Do you love the smell of parchment and books? Does the tranquil surrounding of a library look alluring to you? If you find joy in helping others find books by their favorite authors or any other kind of information, you should definitely consider becoming a Library Assistant!
Library Assistants help librarians to keep the library up and running by performing a host of clerical duties. Due to this reason, they are also often known as library clerks. Their duties include manning the circulation desk, organizing and cataloging books, assisting people to find books or other reading or audio material, and so on.
Why Become a Library Assistant?
As a Library Assistant, your primary responsibility will be to assist the Librarian in running a library smoothly. You will be performing several tasks to provide library services to the readers at the library or to the members of the library.
Library Assistants perform a wide range of duties associated with a library. They may work with a computer at the circulation desk or they may help in organizing, cataloging, and shelving books, magazines, journals, and other reading materials. Furthermore, Library Assistants also maintain online library records and databases, maintain office equipment, issue library cards, process new materials that come in, collect fines, attach barcodes on books, and so on.
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What Does a Library Assistant do?
- To maintain and organize library materials.
- To catalog and sort library materials such as books, magazines, journals, newspapers, audio-visual materials, and so on.
- To maintain the online database of library materials on the computer.
- To greet and assist readers and members locate their desired reading materials.
- To register new readers and members as well as issue library cards.
- To loan library materials as well as collect returned materials.
- To re-shelve returned library materials.
- To answer phone calls, respond to emails and take messages associated with library work.
- To assist with the planning and organizing of library events and reading sessions.
- To collect fines and update the database accordingly.
How to Become a Library Assistant – Eligibility Criteria
After your Class 10, you can apply for an Assistant job in a local/school library and gain at least one year of experience. Then, you can complete a training program in Library & Information Science and get an NSQF (National Skill Qualification Framework) Level 5 qualification. Also, you can either choose to complete your higher secondary school studies or you can directly enroll for Diploma courses in Library Science/Library and Information Science. You can even choose ITI Certificate in Librarian/Library and Information Science. This level of education is usually enough to apply for Library Assistant job roles.
After obtaining the degrees mentioned above, you can get a job as a Library Assistant in government and private educational institutions or local/public libraries. Apart from this, Library Assistants are also sometimes recruited by art museums, foreign embassies, special libraries, and information centers.
Library Assistants usually work indoors. A major portion of their time is spent either at the front desk in a library or arranging/organizing/restacking library materials inside the library. Your working hours may either be adjusted in shifts or full-time normal office hours (7-8 hours).
Salary of a Library Assistant
As a Library Assistant, depending upon where you are working, i.e. in a Government Library or a Private Library, you may earn about Rs. 5,000 – 12,000 per month.
After 5-10 years of experience, you can become an Assistant Librarian and earn about Rs. 15,000 – 35,000 per month.
After 12-20 years of experience, you can become a Librarian and earn about Rs. 35,000 – 60,000 per month.
Career Progression in Library Assistant Profession
Although there are limited opportunities for growth in this career, you can scale up the ladder as you gain more and more work experience. Usually, freshers in this field begin their careers as Library Assistants and after about 6-7 years, you can get promoted to the role of Assistant Librarian. The highest job post in this field is that of a Librarian.
What does Industry Trends Say – Future Prospects
The good thing about this profession is that as long as there will be educational institutions, there will always be a demand for Library Assistants. Educational institutions are expanding rapidly throughout the country thereby increasing the scope of employment and recruitment of Library Assistants.
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