Library Technician Schools Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Best College Majors for Library Technicians in 2023

Career Overview

Library technicians play a vital role in the smooth functioning of libraries. They provide essential support to librarians and help in maintaining an organized and efficient library system. In this article, we will explore the definition of a library technician, their job duties, salary expectations, and employment outlook.

Definition of Library Technician

A library technician is a professional who assists librarians in various tasks related to library management and services. They are responsible for performing administrative and technical duties that help libraries operate smoothly. Library technicians work in various settings, such as public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, and special libraries.

Job Duties

Library technicians have diverse responsibilities that contribute to the overall functioning of a library. Some of their primary job duties include:
  • Assisting patrons with finding and accessing library resources
  • Organizing and maintaining library collections, including cataloging and shelving books
  • Managing circulation activities, such as checking out and returning materials
  • Helping patrons with technology-related inquiries, such as using computers or accessing online databases
  • Providing support during library programs and events
  • Assisting with interlibrary loan services and resource sharing
  • Maintaining library equipment and troubleshooting technical issues
  • Performing basic research tasks to assist librarians in gathering information

Salary Expectations

The salary of a library technician can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and the type of library they work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for library technicians was $34,780 as of May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,940, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,610. It's important to note that salaries may differ based on the region and the cost of living. Additionally, library technicians may have opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings by gaining additional experience or pursuing further education in library science.

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for library technicians is expected to show little to no change in the coming years. While the demand for library services remains steady, advancements in technology and automation may limit job growth for library technicians. However, retirements and turnover within the field will still create some job openings. Library technicians who possess strong technological skills and are adaptable to changing library trends may have better prospects. Additionally, those with a willingness to work in non-traditional library settings, such as corporate libraries or digital resource centers, may find increased opportunities. For more information about becoming a library technician or pursuing a career in library science, you can visit the American Library Association's website at www.ala.org or explore relevant programs offered by reputable institutions such as LISJobs.com. In conclusion, a career as a library technician offers individuals an opportunity to contribute to the smooth operation of libraries and provide valuable support to librarians and patrons. While job growth may be limited, those with technological skills and adaptability can still find fulfilling career prospects in this field.

Common College Majors in the Field of Library and Information Science

Choosing a college major is an important decision that can shape your future career path. If you have a passion for books, technology, and helping others find information, then a major in Library Science, Information Technology, or Computer Science may be the right choice for you. In this article, we will explore these common college majors and the opportunities they offer in the field of library and information science.

Library Science

Library Science is a major that focuses on the organization, management, and preservation of information resources in various formats, such as books, digital media, and databases. It equips students with the skills necessary to work in libraries, archives, museums, and other information centers.

Here are some key aspects of studying Library Science:

  • Information organization: Students learn how to classify and catalog information using various systems like the Dewey Decimal Classification or Library of Congress Classification. This skill is crucial for efficient retrieval of information.
  • Collection development: Students gain knowledge on how to select and acquire materials that meet the needs and interests of library users. This involves evaluating resources, budgeting, and staying up-to-date with current trends.
  • Reference services: Students learn how to assist library patrons in finding information through reference interviews, search strategies, and utilizing online databases.
  • Library technology: As technology plays a vital role in libraries today, students are exposed to various library management systems, digital repositories, and emerging technologies for effective information access and retrieval.

With a degree in Library Science, graduates can pursue careers as librarians, library technicians, information specialists, or archivists. They can work in public libraries, academic libraries, corporate libraries, government agencies, and research institutions.

If you are interested in learning more about Library Science programs and career opportunities, check out the American Library Association's website for valuable resources and information.

Information Technology

The field of Information Technology (IT) is rapidly growing and offers numerous opportunities in the library and information science sector. An IT major focuses on the application of technology to manage and distribute information effectively.

Here are some key aspects of studying Information Technology:

  • Database management: Students learn how to design, implement, and maintain databases that store and retrieve information efficiently.
  • Web development: Students gain skills in creating and maintaining websites, online catalogs, and digital repositories.
  • Network administration: Students learn how to manage computer networks, troubleshoot connectivity issues, and ensure data security.
  • Information systems: Students understand the design and implementation of information systems to support the needs of organizations, including libraries.

With an Information Technology degree, graduates can work as systems librarians, digital content managers, web developers, or database administrators in libraries, information centers, or other related industries.

To explore more about Information Technology programs and its role in library settings, visit the iSchools website, which provides information about universities offering IT-related programs.

Computer Science

Computer Science is another major that can lead to exciting opportunities in the library and information science field. It focuses on the development and application of computer systems and software.

