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Library assistant Information assistant, learning resource centre assistant

Library assistants help librarians to manage the day-to-day running of a library.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • customer service skills
  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, in English and maths
  • ICT skills

Volunteering in a library, or work experience in a bookshop, may help you get a job. A qualification in information and library services, may also help.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You’ll also usually need a background check which your employer will arrange for you. 

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • organisational skills for cataloguing
  • IT and record-keeping skills
  • excellent communication skills

3. What you'll do

You may work in a public, private or mobile library.

You could work for a local authority, a community organisation or a charity. You could also work in a college, school or university, or for a commercial organisation like a law firm.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • helping users find what they need, in print and online
  • organising IT access and solving user problems
  • checking materials in and out and cataloguing new items
  • shelving returned items and arranging repair of damaged materials
  • dealing with counter, phone and email enquiries
  • making sure copyright licence agreements are followed
  • maintaining databases and records
  • helping with community events and activities like reading sessions

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000

Experienced: £18,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

In public, college and university libraries, you'll usually work shifts including weekends and evenings. In commercial libraries, you're likely to work regular office hours.

You may work in a mobile library.

You may need a driving licence to travel to different branches.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and qualifications, you could become a librarian. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has more information.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017