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Occupational Profile

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 manage small libraries in corporate, school or public settings.

  • Avg. Salary $41,753.00
  • Avg. Wage $28.14
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Library Assistant

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

35%
35%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Library Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Library Technicians and Assistants
NOC code: 5211.1
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Mar 29, 2017

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 using online databases and other electronic resources, such as in-house databases or the Internet
  • code and input bibliographic data
  • assist in the design and maintenance of in-house databases, web pages and local area networks (LAN)
  • provide library orientation and instruction for library users
  • create and deliver programs for children, young adults 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 29, 2017

Academic and public libraries often require library technicians to work evening and weekend shifts. Some lifting up to 10 kilograms may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Library technicians need to possess:

  • a strong customer service orientation
  • excellent communication skills
  • self-motivation, versatility and adaptability
  • a flexible attitude
  • an ability to follow directions for detailed tasks
  • good organizational and time management skills
  • an interest in technology such as devices and electronic information resources
  • an ability to work independently and as part of a team.

They should enjoy helping people find information, taking a methodical approach to their work and being creative as well as paying careful attention to details.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Library technicians must be knowledgeable about library operations including computer applications. Most library technicians are graduates of related 2-year diploma programs or have at least 2 years of post-secondary education. 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

Red River College - Winnipeg

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 1,700 Albertans are employed in the Library and archive technicians and assistants occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As library technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for library technicians.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 29, 2017

Library and public archive technicians
NOC code: 5211

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

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 $19.23 $29.38 $22.85 $20.78
Overall $21.66 $36.20 $28.14 $26.79
Top $22.69 $40.53 $29.73 $27.71

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.

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.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

35%
35%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

6%
6%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 29, 2017

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

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2017. 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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