician Certificate

A library technician certificate program acquaints students with the technologies used in libraries and other organizations to organize, retrieve and manage information sources. Classes impart fundamental skills in classifying and cataloging books, periodicals and electronic records. In addition to training people new to the field, certificate programs can also provide working library professionals with a continuing education option. Closely related subject matter, such as computer fundamentals, might be part of some library technician certificate programs, but course content will otherwise stay close to the primary topic. Typical library technician courses may include:

  • Information resources
  • Collection development
  • Cataloging and classification
  • Electronic databases
  • Internet fundamentals for librarians

Library Technician Associate's Degree

A library technician associate's degree program trains students in common library processes and procedures, and develops their base of technical skill in information storage, retrieval and management. Coursework addresses inventory control, circulation systems, and cataloging and classification systems. Students gain knowledge through a combination of classroom instruction, independent study and internships. These programs typically include general education or liberal arts courses in communications, mathematics and social science. Courses specific to the degree topic may include:

  • Children's library services
  • Library programming
  • Library database concepts
  • Records management
  • Library services

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that from 2012-2022, employment of library technicians will increase 8 percent. This growth is the result of library technicians being able to complete tasks using library technologies that higher-paid librarians used to perform. Library technicians earned a median salary of $31,680 as of May 2014.

Career Information

Graduates of a library technician certificate program are qualified for positions as library technicians and library assistants. Although some libraries will hire applicants with only a high school diploma, most prefer those with at least a certificate.

Continuing Education Information

Certificate credits are often transferable to an associate's degree program. Many community colleges offer both certificates and associate's degrees in the field.

People who earn an associate's degree and want to become librarians need to earn a master's degree in library sciences. However, earning a master's degree first entails earning a bachelor's degree. Many schools have transfer programs that enable a student to apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree, either in library and information sciences or a related subject.

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