What does a Library Assistant, Clerical do?

Compile records, sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.

Jobs Roles

  • Enter and update patrons' records on computers.
  • Process new materials including books, audio-visual materials, and computer software.
  • Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.
  • Locate library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures.
  • Instruct patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems.
  • Inspect returned books for condition and due-date status and compute any applicable fines.
  • Answer routine inquiries and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.
  • Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned and file catalog cards according to system used.
  • Provide assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and audio-visual and other materials.
  • Take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons.
  • Classify and catalog items according to content and purpose.
  • Register new patrons and issue borrower identification cards that permit patrons to borrow books and other materials.
  • Send out notices and accept fine payments for lost or overdue books.
  • Operate small branch libraries, under the direction of off-site librarian supervisors.
  • Prepare, store, and retrieve classification and catalog information, lecture notes, or other information related to stored documents, using computers.
  • Operate and maintain audio-visual equipment.
  • Review records, such as microfilm and issue cards, to identify titles of overdue materials and delinquent borrowers.
  • Select substitute titles when requested materials are unavailable, following criteria such as age, education, and interests.
  • Deliver and retrieve items to and from departments by hand or using push carts.
  • Place books in mailing containers, affix address labels, and secure containers with straps for mailing to blind library patrons.
  • Assist in the preparation of book displays.
  • Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audio-visual (AV) equipment.
  • Perform clerical activities, such as answering phones, sorting mail, filing, typing, word processing, and photocopying and mailing out material.
  • Schedule, supervise, and train clerical workers, volunteers, student assistants, and other library employees.
  • Maintain library equipment, such as photocopiers, scanners, and computers, and instruct patrons in proper use of such equipment.
  • Manage reserve materials by placing items on reserve for library patrons, checking items in and out of library, and removing out-dated items.
  • Lend, reserve, and collect books, periodicals, videotapes, and other materials at circulation desks and process materials for inter-library loans.
  • Perform accounting and bookkeeping activities, such as invoicing, maintaining financial records, budgeting, and handling cash.
  • Repair books using mending tape, paste, and brushes or prepare books to be sent to a bindery for repair.
  • Acquire books, pamphlets, periodicals, audio-visual materials, and other library supplies by checking prices, figuring costs, and preparing appropriate order forms and facilitating the ordering process by providing such information to others.
  • Prepare library statistics reports.
  • Design or maintain library web site and online catalogues.
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