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
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
- Instruct patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems.
- Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audio-visual (AV) equipment.
- Locate library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures.
- Answer routine inquiries and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.
- Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned and file catalog cards according to system used.
- Perform clerical activities, such as answering phones, sorting mail, filing, typing, word processing, and photocopying and mailing out material.
- Process new materials including books, audio-visual materials, and computer software.
- Provide assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and audio-visual and other materials.
- Take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons.
- Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
- Schedule, supervise, and train clerical workers, volunteers, student assistants, and other library employees.
- Maintain library equipment, such as photocopiers, scanners, and computers, and instruct patrons in proper use of such equipment.
- Operate small branch libraries, under the direction of off-site librarian supervisors.
- Enter and update patrons' records on computers.
- Manage reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-dated items.
- Register new patrons and issue borrower identification cards that permit patrons to borrow books and other materials.
- Lend, reserve, and collect books, periodicals, videotapes, and other materials at circulation desks and process materials for inter-library loans.
- Send out notices and accept fine payments for lost or overdue books.
- Perform accounting and bookkeeping activities, such as invoicing, maintaining financial records, budgeting, and handling cash.
- Prepare, store, and retrieve classification and catalog information, lecture notes, or other information related to stored documents, using computers.
- Select substitute titles when requested materials are unavailable, following criteria such as age, education, and interests.
- Inspect returned books for condition and due-date status and compute any applicable fines.
- Repair books using mending tape, paste, and brushes or prepare books to be sent to a bindery for repair.
- Classify and catalog items according to content and purpose.
- Place books in mailing containers, affix address labels, and secure containers with straps for mailing to blind library patrons.
- Review records, such as microfilm and issue cards, to identify titles of overdue materials and delinquent borrowers.
- Acquire books, pamphlets, periodicals, audio-visual 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.
- Deliver and retrieve items to and from departments by hand or using push carts.
- Prepare library statistics reports.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Braille devices for the physically challenged — Braile embossers
- Cargo trucks — Bookmobiles
- Cash registers
- Desktop calculator — 10-key calculators
- Desktop computers
- Digital cameras
- Film projectors
- Laminators — Laminating machines
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Laser printers
- Mail opening machines — Mail opening equipment
- Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfiche printers; Microfiche readers; Microfilm readers
- Microfiche reader printers — Microfilm printers
- Minivans or vans — Delivery vans
- Multi function printers
- Multimedia projectors
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Thermal book binding machines — Thermal book binders
- Videoconferencing systems — Video teleconferencing systems
- Voice synthesizers for the physically challenged — Personal readers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access; Recordkeeping software
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
- Information retrieval or search software — Video retrieval systems
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Library software — Cataloging software; Online Computer Library Center OCLC; ResourceMate Plus; WorldCat (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- 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.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Enter information into databases or software programs.
- Calculate financial data.
- Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Track goods or materials.
- Maintain security.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Manage clerical or administrative activities.
- Package objects for shipping.
- Maintain financial or account records.
- Sort mail.
- Deliver items.
- Type documents.
- Distribute materials to employees or customers.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Attach identification information to products, items or containers.
- Refer customers to appropriate personnel.
- Prepare employee work schedules.
- Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
- Maintain inventory records.
- Sort materials or products.
- Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition.
- Inspect items for damage or defects.
- Prepare research or technical reports.
- Issue documentation or identification to customers or employees.
- Store records or related materials.
- Develop computer or online applications.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 29% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “About half the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 36% responded “Never.”
- Physical Proximity — 40% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 56% responded “About half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Time Pressure — 67% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|52||High school diploma or equivalent|
|14||Some college, no degree|
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.
- 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.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$11.50 hourly, $23,910 annual|
|Employment (2014)||109,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||39,600|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Library technicians and assistants . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.