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Library Technical Assistants

At a Glance

  • Assist librarians and library visitors
  • Use and maintain the library's computer system
  • Usually work full time
  • Many train through certificate and two-year programs
  • Have a medium to high level of social interaction

Career summary

Library technical assistants help librarians order, prepare, and organize materials.

Library technical assistants issue library cards and check out books, magazines, and electronic materials. They update patron accounts on computers and issue fines when necessary. They also answer visitors' questions about the library and show them how to use library resources. In addition, technical assistants sort returned materials and shelve them.

Assistants handle some of the technical duties in the library. For example, they show visitors how to use the library's computer system. They may assign new books and tapes to topics in the library's classification system. They enter this information in the library's computers.

Technical assistants also arrange to lend books to other libraries and borrow books in return. Some technical assistants use and maintain audio-visual equipment.

Many library technical assistants perform administrative tasks. They supervise library assistants and other clerical staff.

Technical assistants may assist with the development of library procedures. They may maintain special databases and web pages. Assistants also order new materials at the request of librarians and prepare order forms. They may also monitor and maintain library supplies.

Some library technical assistants work for businesses such as law firms. In these offices, assistants search for books and articles about particular topics. Occasionally they write summaries of books and articles.

Technical assistants who work in schools create posters and displays that encourage library use. They also help teachers and students with special projects.

Library technical assistants are also called library technicians, library clerks, or library aides.

Some may be called media technicians.

#moved this from precede to append lh

Related careers

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to library technical assistants.

Common work activities

Library technical assistants perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, library technical assistants:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Library technical assistants frequently:

It is important for library technical assistants to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for library technical assistants to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Library technical assistants need to:


Reason and problem solve

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a library technical assistant, you typically need to:

Education after high school

The education required for this occupation ranges from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree, depending on the employer. The most common requirement is that you have a certificate or a two-year degree in library technology. In this type of program, you learn to order, process, catalog, locate, and circulate library materials. You also learn to operate computer systems.

Work experience

Working or volunteering at your school or community library provides good experience for this occupation.

On-the-job training

Most library technical assistants receive informal training on the job from experienced workers. Training includes:

Training may last up to three months.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements. Knowledge of literature is good preparation for any library job. Thus you should take as many literature classes as possible.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers require library technical assistants to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and training in library technology. Some employers require applicants to have a bachelor's degree.

Employers look for applicants who have previous library experience. They also look for computer experience, good communication skills, and the ability to get along with others.


Experience or training in filing, and experience with different audiovisual equipment and media are valuable assets. A willingness to perform some tasks beyond those outlined in the job description may be beneficial. Opportunities are best for applicants who can type at least 40 words per minute accurately and who are willing to relocate. Applicants who are able and willing to work part time may also fare better, since there is strong competition for full-time jobs. Public relations skills are very important. Education is the best way to advance in this occupation.

Costs to workers

Library technical assistants may be required to join a union and pay an initiation fee. Some workers may wish to join a professional association, which may have annual dues.

#King County LS is union. 1/21/15 lh

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


The minimum wage for Washington State as of January 1, 2020 is $13.50 per hour. Some areas of the state may have a higher minimum wage.

Library technicians (SOC 25-4031)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $14.23 $17.94 $21.32 $24.88 $29.31
Monthly $2,466 $3,109 $3,695 $4,312 $5,079
Yearly $29,590 $37,320 $44,350 $51,740 $60,960
    Bellingham Hourly $11.97 $12.89 $15.05 $21.65 $25.37
Monthly $2,074 $2,234 $2,608 $3,752 $4,397
Yearly $24,898 $26,819 $31,297 $45,032 $52,772
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $12.02 $17.21 $22.90 $26.33 $31.60
Monthly $2,083 $2,982 $3,969 $4,563 $5,476
Yearly $24,997 $35,798 $47,644 $54,765 $65,728
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $9.70 $11.25 $13.11 $15.12 $17.64
Monthly $1,681 $1,950 $2,272 $2,620 $3,057
Yearly $20,177 $23,407 $27,269 $31,439 $36,688
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $13.10 $14.58 $17.39 $20.66 $22.63
Monthly $2,270 $2,527 $3,014 $3,580 $3,922
Yearly $27,267 $30,324 $36,173 $42,971 $47,072
    Longview Hourly $11.85 $19.91 $22.93 $26.19 $29.48
Monthly $2,054 $3,450 $3,974 $4,539 $5,109
Yearly $24,655 $41,422 $47,696 $54,481 $61,333
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $13.11 $15.70 $18.52 $24.93 $28.71
Monthly $2,272 $2,721 $3,210 $4,320 $4,975
Yearly $27,275 $32,659 $38,518 $51,850 $59,718
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $14.44 $18.58 $21.51 $23.82 $29.02
Monthly $2,502 $3,220 $3,728 $4,128 $5,029
Yearly $30,030 $38,649 $44,733 $49,551 $60,354
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $18.72 $20.59 $23.33 $27.48 $30.76
Monthly $3,244 $3,568 $4,043 $4,762 $5,331
Yearly $38,938 $42,838 $48,523 $57,168 $63,972
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $11.85 $13.81 $17.53 $21.12 $24.10
Monthly $2,054 $2,393 $3,038 $3,660 $4,177
Yearly $24,661 $28,726 $36,453 $43,934 $50,142
    Vancouver Hourly $15.40 $17.03 $19.61 $23.52 $27.68
Monthly $2,669 $2,951 $3,398 $4,076 $4,797
Yearly $32,034 $35,428 $40,780 $48,918 $57,584
    Walla Walla Hourly $12.59 $13.63 $15.89 $19.40 $23.74
Monthly $2,182 $2,362 $2,754 $3,362 $4,114
Yearly $26,169 $28,354 $33,051 $40,353 $49,379
    Yakima Hourly $12.05 $12.54 $14.93 $18.25 $21.70
Monthly $2,088 $2,173 $2,587 $3,163 $3,761
Yearly $25,051 $26,084 $31,051 $37,961 $45,129
United States Hourly $10.26 $12.28 $16.37 $21.47 $26.40
Monthly $1,778 $2,128 $2,837 $3,721 $4,575
Yearly $21,350 $25,550 $34,040 $44,670 $54,910

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The assistant's level of experience and responsibility also affect wages.

Library technical assistants who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Library Technicians (SOC 25-4031)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,240 10.5% 16.1% 354
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 66 18.2% 8.6% 11
    Benton and Franklin Counties 19 5.3% 15.0% 2
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 96 6.3% 11.9% 14
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 169 9.5% 15.2% 26
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 95 10.5% 14.1% 15
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 217 11.5% 14.6% 34
    King County 1,039 11.2% 19.6% 166
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 71 14.1% 13.8% 12
    Pierce County 84 11.9% 15.2% 13
    Snohomish County 267 9.7% 12.4% 41
    Spokane County 131 9.2% 13.9% 20
United States 94,700 -3.0% 5.2% 14,000

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will decrease as people use libraries less and less. Budget cuts may limit the amount of library technical assistants that can be hired.

Many openings will become available to replace workers who leave the field. Turnover is high because the pay can be low and full-time jobs are rare.

Other resources

American Library Association (external link)
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Me, a librarian? (external link)
Washington Library Association (external link)
PO Box 33808
Seattle, WA 98133
Washington State Library (external link)
PO Box 42460
Olympia, WA 98504-2460


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster