Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.
||Openings 5 years to November 2019: < 5,000
||Median weekly earnings: $921 to $1050 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
||Working as a library assistant allows you to enjoy being surrounded by books and manuscripts while you work with the high-tech tools of the information age.
In 2010, 31,000 people were employed in libraries. Of these, approximately 8,500 are library technicians and 8,800 library assistants. Over half are employed full-time and most work in the education and cultural and recreational services industries.
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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Library Assistant
For centuries, we have been documenting our thoughts, philosophies and discoveries in journals and books. More recently we have turned to web pages on the Internet. A librarian or library technician helps us to access various sources of information. Sometimes referred to as 'information professionals', their primary role is to assist in the delivery of information to users. There are three main occupations in the library and information services sector:
Librarians design and develop systems for the effective management of recorded material, books, other written material and electronic equipment. They also train and supervise other staff, develop policies aimed at improving library services and undertake promotional and user education activities even telling stories to wide eyed young children!
Library technicians provide operational and technical support to libraries and information services. Their work focuses on the operation, maintenance and control of established systems within a library or information service.
Library assistants provide administrative and clerical support to librarians and technicians.
Not quite the career you are looking for? Please try the related course profiles below:
Clerical and Administrative
Customer Service Officer, Library Assistant, Project and Program Administrator, Human Resources Manager, Medical Administrative Officer, Receptionist, Personal Assistant, Financial Planner / Financial Investment Advisers, Purchasing Officer, Accountant, Bookkeeper, Paralegal, Conveyancer
Helping and Community Services
Customer Service Officer, Massage Therapist, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker, Tourist Information Officer, Patient Care Assistant, Landcare Officer, Library Assistant, Fitness Instructor, Medical Administrative Officer, Personal Assistant, Financial Planner / Financial Investment Advisers, Park Ranger, Aged or Disabilities Carer, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Youth Worker or Disability Worker, Police Officer, Occupational Health, Safety & Environment Professional, Counsellor and Community Worker, Interpreter, Child Care Worker
Library Assistant, Copywriter, Actor, Paralegal, Film, Stage, TV and Radio Director
TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Library and Information Services. Pathways include the Certificate III in Information and Cultural Services and Certificate IV in Library, Information and Cultural Services.
SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.
Libraries continue to hold collections of books, journals and other printed items, but also now make use of cutting edge technology in order to efficiently meet clients' information needs. Keeping up to date with technological changes is therefore critical for information professionals, some of whom are now providing consultancy services. They use their specialised skills to access information for clients who know its somewhere on the web, but don't have the time or skills to find it.
It is a medium sized occupation with reasonable employment prospects.
Cultural and Recreational Services, Education, Health and Community Services
What were you doing before enrolling in your course?
I worked in the funeral industry for over 20 years in various administration roles, says Vicki Simmonds, Training and Volunteer Support Officer – Libraries. In my last role I was involved in coordinating the day to day running of a chapel facility ensuring a high level of customer service was provided, supervising staff and arranging rosters and assisting to coordinate and manage special events.
I was keen to embark on a new career and felt that libraries would be a good fit as I still wanted to work in a community focused environment where I could continue to assist people. I thought my existing skills would be a good match in a library environment (and I LOVE reading!) but I didn’t have the background knowledge or experience in a library environment and I felt I needed to do some study to gain this skill and knowledge base.
What was it about the course at TAFE SA that encouraged you to enrol?
I looked into what was the prerequisite to be eligible to apply for the Diploma in Library & Information Services and discovered that Year 12 was the minimum requirement so I thought I would apply and see what happened.
What made TAFE SA stand out compared to other training organisations?
I liked that the course was based in the city and involved contact hours with lecturers and other students. I also liked the fact that it was offered either full time or part time and there was flexibility in how many subjects you undertook at one time so you could balance the study with other aspects such as work or family commitments. It was also great that it wasn’t necessary to make a big financial commitment all at once, as you pay for each subject as you go so you don’t have to pay a large lump sum at the beginning of the course.
What did the course involve and how do you think it will assist you in your career?
The course involved some library specific subjects such as providing customer service in a library environment, cataloguing and copyright awareness as well as some general subjects which would assist you in any work environment, such as WHS and working with various computer and social media programs. The course raised my awareness of the different types of library and information service roles and that there is a wide scope for employment in private enterprise, education, the government sector and not for profit organisations.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
I enjoyed that the classes were a mix of lectures in the classroom, practical experience and also the opportunity to visit other library and information centres. Being able to actually physically do some library tasks and also talk to people who were working in the industry helped to gel all of the theory together and also help to establish what type of library or information service would be most appealing to me.
In what ways did the TAFE SA lecturers and staff support you?
The TAFE SA lecturers are approachable and always willing to answer any questions. The lecturers involved in the library focused subjects have worked in the library field and were able to give first-hand accounts of experiences they have had working in their library roles. They are enthusiastic and passionate about library services and focused on ensuring students have a wide breadth of skills and knowledge to secure a role in the industry.
What have you gained from completing the course?
Libraries are undergoing such huge changes with the advent of social media and the expansion in information technology. The course has allowed me to develop an awareness of the wide scope of library services and how libraries are changing the way in which they are engaging with the community. I have been able to incorporate the practical skills and knowledge that I have gained during my studies into my current work role.
Did you find employment after completing the course? If so where?
Yes, I secured a role with the Adelaide City Council starting as a casual library customer service officer and I have recently secured a role as Training and Volunteer Support Officer in the library. I love working in libraries and look forward to continuing to learn in my working role and studying towards my Diploma in Library and Information Services with TAFESA.
The Australian Library and Information Association
Nature of the Job
Librarians, library technicians and library assistants work in many different industries. Many work in public libraries run by local governments or in the State Library. Information professionals also undertake information management work in educational institutions, government departments, hospitals, law firms and a broad range of private sector industries. Information professionals may be required to work evenings, weekends and on public holidays.
Typical Physical Working Environment
Qualified library staff work in public libraries, archives, schools, technical colleges and tertiary institutions. They also work for government departments, museums, research and consulting organisations, teaching hospitals, industrial and business firms, all of which have libraries specialising in particular fields.
Library assistants and library technicians must have a good aptitude for working with computers. They need to have good organisational skills and a wide general knowledge. They also must have good communication skills and a strong customer service attitude.
Typical Occupational Example
Factors which affect the demand for librarians, library technicians and library assistants include government funding levels, the introduction of technologies and the level of activity in private sector industries (for example law firms) that employ librarians.
For further information, contact:
Australian Library and Information Association Ltd (National Office)
Phone: (02) 6215 8222
Salaries range widely, depending on the level of qualifications and the industry within which the library is located. The starting salary for a library technician in a South Australian public library is approximately $52,000 per year. The starting salary for a library assistant in a South Australian library is about $40,000 and may go as high as $51,000 per annum.
For further details, please refer to Salaries for Australian librarians and library technicians available from the Australian Library and Information Association website.
For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online