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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1451 Occupation: Library Clerks
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Library clerks issue and receive library materials, sort and shelve books and provide general library information to users. They also perform clerical functions such as filing, typing and word processing. Library clerks are employed by libraries or other establishments with library services. Library clerks issue and receive library materials, sort and shelve books and provide general library information to users. They also perform clerical functions such as filing, typing and word processing. Library clerks are employed by libraries or other establishments with library services.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read suggestion forms filled out by patrons to improve library services. (1)
  • Read minutes of staff meetings. (1)
  • Read memos, information bulletins and email about special events or new procedures at the library. (1)
  • Read parts of books aloud to visually impaired patrons to help them decide if it is a book or audio book that interests them. (2)
  • Refer to procedure and instruction manuals and computer software manuals to perform rare or complex functions. (3)
  • Scan indexes and reference books to help patrons locate information. (3)
  • Read books, magazines and journals to keep current on library holdings, to organize the information into consumer files and direct patrons to the material they want. This helps them keep current on the status of periodicals, such as title and publication date changes. (3)
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Writing
  • Write patrons' names on items being held for them or on waiting lists for particular books. (1)
  • Write notes, entries in a daybook or email messages to inform other staff of problems, suggestions, notable events or compliments. (1)
  • Write reminder notes and lists of tasks to be done. (1)
  • Help patrons complete book request forms. (1)
  • Write new-member profiles and enter them into the computer system. (1)
  • Write procedures to be followed by other staff in your absence. (2)
  • Prepare form letters to request that overdue books be returned. (2)
  • Write memos to supervisors, requesting vacation time or training. (2)
  • Write memos or email to other library branches about loans, requests and returns. (2)
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Document Use
  • Read book locator labels and book titles to search for or shelve books and when updating the database. (1)
  • Read mailbag labels to identify the proper bag to put books into for each branch. (1)
  • Consult mail rate charts to mail parcels and book price lists to buy new books. (2)
  • Read client cards or files in the database to tell clients about books that need to be returned, fines due and whether they can borrow more books. (2)
  • Read statistical tables showing the number of transactions performed in a month. (2)
  • Read hold alert reports and patron trap charts which inform workers of books being held for patrons or patrons whose privileges have been suspended because of unpaid fines. (2)
  • Read work schedules to see when to work and what work to do. (2)
  • Fill out library book pocket cards, interlibrary loan forms, vacation request forms and order forms. (2)
  • Reference diagrams on photocopiers to learn how to operate them. (2)
  • Reference sketches of computer screens in computer manuals when learning how to use new software. (2)
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Computer Use
  • Use communications software. For example, send and receive email. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, enter information onto order forms. (2)
  • Use a database. For example, search for information using national and international sources. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, calculate overdue fines and for accounting. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Interact by telephone with staff in branch libraries and other library systems to request, search for, or take requests for books. (1)
  • Contact publishers about book orders that have not been received. (1)
  • Co-ordinate tasks with other staff. (1)
  • Greet and talk to patrons to answer questions about the library and help patrons find materials. (1)
  • Discuss loan requests, possible sources of information and the location of specific materials with other staff. (1)
  • Discuss work schedules, instructions, policies and procedures with the supervisor. (2)
  • Participate in regular staff meetings and listen to announcements about new procedures. (2)
  • Talk to patrons to deal with complaints. (2)
  • Instruct patrons on how to use the microfiche, microform catalogues or the photocopying machine and on how to fill in request forms. (2)
  • Discuss work schedule with co-workers and procedures, such as how to get work done more efficiently and accurately. (2)
  • Interact with children to conduct library tours or story-hour readings. (3)
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Money Math
  • Receive payment for fines and make change. Also handle money from the photocopier and from the sale of old books. At the end of the day, subtract the float and complete a balance sheet. (1)
  • Calculate fines on overdue materials using the appropriate daily charge. The daily rate may differ for books, audiovisual materials or interlibrary loans. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Write debit and credit notes, recording lost books charged to a branch library and reversing the recording process if the books are found. (1)
  • Enter expenditures, such as book purchases, in a budget monitoring system categorizing each expenditure appropriately. (1)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Count the number of books to be shelved and the number of loan requests. (1)
  • Weigh parcels and measure their dimensions to calculate the amount of postage required, using postal rate charts. (1)
  • Measure the size of new books. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare the number of books checked out over a period of time to identify trends, recording related information on a form forwarded to head office. (1)
  • Compile statistics on how many transactions of particular types occurred in a period of time and calculate the per cent change in library use, compared to previous months or years. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate how long it will take to complete a series of tasks or how much time is spent on various tasks, such as how long it takes to enter a stack of requests. (1)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Some library clerks have little flexibility in their job tasks. They receive daily schedules and work assignments from their supervisor and perform a set routine of tasks. (1)
  • Other library clerks organize their own work, setting priorities for several tasks and ordering their tasks for greater efficiency. The order and pace at which tasks are done, however, is determined by the number of patrons that day and the nature of their requests. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to find an item for patrons or to explain how they can find it themselves. (1)
  • Decide which tasks are most urgent, such as whether to sort or shelve books. (1)
  • Decide whether to hold items, when the patron who requested them is unable to pick them up. (1)
  • Decide whether to do reference searches for the patron or refer patrons to the reference department. (1)
  • Decide if loan requests, such as an extended loan, are legitimate and practical. You may refuse the request if it is not. (2)
  • Decide whether to let a patron take out a book which is not normally allowed out of the library. (2)
  • Decide when to pass problems or complaints to a supervisor. (2)
  • Decide when to charge patrons for damaged items. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Library books have been returned. Determine how to shelve the books efficiently by grouping them according to floor and section. (1)
  • A patron has a question or a request for information. Determine how to help the patron by directing him/her to the most likely sources and the most relevant materials. (2)
  • Computers, microform machines or photocopiers have broken down. Determine how to repair the machine or call a technician. (2)
  • A library patron claims that overdue items have already been returned. Resolve the situation by determining whether to fill out a 'claims returned' form or whether to call in a supervisor. Patrons may become angry or hostile and the situation must be dealt with in a sensitive manner. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Request information about the status of ordered materials from the supplier or publisher. (1)
  • Find out the location and availability of specific materials requested, often using electronic databases. (1)
  • Obtain information on interlibrary loans from other libraries. (1)
  • Respond to patrons' requests for information or references by looking for likely sources of information or for the most relevant books and materials to recommend to the patron. This is done by using own knowledge of the material in the library, consulting electronic databases and asking co-workers for suggestions. (2)
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