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Deal with People
Librarians help people find information and conduct research for personal and professional use. Their job duties may change based on the type of library they work in, such as public, school, and medical libraries.Duties
Librarians typically do the following:
In small libraries, librarians are often responsible for many or all aspects of library operations. They may manage a staff of library assistants and technicians.
In larger libraries, librarians usually focus on one aspect of library work, including user services, technical services, or administrative services.
The following are examples of types of librarians:
User services librarians help patrons conduct research using both electronic and print resources. These librarians also teach patrons how to use library resources to find information on their own. This may include familiarizing patrons with catalogs of print materials, helping them access and search digital libraries, or educating them on Internet search techniques. Some user services librarians work with a particular audience, such as children or young adults.
Technical services librarians obtain, prepare, and organize print and electronic library materials. They arrange materials to make it easy for patrons to find information. They are also responsible for ordering new library materials and archiving to preserve older items.
Administrative services librarians manage libraries. They hire and supervise staff, prepare budgets, and negotiate contracts for library materials and equipment. Some conduct public relations or fundraising for the library.
Librarians who work in different settings sometimes have different job duties.
Academic librarians assist students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities. They help students research topics related to their coursework and teach students how to access information. They also assist faculty and staff in locating resources related to their research projects or studies. Some campuses have multiple libraries, and librarians may specialize in a particular subject.
Public librarians work in their communities to serve all members of the public. They help patrons find books to read for pleasure; conduct research for schoolwork, business, or personal interest; and learn how to access the library’s resources. Many public librarians plan programs for patrons, such as story time for children, book clubs, or other educational activities.
School librarians, sometimes called school media specialists, work in elementary, middle, and high school libraries, and teach students how to use library resources. They also help teachers develop lesson plans and find materials for classroom instruction.
Special librarians work in settings other than school or public libraries. They are sometimes called information professionals. Law firms, hospitals, businesses, museums, government agencies, and many other groups have their own libraries that use special librarians. The main purpose of these libraries and information centers is to serve the information needs of the organization that houses the library. Therefore, special librarians collect and organize materials focused on those subjects. The following are examples of special librarians:
Most librarians need a master’s degree in library science. Some positions have additional requirements, such as a teaching certificate or a degree in another field.Education
Most employers require librarians to have a master’s degree in library science (MLS). Students need a bachelor’s degree in any major to enter MLS programs.
MLS programs usually take 1 to 2 years to complete. Coursework typically covers selecting library materials, organizing information, research methods and strategies, online reference systems, and Internet search methods.
A degree from an American Library Association accredited program may lead to better job opportunities. Some colleges and universities have other names for their library science programs, such as Master of Information Studies or Master of Library and Information Studies.
Librarians working in a special library, such as a law, medical, or corporate library, usually supplement a master’s degree in library science with knowledge of their specialized field. Some employers require special librarians to have a master’s degree, a professional degree, or a Ph.D. in that subject. For example, a law librarian may be required to have a law degree or a librarian in an academic library may need a Ph.D.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Public school librarians typically need a teacher’s certification. Some states require librarians to pass a standardized test, such as the PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist test. A list of requirements by state and contact information for state regulating boards is available from Libraries Unlimited.
Some states also require certification for librarians in public libraries. Requirements vary by state. Contact your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Librarians need to be able to explain ideas and information in ways that patrons and users understand.
Initiative. New information, technology, and resources constantly change the details of what librarians do. They must be able and willing to continually update their knowledge on these changes to be effective at their jobs in the varying circumstances.
Interpersonal skills. Librarians must be able to work both as part of a team and with the public or with researchers
Problem-solving skills. Librarians conduct and assist with research. This requires being able to identify a problem, figure out where to find information, and draw conclusions based on the information found.
Reading skills. Librarians must be excellent readers. Those working in special libraries are expected to continually read the latest literature in their field of specialization.
Technology skills. Librarians use technology to help patrons research topics. They also use computers to classify resources, create databases, and perform administrative duties.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Librarian
Top Careers After Librarian
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.7%
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San Jose State University10.2%
University of North Texas9.2%
Wayne State University7.1%
University of Phoenix6.8%
Florida State University6.4%
University of Pittsburgh -5.6%
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee4.4%
University of Arizona4.3%
University of Maryland - College Park3.9%
Indiana University Bloomington3.9%
Texas Woman's University3.8%
University of South Florida3.8%
State University of New York Buffalo3.7%
Emporia State University3.7%
University of Kentucky3.4%
Kent State University3.3%
University of Texas at Austin3.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Oracle Clinical Librarian||Advanced Clinical Holdings Inc.||East Hanover, NJ||Sep 09, 2013||$121,046|
|Oracle Clinical Librarian||Advanced Clinical Holdings, LLC||Deerfield, IL||Dec 17, 2015||$120,640|
|Librarian (Systems & Technology)||Foothill-de Anza Community College District||Los Altos Hills, CA||Jan 12, 2016||$100,865|
|Librarian||University of California, Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||Dec 01, 2014||$83,674|
|Head Librarian||The Brearley School||New York, NY||Sep 09, 2015||$82,200|
|Librarian 2||The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University||Stanford, CA||Jan 14, 2016||$81,035|
|Librarian||University of Massachusetts Dartmouth||Dartmouth, MA||Jan 16, 2014||$80,813 -
|Librarian II (Basque Studies Librarian)||University of Nevada, Reno||Reno, NV||Sep 01, 2015||$80,000|
|Librarians||French Cultural Center||Boston, MA||Mar 14, 2014||$78,790|
|Librarian II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Apr 28, 2015||$78,453|
|Librarian II||The University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 01, 2015||$78,453|
|Librarian||The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr.||Stanford, CA||Jan 14, 2013||$75,000|
|Librarian||University of Kentucky||Lexington, KY||Aug 01, 2013||$74,500|
|Librarians||University of Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||Mar 05, 2014||$61,922|
|Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian||New York University||New York, NY||Jan 02, 2016||$61,696|
|Librarian||Lycee Francais de Chicago||Chicago, IL||Sep 03, 2015||$61,500|
|Librarian||Middlesex Community College||Middletown, CT||Jan 09, 2015||$61,255|
|Japanese Studies Librarian||The University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||May 19, 2016||$60,863|
|Librarians||Holy Names University||Oakland, CA||Sep 17, 2013||$58,000 -
|Librarian (Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies)||New York University||New York, NY||Feb 01, 2013||$58,000|
|Librarian I||Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||Apr 01, 2016||$52,000|
|Librarian I||Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||Apr 06, 2015||$52,000|
|Librarians||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, TX||Mar 04, 2014||$51,438|
|Japanese Studies Librarian||Washington University In St. Louis||Saint Louis, MO||Dec 01, 2014||$51,000|
|Japanese Studies Librarian||Washington University In St. Louis||Saint Louis, MO||Jul 01, 2014||$50,000|
|Librarians||Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||Nov 07, 2013||$50,000|
|Librarian I||Wayne State University||Detroit, MI||Apr 20, 2016||$50,000|
|Librarians||Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||Mar 25, 2014||$50,000|
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