Library Assistants and Technicians
Library Assistants and Technicians generally perform clerical duties, and are often mistaken for librarians as they are the first face people see, since most libraries' checkout desks are near the entrance. Library assistants often check materials out and in, collect fines and fees, answer general phone questions, issue library cards, process new library materials, and assist with items on reserve.
ALA has a list of support staff positions in libraries intended to give you an idea about types of jobs you can have as support staff within libraries.
Library assistant jobs may be part- or full-time and can range from $8 to $17 per hour; the middle 50 percent earned between $8.95 and $14.44 in 2010. The madian annual salary in 2010 was $23,120 The highest paying Library Assistant jobs are at colleges, universities, and professional schools.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages: Library Assistants, May 2010
The wage range for Library Technicians is slightly higher, $8.64 to $22.59 per hour; the middle 50 percent earned between $10.93 and $18.34 in 2010. The median annual salary was $29,860. The highest paying Library Technician jobs are with the Federal Government, followed by colleges, universities, and professional schools.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages: Library Technicians, May 2010
Between 2008 and 2018, the number of library technicians is expected to grow about 9 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations and the number of library assistants is expected to grow by about 11 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increasing use of library automation creates more opportunities for these workers. Electronic information systems have simplified some tasks, enabling them to be performed by technicians, rather than librarians, and spurring demand for technicians. However, job growth in educational institutions will be limited by slowing enrollment growth. In addition, public libraries often face budget pressures, which hold down overall growth in library services. However, this may result in the hiring of more of these workers, because they are paid less than librarians and, thus, represent a lower-cost way to offer some library services. Employment should grow more rapidly in special libraries because increasing numbers of professionals and other workers use those libraries. Because these workers are largely employed by public institutions, they are not directly affected by the ups and downs of the business cycle, but they may be affected by changes in the level of government funding for libraries.
Occupational Outlook Handbook for Library Technicians & Library Assistants at the Bureau of Labor Statistics has detailed information about educational requirements, work environment and job outlook for library support staff.