Library Assistant  What They Do

Just the Facts


Library Assistants, Clerical Career Video



Compiles records, sorts, shelves, issues, and receives library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locates library materials for loan and replaces material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Registers patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster Administrative Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Sorts books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and returns them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
  • Opens and closes library during specified hours and secures library equipment, such as computers and audio-visual equipment.
  • Locates library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures.
  • Enters and updates patrons' records on computers.
  • Answers routine inquiries and refers patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.
  • Manages reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-dated items.
  • Lends, reserves, and collects books, periodicals, videotapes, and other materials at circulation desks and processes materials for inter-library loans.
  • Inspects returned books for condition and due-date status and computes any applicable fines.
  • Instructs patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems.
  • Maintains records of items received, stored, issued, and returned and files catalog cards according to system used.

Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Acquisitions Assistant --
  • Cataloging Assistant --
  • Circulation Supervisor --
  • Library Aide --
  • Library Circulation Assistant --
  • Library Clerical Assistant --
  • Library Clerk --
  • Library Services Assistant --
  • Library Technical Assistant --