The Careers Clusters in a library

Learn more about the services offered by libraries and what kind of people work there in this Workplace Spotlight.

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Libraries are important community hubs that provide a variety of services. They lend out many more resources than just books, including DVDs, CDs, magazines, comics, music scores, instruments, toys, game consoles, and even digital files like e-books, audiobooks, music, and videos. They also provide free and low-cost education and entertainment for communities through workshops, classes, and short courses. Libraries can also offer access to computers, internet, printers, photocopiers, and other technology people need that they may not have access to at home.

While every library is different, they tend to have a few things in common:

  1. Accessible to everyone – you will be talking to and interacting with people from all walks of life, so good people skills are key.
  2. They’re not always quiet – libraries often host events, workshops, and classes, so there’s always lots of variety.
  3. Lots of indoor work – most of the work in libraries is done inside, though they can also have some outdoor spaces too.

Key Outcome – providing access to books and other resources

The main purpose of libraries is to provide public access to a wide variety of knowledge, resources, and support.

Key Tasks –

  • Answer questions and help people find what they need
  • Sort, maintain, and grow collections
  • Design and run workshops and classes
  • Keep spaces clean and accessible to all


You can find libraries in the education and community services industry

There are lots of different kinds of libraries, including ones attached to schools and universities, public libraries, government libraries, and even specialised academic and research libraries.

Work Environment

You can expect regular hours and on-site work in a range of locations

Regular hours  |  Work on-site  |  Jobs in all locations, including metro, regional, and rural  |  Moderate job growth

Libraries can have different opening hours depending on the services they offer – some are open from the usual 9 to 5, some are open in the evenings, and some are open 24/7. Combined with a high share of part-time work availability, this means there is lots of flexibility with your working hours.

A lot of the work in libraries needs to be done hands-on, but there are some roles that can be done from home, mainly in admin.

You’ll find libraries across the country, including in regional and rural areas. Most towns and cities have a public library, and there are often libraries attached to schools and other educational institutions.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a library

People from all the Clusters are needed for a library to run successfully, and many workers will find themselves doing jobs across more than one Cluster.


Makers are responsible for maintaining and repairing the physical parts of the library, as well as keeping it clean and tidy for patrons. They also need people to maintain their large digital databases and networks, as well as ensure computers and other systems keep running smoothly.

  • IT & Systems Technicians
  • Cleaners
  • Maintenance Workers

The Linkers in libraries provide services for people in need (for example, they may help elderly people to use computers or people who don’t speak English well to fill out important forms), and assist with checking materials in and out. They also need people to run the library’s social media accounts and keep the website updated, as well as promote their events and workshops.

  • Community Services Workers
  • Library Technicians
  • Social Media Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Coordinators in libraries are responsible for cataloguing and sorting the library’s collection and overseeing the acquisition of new items. They may also review the services and items on offer and ensure they are keeping up with the needs of the community. They are also usually the people in charge of budgets and expenses, as well as overseeing the hiring of other staff.

  • Collection Developers/Archivists
  • Accounts Officers
  • Payroll Officers

You’ll often find Informers in libraries helping people learn how to use the library’s systems and services. They might also conduct workshops or classes. Informers can even perform research on request, helping to locate a specific item or piece of information, or track down historical records.

  • Librarians
  • Researchers
  • Teachers/Educators

Innovators in libraries are responsible for developing new programs to engage the community and foster a love of learning and reading. They might also develop new methods of storing and sorting data to make it easier for staff and the public to access. Innovators also design the layout and interior of a library, maximising space and accessibility.

  • Program Developers
  • Software Developers
  • Interior Designers

Guardians in libraries include the people who keep the place safe and secure, ensuring all visitors are comfortable. They may also need people to assist in minor emergencies, and make sure that staff have a safe working environment.

  • Security Guard
  • First Aid Officers
  • Workplace Health & Safety Officers

How do we expect working in a library to change in the future?

Libraries have already become much more digitised over the last decade or two, and will continue to provide lots of services and resources in the online space. People can now access library collections and ask questions without even needing to leave the house.

Despite this, libraries still remain an important space for people who have limited access to technology, or those who need assistance using technology, as well as being important for fostering a sense of community. So it is likely that libraries will continue to maintain a physical presence well into the future.