Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
43-4121.00 - Library Assistants, Clerical

Compile records, sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.

Sample of reported job titles: Acquisitions Assistant, Cataloging Assistant, Circulation Supervisor, Library Aide, Library Assistant, Library Circulation Assistant, Library Clerical Assistant, Library Clerk, Library Services Assistant, Library Technical Assistant

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Instruct patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audiovisual (AV) equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Locate library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Answer routine inquiries, and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned, and file catalog cards according to system used. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform clerical activities, such as answering phones, sorting mail, filing, typing, word processing, and photocopying and mailing out material. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Process new materials including books, audiovisual materials, and computer software. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and audiovisual and other materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Schedule, supervise, and train clerical workers, volunteers, student assistants, and other library employees. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain library equipment, such as photocopiers, scanners, and computers, and instruct patrons in proper use of such equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate small branch libraries, under the direction of off-site librarian supervisors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Enter and update patrons' records on computers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Manage reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-dated items. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Register new patrons and issue borrower identification cards that permit patrons to borrow books and other materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Lend, reserve, and collect books, periodicals, videotapes, and other materials at circulation desks and process materials for inter-library loans. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Send out notices and accept fine payments for lost or overdue books. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform accounting and bookkeeping activities such as, invoicing, maintaining financial records, budgeting, and handling cash. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare, store, and retrieve classification and catalog information, lecture notes, or other information related to stored documents, using computers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select substitute titles when requested materials are unavailable following criteria such as age, education, and interests. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect returned books for condition and due-date status, and compute any applicable fines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Repair books using mending tape, paste, and brushes, or prepare books to be sent to a bindery for repair. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Classify and catalog items according to content and purpose. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Place books in mailing containers, affix address labels, and secure containers with straps for mailing to blind library patrons. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review records, such as microfilm and issue cards, to identify titles of overdue materials and delinquent borrowers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Acquire books, pamphlets, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and other library supplies by checking prices, figuring costs, and preparing appropriate order forms and facilitating the ordering process by providing such information to others. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Deliver and retrieve items to and from departments by hand or using push carts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare library statistics reports. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Braille devices for the physically challenged — Braile embossers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cargo trucks — Bookmobiles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Film projectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laminators — Laminating machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnifiers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mail opening machines — Mail opening equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfiche printers; Microfiche readers; Microfilm readers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microfiche reader printers — Microfilm printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Minivans or vans — Delivery vans See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Multi function printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Multimedia projectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Thermal book binding machines — Thermal book binders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Typewriters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Videoconferencing systems — Video teleconferencing systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Voice synthesizers for the physically challenged — Personal readers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access; Recordkeeping software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Information retrieval or search software — Video retrieval systems See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Library software — Cataloging software; Online Computer Library Center OCLC; ResourceMate Plus; WorldCat * (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Collect deposits, payments or fees. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate financial data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Track goods or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain security. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Manage clerical or administrative activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain financial or account records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Deliver items. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Type documents. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Distribute materials to employees or customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Send information, materials or documentation. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Attach identification information to products, items or containers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Refer customers to appropriate personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Package objects for shipping. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare employee work schedules. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Supervise clerical or administrative personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventory records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort materials or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare research or technical reports. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Issue documentation or identification to customers or employees. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Store records or related materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect items for damage or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop computer or online applications. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 85% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 76% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 85% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 30% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 36% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 40% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 56% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 67% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
52   High school diploma or equivalent Help
21   Associate's degree
14   Some college, no degree

back to top

Interests

Interest code: CRS

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $11.50 hourly, $23,910 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 110,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 64,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top