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Different types of library technician jobs include book preparation, cataloging, and circulation desk management. In addition, a library technician may be involved in other aspects of managing a library, including providing basic reference assistance or assisting in library programs. A library technician job description will vary according to the needs, function, and budget of the hiring library. Some library technician jobs may also include limited management duties, particularly over library volunteers or extension services, such as bookmobiles.
A library technician, sometimes known as a library aide, is someone who works under the supervision of a librarian or librarians in a library. Available library technician jobs will often depend on the nature of a library. Public and academic libraries are often adding to and culling from their collections, providing a great deal of work for library technicians. Technicians may be involved in preparing newly acquired books for inclusion in the library's collection as well as evaluating the condition of older books and determining whether they should be repaired or retired. A library technician will typically also be responsible for entering information about books, magazines, and other items into a library's computer systems.
Once books and other materials are returned to the library, a library technician typically enters the return into the library's computers. Technicians are often responsible for reshelving books and ensuring that library materials are where they are supposed to be. In some cases, a library technician may also be responsible for supervising library volunteers who may perform some of the more routine library tasks, such as reshelving and processing library card applications.
In addition to processing and repairing books, other library technician jobs include those that require a significant amount of work with the public. A library technician may be assigned to the circulation desk, where he or she is expected to check out books to patrons, collect fines and fees, and assist new patrons in applying for library cards. The librarian technician may also be responsible for providing limited reference assistance to patrons who need to find common reference materials, though in most cases librarians are charged with the duty of assisting patrons with more involved reference or research needs.
The education and training required for most library technician jobs typically involves the completion of a library technician vocational program. Some employers, however, do not require the completion of a formal program but may train new employees on the job. In academic, legal, or corporate libraries, library technician jobs may be reserved for those who have a university degree in addition to specific training in library work.
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