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Career and Education Opportunities for Library Clerks in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for library clerks. Currently, 510 people work as library clerks in Maine. This is expected to grow 13% to 570 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for library clerks are expected to grow by about 11.1%. Library clerks generally compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm.

Income for library clerks is about $9 hourly or $19,940 yearly on average in Maine. Nationally, their income is about $10 hourly or $22,630 per year. Earnings for library clerks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Clerical in Maine and not quite as good as general Clerical category earnings nationally.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Portland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a library clerk. Given that the most common education level for library clerks is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a library clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Library Clerk

Library Clerk video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, library clerks compile records, sort and shelve books, and issue and receive library materials such as pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. They also locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title.

Library clerks locate library materials for patrons and pictures. They also sort books and other items in line with established procedures and return them to shelves or other designated storage areas. Equally important, library clerks have to perform clerical efforts such as filing, typing, word processing, photocopying and mailing out material, and mail sorting. Finally, library clerks answer routine inquiries, and refer patrons in need of professional assistance to librarians.

Every day, library clerks are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for library clerks to furnish assistance to librarians in the maintenance of collections of books and audiovisual and other materials. They are often called upon to instruct patrons on how to use reference sources and automated data systems. They also process new materials including books and computer software. They are sometimes expected to take action to deal with disruptive or problem patrons. Somewhat less frequently, library clerks are also expected to lend and collect books, periodicals and other materials at circulation desks.

Library clerks sometimes are asked to inspect archives. They also have to be able to schedule and supervise clerical staff and student assistants and maintain archives of items received and returned, and file catalog cards in line with system used. And finally, they sometimes have to operate and maintain audiovisual equipment.

Like many other jobs, library clerks must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Medical Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
  • Payroll Bookkeeper. Compile and post employee time and payroll data. May compute employees' time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions. May prepare paychecks.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
  • Statistical Clerk. Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries. Includes actuarial clerks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Library Clerk Training

University of Maine at Augusta - Augusta, ME

University of Maine at Augusta, 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330-9410. University of Maine at Augusta is a small university located in Augusta, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,731 students. University of Maine at Augusta has an associate's degree program in Library Assistant/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.