Week 2

Role of the LTA

"As Marx said of Capital, this book assumes a reader who is willing to learn something new, and therefore to think for herself" (Sam Stark. "Let Us Dispute." The Nation, Aug. 15, 2011, p. 44).

The job title for the person directly under the librarian (and school librarian in some cases) has begun to change within the American Library Association (ALA), the national professional association for libraries. Until recently the title was LTA, standing for either Library Technical Assistant or Library Technology Assistant. More recently the ALA has begun referring to the position as Library Assistant.

The LTA's job description varies according to the type of library and work he or she does. In a larger library, the LTA may be the head cataloger, or in charge of library services or the circulation desk and its staff. In a school district, typically, there is only one librarian (with a Master's degree in Library Science--usually a minimum requirement for the job) and then LTAs in charge of each school's individual library. Sometimes LTAs may be in charge of several school libraries.

In special libraries and smaller public libraries, due to cost cutting, the LTA may serve in the position of general librarian or researcher.

The possibilities are so varied that it is impossible to make a generalization. The ALA's page on LTAs will give you some indications of possible positions.

Please read the following sites:

ALA Standards for LTAs

Resources for Library Support Staff from ALA. Be sure to read all the relevant links.

Library Support Staff Positions in the Library from ALA

Library Assistant Work Conditions US Dept. of Labor

Directory of LTA Programs by State

Council on Library/Media Technicians (COLT) This organization for LTAs used to be active in San Antonio. It currently does not have a chapter in SA.

General Reference Links

Resources for Library Support Staff from ALA


Once you have completed all the readings for this week, please return to Canvas, click on the Quizzes link, and take the quiz. If you are not satisfied with your score, take the quiz over again. This can be done multiple times.

Once you have taken the quiz and achieved a grade with which you are satisfied, return to Canvas and address the Discussions topic for the week. Then click on the next week of readings.

Prof. Colby Glass, MLIS