Do you love the smell of parchment? The tranquil hush of the library? If you delight in helping others find joy in literature or discovering the answers to questions even the internet can’t seem to answer, consider becoming a library assistant!
Library assistants help librarians and library directors keep the library up and running by assisting with the clerical duties. They organize the shelves, take care of the online records, run the circulation desk, process new materials that come into the library, issue library cards, maintain office equipment, and help library-goers check out, return, and find materials. As a library assistant, you are the grease between the gears of the library; you make the librarians happy and the bibliophiles happier. The breed of book lovers you’ll be helping depends on what kind of library you choose to work in. Library assistants work in grade schools, universities, government buildings, hospitals, and (of course) public libraries.
Working as a library assistant can be a great way to determine if you would eventually want to become a librarian without the hassle of getting a master’s degree in library science only to find out that it’s not for you. If becoming a librarian is your goal, working as a library assistant is a great way to get connected to the American Library Association! The ALA is an organization dedicated to expanding library services and promoting library education through conferences, volunteering activities, and advocacy. You’ll gain experience that will help you stand out when applying to a master’s program for library science. If you don’t want to go the librarian-route, working as a librarian assistant is a great way to start climbing the rungs to become a program director or head of circulation at a library.
You’d be a great fit for this position if…
- You enjoy learning
- You’re a people person
- You want to make a difference in your community
- You’re a book worm
- You stay calm when others get riled
- You’re well-organized
Resume Tips for Library Assistants
To have a successful career as a library assistant, there are certain skills that hiring managers know to look for. Take inventory of these important qualities and emphasize them in your resume:
- Research Skills
- Computer and Internet Literacy
- Strong Interpersonal Skills
- Written Communication Skills
- Highly Adaptable
- Excellent Attention-to-Detail
- Critical Thinking Skills
If you don’t have much on-the-job experience, include things like…
- Any experience working in customer service
- Volunteer work (particularly at your local library, reading to children, or being involved in mentoring programs like Big Brother Big Sister)
- Familiarity with the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Classification System
- Successful research projects, especially those involving databases
- Peer-to-Peer tutoring experience
- Join an American Library Association Committee in your area. You’ll be instantly connected to learning and volunteering opportunities in your community!
If you’re still feeling stuck on what skills to list in your resume, check the job description. Hiring managers list the key qualities they’re looking for, so you can score serious points for including them
Interview Pointers for Library Assistants
Prior to your interview, be sure to think of examples of personal experience applicable to the role:
- Give an example of a time when you were able to successfully help another person.
- Be able to talk about the importance of libraries in a community.
- Describe your research methods.
- Talk about a time when you were able to resolve a dispute or calm an upset coworker or acquaintance.
Be prepared to answer questions like:
- How would you handle an angry parent whose child checked out a book they did not feel was appropriate?
- If a patron needs help finding a specific book or material, how would you direct them?
- How do you define good customer service?
- If there is a disturbance in the library, what would you do to address the situation?
Education Requirements for Library Assistants
- High School Diploma or GED
- Associate’s Degree or Certificate in Library Technology preferred, but not always necessary
Trouble finding Library Assistant jobs to apply for? Try searching for these jobs as well!
US Median Salary
$28,440/year or $13.67/hour
Expected Job Growth
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