Saturday, January 17, 2009

Library Technician Career Profile

There are a number of different names that library technicians may go by, depending on where they are employed. Some library technicians are known as Library technical assistants while others are known as media aides. The basic function for most library technician jobs is simply to assist the librarian, though this can mean many tasks including helping to organize and prepare materials, assisting in the library's technological advances and many other requirements and responsibilities as well.

The Library technician is a position that is directly beneath the supervision of the librarian, but many librarian technicians can work independently and can assume more duties because the duties of the library technician become more involved over time. The basic function of a library technician is to assist the librarian in any way that they need, though the library technician may do things on his or her own depending on the requirements of the library. In larger librarians, technicians may have smaller and more specialized positions, while in smaller libraries a single technician may wear many hats.

The need for library technicians is essential not only in libraries but also book mobiles, school libraries and other library settings. Library Technicians also often serve the link between library users and whatever resources they should happen to require. Duties that the library technician may be required to carry out include:

- Organization and Maintenance of Periodicals

- Preparation of Volumes for Binding

- Cataloging Library Materials

- Coding Library Materials

- Retrieving Information Stored within Computer Databases

- Interlibrary Loan Requests

- Invoice Preparation

- Support Staff Supervision

- Bookmobile Outing Management

- Education of Students on the Library System in Schools

The education and training that are necessary for careers in library technician work are varied depending on the work that is available. It is possible to obtain positions in library technician jobs with the minimum high school diploma, while some other libraries require that individuals have a secondary education, while other still do their hiring based on training and work experience. In some situations, training can be experienced on the job rather than being required before hiring. Most colleges and universities offer degrees in library science, which would make obtaining such a position much easier as less training and experience would be required. In addition to holding a degree in library science, it is also advisable for aspiring library technicians to have a strong computer background because computers are an integral part of the library system.

The specifics of salaries associated with library technician jobs tend to vary just as much as the duties involved with each of the positions. Along with base salaries, many library technicians can also earn advancement opportunities that are largely based on efficiency and responsibility within one's current position. Added responsibility and added salary come with advancement.

The average annual earnings of a library technician in May of 2004 was reported as $24,940, with the middle 50 percent of earners earning between $18,640 and $32,600. The lowest 10 percent of workers only earned $14,760 or less. The highest earners in library technician positions on the other hand earned more than $40,730. The average annual salary for a library technician job is different depending on what industry the library falls into, like so:

Colleges, Professional Schools and Universities: $28,940 on average.

Local Government Libraries: $23,560 on average.

Information Services: $22,510 on average.

Elementary and Secondary School Libraries: $22,510 on average.

According to figures that are produced by, the average library technician with a minimum amount of experience is earning an average of $14.16 per hour, although this is based on living in California and the figures will be unique to other regions. The differences in pay will reflect the region of employment and the cost of living in said region in addition to experience, education, training requirements and background.

Becoming a library technician may be a springboard into a higher career field, but this is not always the case. There are a number of library positions that can be advanced into. Most careers do require basic knowledge of library activities, so beginning as a library technician is usually a safe bet if you have your eye on a higher position in the chain. Technicians with computer experience are likely to earn more than those who lack it, because computer skills are in especially great demand within the library industry.

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