What Library Assistants and Technicians Need to Know

Below is a sample of what is often required for library assistant and technician job positions. More discussion about degree requirements is available in the next section.


Requirements vary greatly and may include:

  • High school degree
  • Library technician certificate or associate's degree


  • Ability to communicate clearly with patrons, co-workers and supervisors
  • Ability to follow library policies and procedures, especially as relate to issuing library cards, checking out items, collecting fines and fees, and processing new materials
  • Ability to count change and handle money
  • Ability to work with computer applications; most library assistants will use the library's computer system to manage library card holder records, or add new items to the online catalog
  • Ability to work with and troubleshoot office machines, such as copiers


  • Generally previous experience is not required, although preference may be given to people who are already somewhat familiar with a library environment, such as a page

Career path

  • Library assistants who excel in their area of work may make excellent candidates for a managerial position, such as a circulation manager or head of circulation. In public libraries, it is not unusual for a similar career path in the cataloging or "technical services" area.
  • Library assistants who complete a four-year undergraduate degree in any field are excellent candidates to consider becoming a librarian.

Proceed to Do I need a library science associate's degree >>

  read more about it:

U.S. Department of Labor—Library Assistants
What a library assistant does.

U.S. Department of Labor—Library Technicians
The job description of a library technician.

Support Staff Positions in Libraries
The ALA listing of the myriad support staff opportunities in libraries.

Council on Library/Media Technicians

Library Support Staff Interests Round Table