California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Library Assistants, Clerical in California

May also be called: Acquisitions Assistants; Circulation Representatives; Library Aides; Library Associates; Library Circulation Assistants; Library Clerks; Library Media Assistants; Library Services Assistants; Library Technical Assistants

What Would I Do?

Library Assistants, Clerical help librarians with the operation of a library. Library Assistants keep records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as books, pictures, cards, slides, and microfilm. They locate library materials and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. They assist patrons with registration to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.

Library Assistants who prepare library materials may sit at desks or computer terminals for long periods and can develop headaches or eyestrain if proper ergonomic practices are not followed. Library Assistants may lift and carry books, climb ladders to reach high stacks, and bend low to shelve books on bottom shelves.

Library Assistants in school libraries work during regular school hours. Those in public libraries and college and university libraries also work weekends, evenings, and some holidays.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Library Assistants will appeal to those who enjoy following set procedures and routines. These occupations often involve situations where the lines of authority are clear.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Salaries for Library Assistants depend on experience, length of service, degree of responsibility, and education obtained. Wages vary from one geographical area to another and from industry to industry. Employees who work in larger libraries in metropolitan areas tend to earn the highest wages.

The median wage in 2017 for Library Assistants, Clerical in California was $30,010 annually, or $14.43 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2017Low
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Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2017 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Most employers offer full-time employees medical and dental insurance, sick leave, vacation, and retirement plans. Some provide life insurance and vision care plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Future employment of Library Assistants should be favorable. In addition to job openings from employment growth, some openings will result from the need to replace Library Assistants who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Each year, many people leave this relatively low-paying occupation for other occupations that offer higher pay or full-time work. This creates good job opportunities for those who want to become Library Assistants. Opportunities will be best for Library Assistants with specialized post secondary library training.

How Do I Qualify?

The job of Library Assistants usually requires a high school diploma; however specialty libraries may prefer an applicant with experience in that field. No formal post secondary training is expected. Some employers hire individuals with experience in other clerical jobs.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Persons interested in government employment should apply at federal, State, city, and county personnel offices. Many schools operate job placement centers for their students. Jobs may also be found through registration with temporary employment agencies and through classified advertisements in newspapers and trade publications.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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