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Job Description for a Library Clerk

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Library clerks assist librarians and have duties that range from fixing computers to shelving books. They hold jobs in public, elementary school and college libraries. Some are government employees. Educational requirements vary; some employees have high school diplomas and others have obtained a 2- or 4-year degree. Working in library is a rewarding career for those who enjoy books and sharing information.


Location and size of the library factor in to what kind of experience an interested job applicant must have. Small town libraries hire workers who are still in high school while larger, metropolitan libraries usually require a 2-year degree. Those who are seeking employment at an elementary school need to have the same requirements met as a teacher's aid, which is an associate’s degree. Computer experience is helpful because of the advanced technology now run in libraries. Assistants are sometimes responsible for fixing the library's computer network. Librarians hold a bachelor’s degree.


Library clerks enter data into the computer system. They sometimes check out and check in books if there is a line at the counter or if the electronic check-out system is down. They organize and shelve returned books. Technicians help visitors use the Internet and they locate hard-to-find volumes. Workers trained to assist blind people help them locate specialized reading materials. Clerks draw banner posters for events and work at used book sales. Some, who have a commercial driver’s license, drive the bookmobile to apartments and shopping centers where people can check out books without having to visit the library.


Technology is changing the various duties of a library clerk. At one time, librarians themselves were in charge of entering the required data for the library. Now, these tasks are assigned on an increasing basis to clerks and lower level staff. The librarians are freed up to handle other necessary assignments. For this reason, tech savvy individuals are in high demand.

The job outlook forecast for a library clerk will increase at a rate of 10 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. People will leave for the purposes of seeking higher paying employment, which will open up new jobs in this sector.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, average earnings of a library clerk are between $13 and $15 per hour. Those working for the local government earn $13.22 per hour. Elementary schools pay $14.03 an hour, on average. The highest earners bring home $15.91 per hour and work at 4-year colleges and universities.


A certain level of physical endurance is necessary for this job. Employees bend, climb and lean down throughout their day. Sometimes they assist handicapped patrons. At times, workers have to visit area hospitals to deliver books, which can require walking long distances. Carrying and lifting books are part of a library clerk's duties.