Here are some key aspects of studying Computer Science:

  • Programming: Students learn various programming languages and gain skills in developing software applications.
  • Data analysis: Students understand how to collect, analyze, and interpret data, which is crucial for making informed decisions in library settings.
  • Artificial intelligence: Students explore the use of AI technologies like machine learning and natural language processing in information retrieval and knowledge management.
  • Human-computer interaction: Students study the design and evaluation of user interfaces for effective interaction between humans and computers.

A degree in Computer Science opens doors to careers such as digital librarians, information architects, data scientists, or software developers in libraries, research institutions, or technology companies.

To find out more about Computer Science programs and its relevance to library and information science, visit the Association for Computing Machinery's website.

Conclusion

Choosing the right college major is essential for a successful career in library and information science. Whether you decide to pursue a major in Library Science, Information Technology, or Computer Science, each offers unique opportunities to work with information resources, technology, and help people find the information they need. Explore the provided links for more information on these majors, program offerings, and potential career paths in this exciting field.

Curriculum and Courses for Each Year of Study

Freshman Year Courses

During the freshman year, Library Technician students will gain a solid foundation in library science and information management. The courses offered in this year typically include: 1. Introduction to Library Science: This course provides an overview of the library profession, its history, and the role of library technicians in supporting library operations. 2. Cataloging and Classification: Students will learn the principles and practices of organizing and categorizing library materials, including cataloging rules, subject headings, and classification systems. 3. Reference Services: This course focuses on teaching students how to assist library patrons in finding relevant information through various reference sources, both print and electronic. 4. Information Technology for Libraries: Students will explore the use of technology in libraries, including library automation systems, online databases, and digital resources.

Sophomore Year Courses

In the sophomore year, students will delve deeper into library operations and management. The courses offered in this year typically include: 1. Collection Development: This course covers the principles and practices of building and maintaining library collections, including selection, acquisition, evaluation, and weeding. 2. Library Administration: Students will learn about the administrative functions of a library, such as budgeting, personnel management, policy development, and strategic planning. 3. Library Ethics and Intellectual Freedom: This course examines ethical issues faced by library professionals, including intellectual freedom, privacy, censorship, and copyright. 4. Library Technology Applications: Students will explore advanced technologies used in libraries, such as integrated library systems (ILS), discovery tools, and digital preservation.

Junior Year Courses

During the junior year, students will focus on specialized areas within library science. The courses offered in this year typically include: 1. Children's and Young Adult Literature: This course explores the selection and promotion of literature for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, and non-fiction materials. 2. Archives and Special Collections: Students will learn about the management and preservation of archival materials and special collections, including appraisal, arrangement, and description. 3. Information Literacy Instruction: This course equips students with the skills to teach library users how to effectively search for, evaluate, and use information resources. 4. Library Marketing and Outreach: Students will study marketing strategies and techniques used in libraries to promote services, programs, and resources to the community.

Senior Year Courses

In the senior year, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through practical experiences and specialized coursework. The courses offered in this year typically include: 1. Library Practicum: This course provides students with hands-on experience in a library setting under the guidance of a mentor, allowing them to apply their skills in real-world situations. 2. Research Methods in Library Science: Students will learn research methodologies used in library science and conduct independent research projects on topics of their interest. 3. Advanced Topics in Library Science: This course covers emerging trends and issues in the library profession, such as digital libraries, open access, and information literacy in the digital age. 4. Library Technician Capstone: In this culminating course, students will integrate their knowledge and skills acquired throughout their program to complete a comprehensive project or portfolio.

IV. Degree Requirements

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

To obtain a Bachelor's degree in Library Technician, students typically need to fulfill the following requirements: 1. Completion of required courses: Students must successfully complete all the courses specified in the curriculum for each year of study. 2. Elective courses: Depending on the program, students may have the option to choose elective courses that align with their specific interests or career goals. 3. Minimum GPA: Students must maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) to be eligible for graduation. The specific GPA requirement may vary depending on the institution. 4. Internship or practicum: Many Bachelor's degree programs require students to complete an internship or practicum to gain practical experience in a library setting.

Master's Degree Requirements

To pursue a Master's degree in Library Technician, students must typically fulfill the following requirements: 1. Completion of prerequisite courses: Students with a Bachelor's degree in a field other than Library Technician may be required to complete specific prerequisite courses before entering the Master's program. 2. Core coursework: Students must complete a set of core courses covering advanced topics in library science and information management. 3. Specialization or concentration: Master's programs often offer various specializations or concentrations, allowing students to focus on specific areas of interest within the library profession. 4. Thesis or research project: Students may be required to complete a thesis or research project demonstrating their ability to conduct independent research and contribute to the field of library science. By following these curriculum and degree requirements, aspiring Library Technicians can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this rewarding profession. For more information on Library Technician programs and career opportunities, you can visit the American Library Association (ALA) website at https://www.ala.org or the Library and Information Science Program Accreditation website at https://www.ala.org/educationcareers/accreditedprograms.