Library Clerk: Requirements, Salary Info and Career Outlook

Sep 19, 2019

Library clerks assist librarians with tasks such as shelving books and helping patrons. The position usually requires a high school diploma, but high school students may be able to secure these positions. Training is usually provided on the job.

Essential Information

Library clerks, also referred to as clerical library assistants, help librarians by sorting and shelving books and other resource materials. They also help patrons locate what they seek. Training is commonly acquired while working, so formal education isn't required. Although it may be possible to begin this career while still in high school, employers usually prefer that clerks have a high school diploma. Library clerks also need to have strengths in the areas of memorization, research and organization to succeed on the job.

Required Education High school diploma with on-the-job training
Required Skills Research skills, good memory and an attention to detail
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 3% decline (for clerical library assistants)*
Average Salary (2018) $28,960 annually (for clerical library assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Library Clerk Requirements

Employers prefer library clerks to possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent; however, high school students may be hired for these positions in some cases. Coursework that helps prepare library clerks for work includes English, mathematics and computer systems. Memorization and research skills are extremely useful for assisting patrons with finding the materials they're looking for. An attention to detail helps library clerks to accurately organize books and databases.

In order to work as a library clerk, an on-the-job training program must be completed. This program can be an official process involving videos, tests and seminars. However, many library clerks simply work under the supervision of an experienced library technician or librarian for the first few weeks. Under the guidance of a superior, library clerks can pick up the necessary job skills to succeed in this position.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), clerical library assistants had a mean hourly wage of $13.92 in May 2018 ( This amounts to a mean annual salary of $28,960. Clerical library assistants in the top 10% made $43,430 or more yearly, which is $20.88 hourly. However, those in the lowest 10% only made $9.04 or less hourly, or $18,810 annually.

Career Outlook

Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS expected clerical library assistants to see a career decline of around 3%. The BLS expects that libraries will hire technicians and assistants instead of librarians to save costs. Library clerks possessing some formal education or experience related to library training may have better prospects.

Library clerks, or clerical library assistants, assist librarians and patrons with organizing and finding books and other reference materials. On-the-job training is all that is required to obtain a position in this field. While high school students can sometimes work as library clerks, most employers prefer job candidates who have a high school diploma or equivalent.

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