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Library assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Information assistant, learning resource centre assistant

Library assistants help librarians to manage the day-to-day running of a library.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

34 to 36 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a library assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could do a Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma in Libraries, Archives and Information Services.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You could do a library, information and archive services assistant advanced apprenticeship.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


You could gain experience of working in a library through volunteering in school, college or local authority libraries.

You can find opportunities through sites like:

Direct Application

You can apply for a job as a library assistant if you have some experience of working in a library, an archive or information service, for example as a volunteer. You may need GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including English, to apply.

Experience working in an administration, customer services or IT role would also be useful for applying directly.

For some assistant jobs, for example in industrial or commercial libraries, you may need qualifications at A level standard or higher. You may also need specialist knowledge like languages or science, depending on the job.

More Information

Career tips

A knowledge of information classification systems, like the Dewey Decimal Classification, may be useful, though not essential, as training would be given.

Further information

You can find more details about working in libraries from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could work on a customer service desk to:

  • help users access print and online resources
  • organise IT access and answer library users' queries
  • check materials in and out
  • deal with counter, phone and email enquiries

You may also:

  • catalogue new resources
  • shelve returned items and arrange repair of damaged materials
  • promote collections or new library resources
  • make sure copyright licence agreements are followed
  • maintain databases and records
  • help with events and activities like storytelling or author sessions

Working environment

You could work at a library, at a school, at a college or at a university.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, further training and qualifications, you could become a librarian.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Library Service Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £23,265.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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