Those interested in working as a library assistant can find education at the associate degree level or certificate level at a number of institutions. The program you select will largely depend on your existing qualifications as well as your future plans.
Schools with Library Technician Programs
Library technician programs are offered at both colleges and universities in disciplines like library science or library technology.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Certificates/Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Santa Ana College||Santa Ana, CA||2-year, Public||Less than one year Certificate, Associate||$1,142 (in-state), $6,902 (out-of-state)|
|University of Maine at Augusta||Augusta, ME||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate, Bachelor's||$7,448 (in-state), $16,688 (out-of-state)|
|Spokane Falls Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$3,388 (in-state), $8,726 (out-of-state)|
|Illinois Central College||East Peoria, IL||2-year, Public||Less than one year Certificate, Associate||$4,050 (in-district), $8,700 (in-state), $10,050 (out-of-state)|
|Minneapolis Community and Technical College||Minneapolis, MN||2-year, Public||Less than one year Certificate, Associate||$5,366|
|Long Beach City College||Long Beach, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate||$1,182 (in-state), $7,398 (out-of-state)|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Less than one year certificate||$3,766 (in-state), $8,374 (out-of-state)|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Less than one year Certificate, Associate||$1,598 (in-state), $7,554 (out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics and school websites
School Selection Criteria
In a library technician program, students will learn a variety of skills, including how to help with library acquisitions, catalog materials and assist library patrons. Things to consider when choosing a school include:
- Students should look for programs that are aligned with the American Library Association guidelines.
- When deciding between a certificate and degree program, students should consider endorsement opportunities; associate degree programs may offer endorsements in K-12 libraries or media application.
- Most librarians are required to have at least a master's degree, so a bachelor's degree program may be the best option for students wishing to go that route.
- Internships may give aspiring library technicians the opportunity to network with library directors, which could lead to job opportunities after graduation, but they may also be required to graduate.
Library technician certificate programs usually require between 18-21 credit hours and can be completed in one year. Many programs do not have internships built into the curriculum.
Associate Degree Programs
A library technician associate degree program will require students to take general education courses, which may include math and business, in addition to library specific courses. Students may also be required to complete an internship.
Whether you choose a library technician certificate or associate degree program, you should consider how the program fits with your career plans as well as whether or not the program provides opportunities for internships and/or endorsement opportunities.