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PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Librarian

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Working As A Librarian

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Repetitive

  • $60,119

    Average Salary

What Does A Librarian Do

Library technicians and assistants help librarians with all aspects of running a library. They assist patrons, organize library materials and information, and perform clerical and administrative tasks.

Duties

Library technicians and assistants typically do the following:

  • Loan library materials to patrons and collect returned materials
  • Sort and reshelve returned books, periodicals, and other materials
  • Catalogue and maintain library materials
  • Handle interlibrary loans
  • Register new patrons and issue library cards
  • Answer routine reference questions
  • Teach patrons how to find and use library resources
  • Maintain computer databases used to locate library materials
  • Answer the phone, organize files, and perform other routine clerical tasks
  • Help plan and participate in special programs, such as used-book sales, story times, and outreach programs

A librarian usually supervises library technicians and assistants. Library technicians and assistants usually help patrons find information and organize library materials. However, library technicians typically have more responsibilities than do library assistants, such as administering library programs and overseeing lower level staff.

Library technicians and assistants in smaller libraries have a broader range of duties. In larger libraries, they tend to specialize in a particular area, such as user services or technical services. Technicians and assistants specializing in user services assist library patrons with locating resources and information. Those specializing in technical services research, acquire, catalog, and process materials to be added to the library’s collections.

The following are examples of types of library technicians and assistants:

Academic library technicians and assistants help students, faculties, and staff in colleges and universities access resources and information related to coursework or research projects. Some help teach students how to access and use library resources. They may work at service desks for reserve materials, special collections, or computer labs.

Public library technicians and assistants work in community libraries to serve members of the public. They help patrons find books to read for pleasure; assist patrons with their research; and teach patrons how to access the library’s resources. Some technicians in public libraries may help plan programs for users, such as story time for children, book clubs for teens or adults, or other educational or recreational activities.

School library technicians and assistants show students how to find and use library resources, maintain textbook collections, and they help teachers develop curriculum materials.

Special library technicians and assistants work in libraries in government agencies, corporations, museums, law firms, and medical centers. They assist users, search library resources, compile bibliographies, and provide information on subjects of interest to the organization.

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How To Become A Librarian

Most library technicians need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. Library assistants typically need a high school degree and usually learn through short-term on-the-job (OTJ) training.

Education                                                                                               

Most libraries prefer to hire library technicians who have a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree. However, some smaller libraries might hire prospective technicians with only a high school diploma. Certificate and associate’s degree programs in library technology include coursework in acquisitions, cataloguing, circulation, reference, and automated library systems. In some cases, library technicians who work in public schools must meet the same requirements as teacher assistants.

Most library assistants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Library assistants usually receive some short-term OTJ training to learn about libraries and library resources.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Library technicians and assistants need to listen to and understand patrons’ needs, provide clear answers to questions, and teach them how to use library resources.

Detail oriented. Library technicians and assistants must pay close attention to ensure that library materials and information are organized correctly and according to the library’s organizational system. Cataloging and processing library materials also requires attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Library technicians and assistants provide customer service to library patrons and work with librarians, teachers, or researchers.

Technology skills. Library technicians and assistants use computers to help patrons research topics. They also use technology to maintain the library’s database of collections.

Advancement

Library technicians and assistants can advance as they assume additional responsibilities in other areas of the library. Some eventually become supervisors and oversee daily library operations. To become a librarian, technicians and assistants need to earn a master’s degree in library science.

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Librarian jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Research Librarian 4.7 years
School Librarian 4.1 years
Medical Librarian 4.1 years
Systems Librarian 4.1 years
Law Librarian 3.8 years
Tape Librarian 3.6 years
Film Librarian 3.6 years
Library Specialist 3.5 years
Catalog Librarian 3.2 years
Library Associate 3.1 years
Librarian 3.0 years
Digital Librarian 3.0 years
Serials Librarian 3.0 years
Media Librarian 2.9 years
Library Technician 2.8 years
Library Clerk 2.8 years
College Librarian 2.8 years
Museum Librarian 2.5 years
Music Librarian 2.3 years
Record Librarian 2.2 years
Library Assistant 2.1 years
Library Aide 2.0 years
Outreach Librarian 2.0 years
Librarian Helper 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 12.9%
Teacher 9.3%
Volunteer 6.0%
Cashier 5.9%
Secretary 2.9%
Assistant 2.2%
Instructor 2.1%
Top Employers After
Teacher 8.4%
Internship 8.2%
Cashier 7.9%
Volunteer 6.2%
Manager 3.3%
Secretary 3.0%
Instructor 3.0%
Tutor 2.9%
Associate 2.7%

Librarian Demographics

Gender

Female

67.5%

Male

29.6%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

77.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

2.1%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.9%

French

15.8%

German

6.3%

Mandarin

6.2%

Chinese

5.9%

Russian

3.9%

Italian

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Japanese

2.9%

Cantonese

2.0%

Portuguese

1.9%

Hindi

1.7%

Korean

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Turkish

0.6%
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Librarian Education

Schools

San Jose State University

10.2%

University of North Texas

9.2%

Wayne State University

7.1%

University of Phoenix

6.8%

Florida State University

6.4%

Drexel University

6.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.6%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.4%

University of Arizona

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.9%

Texas Woman's University

3.8%

University of South Florida

3.8%

Simmons College

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.7%

Emporia State University

3.7%

Dominican University

3.4%

University of Kentucky

3.4%

Kent State University

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%
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Majors

Library Science

18.7%

Library Science And Administration

13.2%

Business

10.8%

English

6.1%

Psychology

5.0%

Education

4.7%

Elementary Education

4.4%

Information Sciences

4.2%

History

4.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

3.6%

Accounting

3.4%

Music

3.1%

Fine Arts

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Political Science

2.2%

Biology

2.2%

Computer Science

2.1%

Communication

2.1%
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Degrees

Masters

32.3%

Bachelors

32.3%

Other

19.8%

Associate

7.4%

Certificate

4.5%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.2%
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Internship
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Real Librarian Salaries

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 -
$106,514
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 -
$64,600
Librarian (Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies) New York University New York, NY Feb 01, 2013 $58,000
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
Health Sciences Clinical Education Librarian The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Oct 28, 2014 $50,090
Japanese Studies Librarian Washington University In St. Louis Saint Louis, MO Jul 01, 2014 $50,000
Librarians Cornell University Ithaca, NY Mar 25, 2014 $50,000
Librarian I Wayne State University Detroit, MI Apr 20, 2016 $50,000
Librarians Cornell University Ithaca, NY Nov 07, 2013 $50,000

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Top Skills for A Librarian

OnlineDatabasesLibraryMaterialsOnlineCatalogCustomerServiceCollectionDevelopmentInternetReferenceServicesInformationLiteracyLibraryServicesInterlibraryLoanElectronicResourcesLibrarySystemLibraryResourcesSuperviseLibraryCollectionLibraryWebsiteReferenceQuestionsCirculationDeskLibraryPatronsPublicLibrary

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Top Librarian Skills

  1. Online Databases
  2. Library Materials
  3. Online Catalog
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Instructed public in the use of online databases and the Internet.
  • Cataloged and classified library materials.
  • Instruct library patrons in the use of the online catalog, electronic databases, Internet resources and other library materials.
  • Provided customer service and assistance with literature and online searches.
  • Manage all facets of Library, research, collection development, cataloging, ordering and budget.

Top Librarian Employers

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Day in the Life of a Librarian

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A Day in the Life of a Librarian Bloopers

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