Library and Information Services

What Do Library Paraprofessionals Do?

What is this field like?

Gonzaga University Law Library

Libraries today are dynamic, challenging and serve their communities in exciting new ways. Automation has performed wonders in libraries, and has greatly increased their ability to serve. If you need to locate a book, for example, a computer can tell you within seconds in which branch library it is located and whether or not it is on the shelf.

While not all libraries are fully automated, more and more are becoming so. It is the direction of the future.

What do Library Paraprofessionals do?

Their role is an increasingly important one, and they need to be able to respond quickly to a variety of tasks. A Library Paraprofessional may direct patrons to information they need, provide circulation services, assist in staff scheduling, supervise stack maintenance, do bibliographic searches and process interlibrary loans. Library technicians may help in acquiring new publications, bookkeeping, cataloging, and maintaining serial records. They also play a major role in operating the media department.

What qualities should I have to be successful in this field?

Because libraries are so service-oriented, the best technicians are excellent communicators. If you enjoy helping people and enjoy organization and accuracy of details, you would do well in this field. Paraprofessionals may also need to be able to bend, stoop, reach, lift and carry books and equipment.