How to Write a Cover Letter for Library Assistant Jobs
Updated 14 July 2023
Library assistants are entry-level individuals who work in libraries in towns, cities, schools or university campuses. Although this is an entry-level position, library assistants rely on specialised computer software, organisation and literary knowledge to maintain organisation and serve customers confidently. Learning how to describe your technical skills in a cover letter that appeals to hiring managers can increase your chances of submitting a successful application. In this article, we explain what a library assistant is, provide steps on writing a cover letter for library assistant jobs, provide a template and present an example.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
What is a library assistant?
Library assistants support senior librarians in maintaining the organisation of a library and overseeing the release and acceptance of books to authorised parties. While their role comprises many administrative tasks, such as placing books on bookshelves and organising books according to the genre, author and release date, they also oversee technical duties such as managing large databases and using index systems. Library assistants care for the library's facilities by identifying damaged books, chairs and electronics and making minor repairs or scheduling professional maintenance for assistance.
How to write a cover letter for library assistant jobs
Here's a seven-step guide on writing a cover letter for library assistant jobs:
1. Create a cover letter header
Creating a cover letter header that matches your resume allows employers to see continuity, which shows attention to detail, a key skill of library assistants. Write your full name in bold for improved visibility. Next to your name, add your highest or most relevant qualification. Employers might specify only a high school certificate as an entry requirement, so you can add this here if you have no other credentials. If you're still studying, mention any in-progress qualifications, such as Bachelor of English (Expected graduation, 2024).
2. Introduce yourself with enthusiasm
Next, address the letter using the employer's full name. Details of an institution's librarians often appear on the school's or university's website. Alternatively, contact the library directly for a recipient. Begin the letter by introducing yourself and why you're writing to the hiring manager. Express your excitement for the position by using the workplace's name with adjectives like thrilled and delighted. Personalising your letter highlights a genuine interest in the open position, making your cover letter more memorable.
3. Link yourself to the open position
Use the first paragraph to link yourself to the open position by describing why the organisation appeals to you, such as dedication to accessibility, democracy or educational freedom. For example, you might identify with a library's commitment to early childhood development by inviting weekly guest readers. Alternatively, the library might show dedication to the community by hosting various gatherings for different age groups, such as book clubs or poetry writing. Other positive areas are proximity to where you study if you're still in education or progressive opportunities like mentorship programs.
4. Use tangible results to highlight your experience
Library assistants perform many duties that yield quantifiable results, such as the number of books they release or accept, the number of visitors attending the library or specific groups and the percentage of people joining the library following outreach efforts such as email or print promotions. For instance, if you created a newsletter under the supervision of a senior librarian, discuss the percentage increase in traffic to the library membership webspace it generated.
If you have no direct library experience, use transferable achievements, such as the number of people you attracted to a school-based fundraiser or the customers you assisted in a retail position. Focus on situations you consider achievements to demonstrate your suitability for the role.
5. Prioritise your hard skills
Although highlighting transferable skills shows you can manage your time, communicate with others and stay organised, focusing on some key hard skills can specifically demonstrate your eligibility for library assistant roles. For example, a library assistant typically develops customer service, computer literacy, data management and sales skills. These abilities help you meet customers' needs, update and add information to databases and work with promotional materials by displaying and explaining them to customers. Emphasising your interest in literature also aligns with an assistant's work environment. Expressing your genuine interest in books can encourage employers to visualise you in the role.
6. Express gratitude and restate your interest in the role
Start your final paragraph by thanking the employer for reading your letter and viewing your application. Gratitude shows you respect the reader's time, which is often a valuable trait that employers seek. Next, reaffirm your suitability for the role by highlighting why you believe your skill set can help the employer reach their goals.
For instance, mention your advanced computer literacy and how it can help you fulfil the library's mission of becoming more innovative. Alternatively, state that you want to work in a library to help you expand your literary awareness and qualifications in subjects such as history, English literature and language, archives and record management.
7. End the letter professionally
Close the letter with a call to action, prompting the employer to invite you to an interview or discuss your candidacy further. Start this statement with an action verb like contact, call or discuss. Add your preferred contact method and availability to ensure you receive any communication prospective employers send. On the next line, add a professional salutation and your full name below. Using this format shows you're adept at writing professional correspondence, indicating your ability to write emails and letters to community members.
Library assistant cover letter template
Here's a blank template for a library assistant position:
[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State or Territory]
Dear [Hiring manager's first name] [Hiring manager's last name],
[Express excitement for the position, including the role title and the organisation name.] [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job, how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the organisation.]
[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your resume.] [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible.] [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company.] [Optional: address employment gap or career transition.]
[Express gratitude]. [Summarise qualification]. [Restate interest in role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method].
Library assistant cover letter example
Consider viewing the structure and language of the cover letter example below for inspiration when writing yours:
Jennifer Long, Certificate IV in Library and Information Services (Expected completion, 2024) (08) 5550 2367 | email@example.com | Perth, Western Australia
15 March 2023
Matagarup Bridge Library
Dear Alex Castle,
My name is Jennifer, and I'm a proactive individual. I'm writing to express my enthusiasm for the Library Assistant position at Matagarup Bridge Library. I'm thrilled to apply for this excellent position because I've been a member of the Romantics Literary Club for one year and enjoy the motivational and developmental environment the library embraces. I feel my literary passion, networking skills and interpersonal qualities support a shared goal of promoting educational freedom in the local community.
I'm currently working towards a Certificate IV in Library and Information Services, which has given me an understanding of customer retention strategies, digital record management and public presentation skills. During high school, I built excellent event management and organisation skills by leading a charitable fundraiser at the library that raised $3,000 to upgrade the school's technology. I developed promotional posters and wrote emails using word processing and illustration applications, resulting in over 200 guests attending the event. I also completed an online course focusing on data management and spreadsheet development, proving my ability to maintain records.
Thank you for reviewing my application materials for this exciting position. My commitment to developing technical skills and making a difference in the community would make me an asset to your team. Please contact me at (08) 5550 2367 to discuss this role further. I'm contactable anytime between Monday and Saturday.
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