Associate librarians are employed in universities, educational institutes and government or privately owned libraries. The associate librarian is assigned with a specific set of duties matching his competency and knowledge. These duties are defined as the associate librarian responsibilities.
Managing a library can be a difficult task for the librarian alone especially when there is a large inventory of books, novels, magazines and other journals. It becomes necessary to employ an associate librarian so that the librarian is able to manage the library.
The duties of an associate librarian include procuring and arranging new stock, repairing or binding old stock, labeling books according to category, placing order to vendors, making payments, preparing membership cards, collecting membership fees, maintaining cash registers, and doing many other tasks as assigned by the librarian or managing authorities.
The associate librarian helps the visitors in locating the books of their choice. While working in an educational institute, the associate librarian helps in identifying the requirements of students and purchasing those books in bulk quantities so that every student is able to avail the books without waiting for another student to return the book.
This position provides an excellent opportunity to work for a literary cause. Given below is a description of associate librarian responsibilities for individuals who want to join a library as an associate.
This is one of the most important tasks that an associate librarian has to perform. He gathers the information for student requirements and accordingly places orders to the vendors. Even while working in a private library, it becomes necessary to store the books that visitors prefer to read and also the latest books by prominent writers.
It is not acquiring the books that is important. An associate librarian has to ensure that he places order to a vendor who can supply books at a comparatively lower cost.
Checking and Arranging New Books
When the vendor delivers the order, the associate librarian checks if all the books are in good condition. He returns the books that are torn, damaged or misprinted. He labels and arranges the new books.
Repairing Old Books
The books may get damaged or torn either by the readers or due to mishandling of books while arranging or retrieving. These books needs to be repaired and maintained to prevent any further damage.
Records and Accounts Maintenance
Be it purchase of new books or collection of membership fees or fine, the associate librarian handles the paperwork related to the library operations. He has to file the documents and keep an electronic copy so that it becomes easy to retrieve the information even if the members misplace their id cards.
In a school or college library, the associate librarian instructs the students and monitors their behavior to maintain the decorum of the library. He reports any irresponsible behavior of the students to the staff member or the dean.
Skills of an Associate Librarian
An associate librarian, as the name suggests, works as a support staff to the librarian. It is thus expected that he is able to follow librarians instructions in a prompt manner and help in operating the library efficiently. Apart from the administrative support, he is expected to be physically active as this job required lifting heavy weights while arranging the library and retrieving the books. He should be inclined towards customer service and help the member/visitors in retrieving a book. He should be able to operate different applications and store the records in digital formats.
Becoming an Associate Librarian
There is no specific course that you need to pursue to get into this job. Employers however prefer individuals with an associate or a bachelor's degree. Even if you are not experienced of working in a library or educational institute, you can apply for this position.
Career Scope for an Associate Librarian
There is no specific salary range for an associate librarian. While some institutes may pay you around $40,000 annually, there might be some institutes or privately held libraries where salary may go up to $68,000.
Associate librarian responsibilities are to work in conjunction with the librarian to ensure that the readers or members of the library are able to avail the services.