Skip to Main Content

Home Explore Careers

Library Assistants

History

Ancient private libraries date back to 3000 B.C. and the first U.S. institutional library dates back to the mid-1600s. With advanced printing technology and higher literacy rates, people soon were clamoring for books and the concept of a public library where materials could be lent and borrowed was born. Books were no longer only in the hands of the wealthy, they were meant to be shared with greater civilization—and shared they were, so much to an extent that main library staff could not keep up with the work. They needed additional help to quickly sort and reshelve books, assist the public in finding and checking out books, and keeping books and other materials in good condition. Enter the library assistant.

Modern libraries today need assistants more than ever. With media technology shifting from the printed word to digital data storage, library assistants are also needed to assist in organizing and sorting electronic files in addition to traditional books and hard copy material.