Library and archive technicians and assistants help users to access library and archive resources, do records management, processing and storage, assist in describing new acquisitions, do archive processing and storage and provide general support for client information needs.
Library technicians and archive technicians are two distinct occupations. In addition to the duties described above, library technicians also help users with interlibrary loans and online reference searches, as well processing the checkout and return of books and other library materials. Archive technicians also assist archivists in a number of other professional capacities.
Library and archive technicians:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 310
N/A - Data not available
Library technicians often work in public and special libraries, including libraries of schools, colleges, universities, law firms, and medical offices.
Archive technicians and assistants work in the documentation centres of municipal, provincial and federal departments.
Employees usually work 35–40 hours per week. Work days and schedules can vary since some libraries have extended hours and weekend service.
Computers are central to library-related work. Workers may experience computer-related fatigue and physical stress. Archive technicians may also be exposed to odours and non-toxic dusts.
Source: 2016 Census
A university degree or a diploma in library and information technology or a diploma in archival studies may be required to work in these occupations. Other training and requirements may include:
Many library technicians work in specialized areas such as records management, children's and young adult's services, and digital libraries. Therefore, it is recommended that graduates seeking specialized positions take specific classes in the appropriate field. Individuals are also encouraged to take courses that focus on the type of library that they are interested in working in. These courses are generally half-day or one-day courses.
There are currently two training programs offered for library technicians in B.C.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Most of the new jobs that will be available over the next several years are expected to come from replacing retiring workers.
Industry sources report there is an increasing expectation that library workers have a diploma, and that there is a higher demand for workers who have specialized experience that matches a special library.
With very little turnover in the law library field, recent graduates may have difficulty finding jobs in that area.
As experienced workers retire, more job openings are expected in the Vancouver area where most of the special libraries are located.
Related fields, such as information brokering, consulting (information access and validation) and database marketing, offer alternative job opportunities. Those with knowledge or education in fields such as administration, computer science or engineering will have an advantage.
Technological advances have greatly affected the field of information management, As a result, advanced technical skills, such as web development and management are now in great demand.
Junior positions are available in various types of libraries and can range from work as a circulation clerk to a cataloguer or reference clerk.
Recent graduates may also obtain positions in schools and school districts. Many graduates may be expected to take on a variety of duties, ranging from working under the supervision of a librarian to running a small private library or resource centre.
Recent graduates may also work as information technicians, circulation assistants and as librarians in some special libraries.
Archive technicians with a graduate degree may advance to the position of archivist.
Workers with experience and further education may progress to senior technician or management positions.