Library Assistants, Clerical Career

Job Description: Compile records, and 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.


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Library Assistants, Clerical Career

What Library Assistants, Clericals do:

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reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-of-date items.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

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Holland Code Chart for a Library Assistants, Clerical