School Library Aide: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 13, 2019

School library aide positions require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

School library aides assist librarians in ensuring the functioning and daily operations of a school library. This can include organizing events, monitoring students' use of resources, and assisting teachers in finding materials. Aspiring library aides may need a 2-year degree.

Essential Information

School library aides, who may also be known as library technicians or assistants, generally support the daily operations of a school library. They should be knowledgeable of the library's resources and enjoy interacting with students. A high school diploma may qualify individuals for library aide positions, but an associate's degree is often required.

Required Education High school diploma at minimum; associate's may be required
Other Requirements Computer skills often needed; on-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2018 - 2028)* -3% for clerical library assistants, -3% for library technicians
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $26,500 for clerical library assistants, $34,040 for library technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description for a School Library Aide

School library aides assist librarians with the tasks required to effectively run a library, such as organizing materials and helping students find resources. Aides who don't work with technical materials might perform a greater amount of clerical office work than those who primarily work with such materials. Library aides can generally expect to work during regular school hours, under the supervision of higher administrators.

School Library Aide Job Duties

School library aides assist with tasks related to loaning and recollecting library materials. Assisting students with finding resources for class assignments and helping them register for library cards are some of library aides' many duties. They also help patrons check out materials, inspect returned books for damage and send out due notices for unreturned items.

Library aides often teach students how to effectively use the library, answer questions about library services and help teachers locate materials for their classrooms. They may supervise student use of the library and computer lab, if applicable. Additionally, library aides might also help plan and advertise special library events, such as book sales or local outreach programs.

Since technology increasingly covers many of the tasks formerly performed by library aides, library aides might complete work formally reserved for a librarian, such as cataloging new arrivals, working with databases and updating the library's website and online services. Knowledge of how to operate audiovisual equipment, such as microfiche readers, projectors and copy machines, may also be required.

Job Requirements for a School Library Aide

A stronger educational background is generally required for library technicians than library assistants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, smaller libraries may only require that technicians hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, but the majority of libraries require technician's hold an associate's degree or higher. Library technicians working at Title 1 schools are required to possess at least an associate's degree, complete two years of college and pass a state examination. Jobs for library assistants are usually available to those with a high school diploma or GED. Previous clerical experience may be desired, though much of the training can happen on the job.

Successful school library aides generally possess strong computer skills and are detail oriented. School library aides are often required to sit at desks and use computers for long periods of time. They might also perform physically strenuous work, such as carrying and shelving books.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment of clerical library assistants was expected to decline by 3% from 2018-2028, according to the BLS, and jobs for library technicians were predicted to also decline 3%. In 2018, the BLS noted that library assistants working in elementary and secondary schools earned a median annual salary of $29,490, while technicians in those schools earned $36,900. Jobs for these professionals in colleges, universities and professional schools paid considerably more, especially for technicians.

School library assistants should have an understanding of library organization and processes. An associate's degree may not always be necessary in looking for a job, but it would help, especially if you want to get a better salary working as a library technician.

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