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Library Clerk

Library clerks help librarians and library technicians by serving library users and performing many of the clerical tasks involved in library work.

Also Known As

Circulation Assistant, Customer Services Specialist, Information Clerk, Library Assistant

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Library Clerks (1451) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Library Clerks (B551) 
  • 2011 NOC: Library assistants and clerks (1451) 
  • 2016 NOC: Library assistants and clerks (1451) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Library Clerks
2006 NOC : 1451

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in comparing information to reshelve books and other materials; and to maintain journal subscriptions

SOCIAL

Interest in assisting users to gain access to materials and to make interlibrary loans

objective

Interest in handling to issue and receive books and other materials

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 04, 2021

In general, library clerks:

  • Issue materials to library users using online software
  • Check for damage when materials are returned
  • Deal with library users' questions and concerns and, when appropriate, refer them to other library staff members
  • Sort and shelf materials
  • Help people find books and other materials
  • Photocopy and mail out material
  • Maintain records of overdue books and issue notices
  • Accept fine payments
  • Reserve requested materials
  • Sort and stamp mail
  • Do related word processing, as required

Other duties depend upon the size and nature of the library. Library clerks also may:

  • Issue library membership cards
  • Make minor repairs to damaged books
  • Answer telephone inquiries
  • Process new materials, including books, audiovisual materials and computer software
  • Enter bibliographic information into databases
  • Maintain the periodical section
  • Assist in delivering programming for children and adults
  • Keep online and paper files and pamphlets up to date
  • Assist in the preparation of displays
  • Issue photocopier cards
  • Reconcile daily cash deposit

Many duties are automated. In large libraries, duties generally are divided among a number of library or circulation clerks.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 04, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Public, college and university libraries require library clerks to work some evenings and weekends, usually on a rotating basis. School and business libraries normally are open only during regular school and business hours. Lifting up to 10 kilograms may be required. Repetitive motions are performed to complete duties.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 04, 2021

Library clerks need:

  • Patience and a strong customer service orientation
  • Flexibility and resourcefulness
  • An ability to communicate effectively both orally and written
  • Interpersonal skills
  • An ability to work with alone or as part of a team
  • To be detail oriented
  • Accuracy while doing repetitive tasks
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs
  • Understanding of the Dewey Decimal System and other classification systems used for library collections

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to tasks such as re-shelving books, helping people find information, and working with equipment such as computers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 04, 2021
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Most employers prefer to hire people who have:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Related education or training
  • Keyboarding and computer skills
  • Volunteer or work experience in a library
  • Past work experience in a service capacity, helping the public

Post-secondary education is a definite asset.

Once hired, library clerks are trained on the job or take related post-secondary courses (for more information, see the Library Technician occupational profile).


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Red River College

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 04, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 04, 2021

Library clerks are employed in:

  • Public libraries
  • Public and private school libraries
  • College, research and university libraries
  • Corporate, government, hospital and legal libraries

Some positions are part time. Advancement to library technician positions requires completion of a 2-year post-secondary diploma program (see the Library Technician occupational profile).

In Alberta, 77% of people employed as library clerks work in the Information, Culture and Recreation [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Information, Culture and Recreation industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 1451: Library assistants and clerks occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 04, 2021

Salaries for library clerks vary greatly depending upon the responsibilities of the position, the nature and location of the library, and the clerk's qualifications.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Library assistants and clerks

2016 NOC : 1451
Average Wage
$24.53
Per Hour
Average Salary
$27,254.00
Per Year
Average Hours
20.8
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1451 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $29.13 $21.55 $21.84
Overall $15.15 $35.16 $24.53 $25.18
Top $15.75 $35.84 $26.52 $28.41

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
53%
53%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
22%
22%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Mar 04, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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