Library Assistants and Clerks

Occupation:Library Assistants and Clerks
Category:Business, Finance, and Administration

About the job

Nature of work:

Library assistants and clerks issue and receive library materials, sort and shelve books and provide general library information to users. They also perform clerical functions such as maintaining journal subscriptions, manual and electronic filing and recording of payments received, and assisting library users in accessing library materials and online resources, and in making interlibrary loans. Library clerks are employed by libraries or other establishments with library services.

Job duties:
Library assistants and clerks perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Issue and receive library books and other materials.
  • Sort and re-shelve books and other library materials.
  • Perform clerical activities such as manual and electronic filing and record payments received.
  • Maintain journal subscriptions.
  • Assist library users in accessing library materials and online resources, and in making interlibrary loans.
Sample job titles:
  • bookmobile clerk
  • circulation assistant
  • library aide
  • library assistant
  • library clerk
  • periodicals clerk
  • reference clerk - library
  • shelving clerk - library

For this type of work, you should be patient and organized, and have good research skills. Both oral and written communication skills are essential. You must be able to work unsupervised with library users, and cooperate with co-workers. Good computer skills and knowledge about audiovisual equipment are strongly recommended. Knowledge of literature is also an asset.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
Other considerations:

Progression to more senior positions is possible with experience and post-secondary education related to library science.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. However, jobseekers may face some competition for those positions. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Library Assistants and Clerks may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 30% of Library Assistants and Clerks who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $34,661. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Library Assistants and Clerks660decline20Low
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $14.20
Maximum: $22.00
Minimum: $6,029
Median: $21,865
Maximum: $39,596
Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration63,775Moderate growth6,600Low
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $21.03
Maximum: $35.90
Minimum: $6,754
Median: $36,515
Maximum: $70,271
Library Assistants and ClerksCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
Percent employed full-time46%81%
Percent self-employed22%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentLibrary Assistants and ClerksCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton6%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley9%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeLibrary Assistants and ClerksCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4748
GenderLibrary Assistants and ClerksCompared to: Occupations in Business, Finance, and Administration
% Employed% Employed
EducationLibrary Assistants and ClerksCompared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.7%$6524.7%$23,775
High school26.7%$12,68823.7%$30,074
Trades certificate4.0%$15,8625.8%$32,871
College certificate or diploma21.3%$23,80334.4%$33,837
University certificate or diploma4.0%$24,9693.0%$35,053
Bachelor's degree29.3%$17,34722.9%$39,473
University advanced certificate or diploma2.0%$10,2671.7%$40,672
Master's degreeN/A$25,1393.6%$23,407
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.3%x0.1%$41,688
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Library Association
60 Alderney Drive
Halifax, NS B2Y 2N5
Tel: (902) 490-5710

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Program Name:Library assistant/technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to assist professional librarians. These programs include courses in principles, systems, processes, and procedures of library operation; library resources and services; processes of acquisition, cataloguing, storage, and display systems; discovery and retrieval of requested materials; management of books, periodicals, and other documents.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning
Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive
Halifax, NS B3S 1B3
(877) 491-6774
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.