Library technicians' education, the workplace, and job satisfaction

Date of Completion

January 1998


Education, Community College|Library Science|Psychology, Industrial




The term "library technician" is a broadly inclusive term that embraces many titles that may be interchanged with such terms as library support staff, paraprofessional, library technical assistant, etc. In this research, "library technician" is defined as a library worker who does not have a master's degree in library science (therefore not called a librarian) and whose work assignment is library specific. Library technicians have disparate educational qualifications, ranging from a subject master's degree to no college education.^ Library technicians comprise two-thirds of the total library staff in academic libraries and many hold essential responsibilities in the library day-to-day operation. In recent years, as a cost-saving measure, libraries have tended to increase their reliance on library technicians. They have, in many cases, replaced librarians, particularly in the task of assisting graduate and undergraduate students. Also they have taken over many tasks previously done by librarians in library offices, such as cataloging and interlibrary loan.^ The purpose of this study is to determine the educational level of library technicians in Connecticut academic libraries, and to interpret its relationship to job satisfaction, current position, current salary and wage, and the perceived continuing education needs.^ The population chosen for this study included all library technicians currently employed in Connecticut college and university libraries. One hundred forty-one library technicians in 33 colleges and universities participated in the study. A profile sheet was used to identify the personal information, and Spector's Job Satisfaction Survey questionnaire was used to determine the satisfaction level of the population. ANOVA and Chi Square tests were performed to determine the statistical relationships referred to in the research questions.^ The result of statistical analysis tests revealed that library technicians in Connecticut academic libraries had high satisfaction with their jobs, except for the areas of pay and promotion. It also revealed that the four educational levels (high school diploma, associate degree or certificate, bachelor's degree, master's degree in subject field other than library science) made no significant difference in regard to job satisfaction, salary, and continuing education needs. In the area of job responsibility, however, a significant difference was found. ^