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  Afra Ronayne
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Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Occupation Details

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Library/Information Assistant

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€22k > 37 
Library Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€22 - 37 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
7%
Occupational Category

Records & Library Clerks etc.

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:

4,200

Part time workers: 37%
Aged over 55: 26%
Male / Female: 8 / 92%
Non-Nationals: 0%
With Third Level: 49%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Work within libraries under the supervision of the Librarian.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 1

Jonathan Smyth
Library Assistant  

Jonathan Smyth is working as a Library Assistant in Cavan County Council. From an early age he was interested in History and books.  He completed a  BA in Information and Library Management at John Moores University in Liverpool and worked in various libraries and book shops before becoming a County Librarian.

Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Issuing items, receiving them when they come back, and collecting fines for overdue or damaged books form a large part of many library assistants' work. When issuing books or materials to the public, they usually use a computerised library system. Working on the issue or return desk can be very pressurised especially at peak times such as Saturday mornings in a public library or at the change of lectures in a student library.  
 
Once items have been returned, they must be stored, shelved or repaired if necessary. Many libraries handle CDs, videos, pictures and other media, as well as books; they all need to be checked for signs of damage. The library assistant carries out minor book repairs, such as taping in loose pages.  
 
In small libraries, assistants process new material by sticking in date labels, barcodes and so on. Most public libraries and large libraries in other fields contract out these services and/or have central cataloguing departments. Assistants are usually responsible for the paperwork associated with buying and receiving new items and for adding material to the library stock.  
Contact with borrowers ranges from sending reminders about overdue books to dealing with face-to-face and telephone enquiries. New library users may need help in using the library system or the Internet, finding an item or operating microfiche readers, CD-ROMs, OPACs and photocopying machines. The library assistant provides this help to new users.  
 
Some library assistants work on mobile library services to particular communities or clients. These include rural areas, hospitals, schools and residential homes for the elderly.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Instruct patrons on how to use reference sources, card catalogs, and automated information systems.

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Open and close library during specified hours and secure library equipment, such as computers and audiovisual (AV) equipment.

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Locate library materials for patrons, including books, periodicals, tape cassettes, Braille volumes, and pictures.

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Answer routine inquiries, and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.

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Maintain records of items received, stored, issued, and returned, and file catalog cards according to system used.

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Perform clerical activities, such as answering phones, sorting mail, filing, typing, word processing, and photocopying and mailing out material.

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Process new materials including books, audiovisual materials, and computer software.

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Provide assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and audiovisual and other materials.

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Take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons.

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Sort books, publications, and other items according to established procedure and return them to shelves, files, or other designated storage areas.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Clerical:  Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Communications and Media:  Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a library assistant, you should enjoy working with people of all ages and be patient, polite and approachable. A logical mind and good memory are useful. You must be willing to use computer terminals so computer skills are essential. A high level of literacy is required and an interest in reading is desirable. The work can also be physically demanding and tiring.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Head of Digital Library, NLI - from:  National Library of Ireland [Video]
Go..Head of Outreach, NLI - from:  National Library of Ireland [Video]
Go..Library Assistant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Department of Library and Information Studies
  Address: University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  Tel: (01) 716 7777
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: Dublin City Council Libraries
  Address: Pearse Street Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 674 4800
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

Job Search


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Media & Publishing
Clerical & Administration
Classic Arts, Languages and Culture

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