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Library Assistants, Clerical

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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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

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reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-of-date items.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


    • Service Orientation

      Actively looking for ways to help people.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Written Comprehension

      The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

    • Information Ordering

      The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).


    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Administrative

      Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 5,070
    • Yearly Projected Openings 690

    Typical Education


    Conventional: People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Cooperation
    • Dependability
    • Integrity
    • Attention to Detail
    • Concern for Others
    • Adaptability/Flexibility


    • Microfiche or microfilm viewers
    • Cash registers
    • Cargo trucks
    • Braille devices for the physically challenged
    • Bar code reader equipment


    • Word processing software
    • Library software
    • Document management software
    • Desktop publishing software
    • Data base user interface and query software
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    Workforce Supply Tool

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