Library or information assistants help with the running of the library, including dealing with customers and ensuring books and other items are catalogued properly.
You could be:
issuing and returning books and other items for library users using a computerised management system
sending out overdue notices and collecting fines for late returns
putting books and other materials back on the shelves in the right order, keeping the library tidy and setting up displays
answering enquiries from the public face to face, on the phone or by email, or enrolling new users
helping users to find information or use library equipment such as computers, photocopiers and microfiche readers
helping the librarian to catalogue magazines, books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources
helping choose and record new library stock and maintaining library records
creating and editing computer catalogue records and issuing membership cards
promoting and participating in cultural and community events.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
The starting salary for a library or information assistant working in a public library is around £17,500 a year. Senior library assistants earn £18,000 to £22,000 a year or more.
Full time library assistants work around 35-40 hours a week.
You would work mainly indoors. There are many types of libraries - you might be based in a public, university or specialist library.
Libraries are often open in the evenings and at weekends so you may have to work shifts.
You may work in a mobile library and travel about, particularly in rural areas.
Part time work is common.
You may work on a casual basis, covering weekends and holidays.
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There are no set formal qualifications for entry, but some employers look for at least 4 subjects at National 4 or 5, including English and Maths. Some employers may prefer applicants with some Highers, especially Higher English.
Most employers would expect you to have or be working towards the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).
The job involves some lifting, carrying, bending and stretching.
You would require a satisfactory PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check to show you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.
Jobs are likely to be in public libraries or colleges and universities. For job vacancies look on the
myjobscotland.gov.uk website as well as individual college and university websites.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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You need to be:
able to get on well with all types and ages of people
friendly and patient
well organised when cataloguing or storing large amounts of materials
able to work as part of a team and independently.
You need to have:
excellent customer service skills
a good knowledge and interest in books
good literacy, numeracy and computer skills
good communication skills
a logical and methodical approach
good information handling skills.
Training is normally on the job supervised by a senior library or information assistant or a library or information manager.
Short courses for all levels of library staff including library and information assistants are provided by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
Library or information assistants work in public libraries, mobile units, schools, colleges, universities, specialist libraries, information centres and industrial organisations.
You may be able to build up varied experience by changing employer.
If you gain qualifications, this may help you to get promotion to a senior library or information assistant.
If you want to become a library or information professional, you will need a qualification recognised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
Experience and qualifications may help you to gain entry to a relevant course. (See separate job profile for
Library or Information Professional). Video
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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