Thursday, October 23, 2014


Libraries and library staff provide essential services for schools, universities, and communities. Americans use libraries for free, reliable, and organized access to books, the Internet, and other sources of information and entertainment; assistance finding work; research and reference assistance; and programs for children, immigrants, and other groups with specific needs, just to name a few.

This fact sheet explores: library staff in the workforce, diversity within the professions, educational attainment of library workers, the role of women in the professions, issues of pay and pay equity, and the union difference for library staff.

An Overview of Library Professionals and Libraries

 In 2013, there were 194,000 librarians, 39,000 library technicians, and 87,000 library assistants. Generally, the definition of “librarian” is a person who holds at least a master’s degree in library science or meets state teaching license standards for being a school librarian.
“Library technicians” assist librarians in the acquisition, preparation, and organization of materials “and assist users in locating the appropriate resources.”
“Library assistants” are similar to library technicians, but may have fewer responsibilities.

 From 2007 through 2013, library employment among librarians and library technicians and assistants shrank from 380,000 to 320,000.


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