Become a Library Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a library technician. Find out what library technicians do and explore the education requirements that can help you start and advance a career in library work. View article »

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  • 0:01 Library Technician
  • 0:31 Career Information
  • 1:07 Step 1: Get a…
  • 1:55 Step 2: Pursue…
  • 2:09 Step 3: Supervise & Advance

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Video Transcript

Library Technician

Library technicians help patrons find resources and assist librarians by performing various administrative and clerical duties, such as preparing and organizing materials. They sometimes help to plan and facilitate special programs. Library technicians also assist patrons at the circulation desk by using a computer to check items in and out. Re-shelving books and other items may also part of their job duties.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; associate's degree or certificate preferred
Degree Field Library Science
Licensure/Certification Voluntary
Key Skills Communication, research, customer service, and computer skills; use of word processing and database software
Salary $15.54 per hour (2015 median)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ONet Online, Pasadena City College, Mesa Community College

Library technicians should be detail-oriented and have communication, customer service and basic research skills. They should also be comfortable using computers and know how to work with database and word processing software. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, library technicians earned a median hourly wage of $15.54. From 2014-2024, library technicians can expect a 5%, or average, growth in jobs, also according to the BLS.

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Step 1: Get a Certificate or Degree

The educational requirements vary for library technicians, from high school diplomas to specialized associate's degrees, available and 2-year colleges and some universities. Most libraries prefer candidates who have earned a certificate or an associate's degree in library technology. Courses cover topics in circulation, automated library systems, cataloguing and reference. Library technicians who want to work in public schools will most likely need an associate's degree or two years of college.

Develop Strong Computer Skills

Library technicians use computers to maintain the library's database of collections and to help patrons research topics. That's why it's so important for them to adapt to and stay up to date with current technology.

Step 2: Pursue Continuing Education

Professional groups, such as the American Library Association (ALA), and some local libraries offer continuing education classes and workshops. These offerings cover the latest library databases and software as well as other new trends in the field.

Step 3: Supervise & Advance

Library technicians may have the opportunity to advance into supervisory jobs within a library. After earning a bachelor's degree and then a master's degree in library science, a technician may advance to a position as a librarian.

Let's review. While a high school diploma may qualify you for a job as a library technician at some libraries, most employers look for candidates with a certificate or associate's degree in library technology. As of May 2015, library technicians earned a median wage of $15.54 an hour.

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