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How Do I Become a Library Technician?

Benjamin Arie
Benjamin Arie

Library technicians assist librarians in locating and organizing information. To become a library technician, an individual usually needs a range of education and experience related to library science. Computer skills, as well as strong communication abilities, are also required for someone in this position.

The primary job of a library technician is to help patrons find information within a library, in the form of books, magazines, and articles. Technicians are often supervised by senior librarians, and sometimes work with other assistants and library volunteers. In large libraries, a library technician may be responsible for directing other staff members and planning patron activities.

In most libraries, old fashioned card catalogs have been replaced with computer systems.
In most libraries, old fashioned card catalogs have been replaced with computer systems.

There is no standard education that is required for library technicians. A high school diploma is usually the minimum level of education accepted for this job. Higher levels of education, such as a certificate or associate's degree, are often preferred by employers. These types of programs often include courses in proper cataloging and organization techniques for library materials.

Library technicians are responsible for assigning call numbers to books.
Library technicians are responsible for assigning call numbers to books.

If you wish to become a library technician, you can increase your perceived value in the job market by gaining experience in library settings. Clerical experience as a library assistant, or from another job in an office environment, can be helpful in preparing for this position. Individuals can also gain useful experience by volunteering with a school or community library.

Technicians are responsible for pulling books from the library rotation that need repairing or that must be eliminated from the collection.
Technicians are responsible for pulling books from the library rotation that need repairing or that must be eliminated from the collection.

Computers play an increasingly prevalent role in information storage and retrieval. For this reason, workers should have a thorough knowledge of different computer systems. Candidates for these positions should understand the fundamentals of databases and Internet searches. These computer skills are often taught as part of college degree programs, or can be learned independently.

Some library technicians work at the circulation desk, helping patrons check out books and other library resources.
Some library technicians work at the circulation desk, helping patrons check out books and other library resources.

Communication skills are very important for people seeking to become a library technician. People in this profession must be able to interact with a wide variety of patrons, and assist library visitors with locating information. Workers can gain both written and spoken communication experience by taking college courses in these subjects.

To be hired as a library technician, individuals should usually try to apply to several different libraries. A resume that lists education, experience, and skills is a valuable tool for gaining employment in this field. Applicants who can demonstrate specialized library training at the college level will have the best employment prospects. New technicians should be prepared to prove their abilities in a basic position such as the library circulation desk, before being promoted to more advanced positions.

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    • In most libraries, old fashioned card catalogs have been replaced with computer systems.
      By: Andrey Kuzmin
      In most libraries, old fashioned card catalogs have been replaced with computer systems.
    • Library technicians are responsible for assigning call numbers to books.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Library technicians are responsible for assigning call numbers to books.
    • Technicians are responsible for pulling books from the library rotation that need repairing or that must be eliminated from the collection.
      By: anyaberkut
      Technicians are responsible for pulling books from the library rotation that need repairing or that must be eliminated from the collection.
    • Some library technicians work at the circulation desk, helping patrons check out books and other library resources.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Some library technicians work at the circulation desk, helping patrons check out books and other library resources.