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Library Technician

Library technicians support and assist librarians by performing technical tasks involved in library or information work. This can include collection management, cataloguing and document delivery. They also provide reference services, and may deliver programs, or manage small libraries in corporate, school or public settings.

Also Known As

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 Technicians and Assistants (5211.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Library and Archive Technicians and Assistants (F111) 
  • 2011 NOC: Library and public archive technicians (5211) 
  • 2016 NOC: Library and public archive technicians (5211) 
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 Technicians and Assistants
2006 NOC : 5211.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

SOCIAL

Interest in assisting library users in gaining access to books, films, photographs, maps, documents, electronic materials and other library materials, and in assisting librarians in giving tours and providing children's and other specialized library programs

METHODICAL

Interest in operating on-line reference searches, performing manual searches and making interlibrary loans for users; and in receiving library books

innovative

Interest in compiling information to assemble and arrange displays of books and other materials for publicity purposes

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

Library technicians may work in large libraries or smaller ones. In large libraries, they provide services to the public. In smaller libraries, they often provide specialized resources and reference information to a particular client group. Therefore, their duties and responsibilities may vary considerably from one position to another. However, in general, library technicians:

  • Acquire materials (print, audiovisual and electronic) and classify, catalogue and maintain the materials
  • Process and fill requests for interlibrary loans and document delivery
  • Help clients access on-site and online services and resources such as reference materials, audiovisual equipment and electronic resources
  • Find answers to reference questions by doing a reference interview and using available resources such as online databases and other electronic resources
  • Code and input bibliographic data
  • Assist in the design and maintenance of in-house databases and web pages
  • Provide library orientation and instruction for library users
  • Create and deliver programs for children, youth, adults, seniors or other groups
  • Create and deliver programs to improve awareness of library services
  • Promote library services, resources, events and programs
  • Supervise staff, volunteers and student assistants

Under the supervision of a librarian, library technicians may be responsible for sections or departments in a larger library. In smaller libraries, technicians may assume full responsibility for library operations, including ordering materials and managing the library's budget.

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

Depending on the institution or organization, library technicians may work part time, full time or shifts. Academic and public libraries often require library technicians to work evening and weekend shifts. Some lifting up to 10 kilograms may be required.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 04, 2021

Library technicians need:

  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Communication skills
  • Self-motivation, versatility and adaptability
  • A flexible attitude
  • An ability to follow directions for detailed tasks
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Technical skills related to using online resources, MS Office, e-technology, office equipment
  • E-service and technical trouble shooting skills
  • An ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • Research, technical assistance and information fluency skills
  • Public speaking and instructional skills

They should enjoy:

  • Helping people find information
  • Taking a methodical approach to their work
  • Being creative
  • Paying careful attention to details
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 04, 2021
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Library technicians must be knowledgeable about library operations including computer applications, e-resources and e-technology. Most library technicians are graduates of related 2-year diploma programs. Additional post secondary education is an asset. Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have related work or volunteer experience.


Related Education

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

Grant MacEwan University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

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 technicians are employed by:

  • Public libraries
  • Public and private schools
  • College, research and university libraries
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Information brokerage firms
  • Library software production companies
  • Book, periodical and publishing firms
  • Records management departments in large organizations
  • Bookstores

Experienced library technicians may advance to supervisory positions or assume responsibility for the operations of established libraries. However, other advancement opportunities are limited. Canadian universities do not recognize library technician programs and courses for transfer credit to master's programs in library science.

Library technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5211: Library and archive technicians and assistants. In Alberta, 92% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

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 industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5211: Library and public archive technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 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

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 and public archive technicians

2016 NOC : 5211
Average Wage
$31.33
Per Hour
Average Salary
$50,818.00
Per Year
Average Hours
31.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.7
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5211 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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $31.25 $26.22 $26.54
Overall $19.23 $39.07 $31.33 $30.50
Top $21.73 $41.54 $33.06 $35.56

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
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

33%
33%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

3%
3%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 04, 2021

Alberta Association of Library Technicians (AALT) website: aalt.org

Special Libraries Association (SLA) website: www.sla.org

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

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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