Library Assistant

Library assistants perform routine tasks to free librarians from other duties.

Assistants check books in and out, answer routine questions and sort and shelve library materials. They may repair damaged books and keep files of special materials such as career information or newspapers up-to-date. In addition, they aid in the purchasing and cataloguing of library materials.

They operate audio-visual equipment when required and help users find reference materials, maintain loan records and send out overdue notices. In addition, they may work on special projects and assist in organising and arranging book exhibitions.

Library assistants work indoors in all types of libraries. They may work at the front desk, between bookshelves or in special rooks or offices such as repair or audiovisual storage areas and travelling library vehicles.

Personal Requirements

  • want to help people
  • enjoy working with others
  • enjoy routine work
  • accurate, neat and well organised
  • fond of books and like to read


  • public libraries
  • university, university of technology and colleges
  • government departments
  • provincial administrations
  • private organisations
  • research bodies, such as HSRC and CSIR
  • special libraries such as those in hospitals, private industry and correctional institutions

Getting Started

  • volunteer for vacation or part-time work at a local library
  • experience in information management or working in a government department may be helpful, and any work that involves dealing with people such as customer service or teaching
  • speak to library assistants about this career


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to and a Student Advisor will call you back.

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