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Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' annual occupation publication, Occupational Outlook Handbook:

"Library technicians held about 121,000 jobs in 2006; about half worked in local public libraries. Most of the rest worked in school or academic libraries, but some worked in special libraries in health care and legal settings. The Federal Government employs library technicians primarily at the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Employment of library technicians is expected to grow about as fast as average. Opportunities will be best for those with specialized postsecondary library training.

Employment change. The number of library technicians is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2006 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations, as the increasing use of library automation creates more opportunities for these workers. Electronic information systems have simplified some tasks, enabling them to be performed by technicians rather than librarians, and spurring demand for technicians. However, job growth in educational institutions will be limited by slowing enrollment growth. In addition, public libraries often face budget pressures, which hold down overall growth in library services. However, this may result in the hiring of more library technicians because they are paid less than librarians and, thus, represent a lower-cost way to offer some library services. Employment should grow more rapidly in special libraries because increasing numbers of professionals and other workers use those libraries.

Job prospects. In addition to job openings from employment growth, some openings will result from the need to replace library technicians who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Opportunities will be best for library technicians with specialized postsecondary library training. Increased use of special libraries in businesses, hospitals, and other places should result in good job opportunities for library technicians in those settings."

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