Library Assistant Kaiāwhina Tiaki Pukapuka

Library assistants do a variety of tasks within a library including organising material and helping library users. 

Library assistants may do some or all of the following:

  • issue library materials such as books and eBooks
  • respond to customer enquiries
  • help customers use the online library catalogues or digital resources
  • check and process library returns
  • sort, mend, file and shelve library material
  • help catalogue and prepare new materials for library use.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for library assistants includes:

  • voluntary work in a library
  • customer service work in restaurants, hotels or shops
  • work in a bookshop.

Personal Qualities

Library assistants need to be:

  • friendly, helpful and patient
  • good communicators 
  • able to relate to a wide range of people
  • accurate and efficient
  • able to work well independently and as part of a team.


Library assistants need to have:

  • basic research skills
  • basic numeracy and money-handling skills
  • an understanding of how to use library management systems and databases
  • knowledge of how information is organised in libraries
  • good general knowledge about the kind of library they work in.


Library assistants:

  • usually work part-time or full-time regular business hours, but may work evenings and weekends or do shift work
  • work in libraries, offices or information centres, and mobile libraries (book buses).

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a library assistant. However, English, digital technologies, maths, social studies and te reo Māori are useful.

Library Assistants can earn around $47K-$55K per year.

Pay for library assistants varies depending on experience and level of responsibility.

  • Library assistants usually earn between minimum wage and $55,000 a year.
  • Experienced or senior library assistants can earn between $55,000 and $65,000.

Source: Auckland Council, 2020.

Library assistants may progress to become senior library assistants or librarians.

Years Of Training

There are no specific entry requirements to become a library assistant. However, a tertiary qualification in library studies may be useful.

Open Polytechnic offers distance-learning courses in library and information studies:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Library and Information Services for Children and Teens (Level 6)
  • Diploma of Library and Information Studies (Level 5)
  • Bachelor of Library and Information Studies.
Library Assistant