How To Become a Librarian

How To Become a Librarian

If you have a passion for sharing knowledge and cultures with others, you might enjoy being a librarian. Librarians give people access to the services and resources they need to expand their minds. As an essential part of the community, a librarian has a rewarding job. Find out what steps you need to take to become a librarian.

Understanding What It Means to Be a Librarian

Before you learn how to become a librarian, you should know more about what it means to be a librarian. A librarian is someone who studied library science. In this interdisciplinary field, participants study the way in which information is organized and preserved. Library science

covers all of the following:

  • Library management
  • Information resources
  • Public services
  • How libraries relate to society and culture

If you become a librarian, you’ll be a trained professional who works in either a library or an information center. You give people access to services and resources within the facility. Typically, librarians manage books, journals, and digital materials. If a guest needs help, the librarian is there to guide them.

Other Services

Being a librarian is more than just helping guests pick out books. As a librarian, you can expect to develop policies and procedures. You may also teach classes on various topics. On a frequent basis, you might be responsible for getting new materials for the library.

Sometimes, librarians play a part in marketing their services to the community. You could be involved in community outreach or social media campaigns. It’s worth noting that your duties depend on the type of librarian you are.

Types of Librarians

There are several different types of librarians. A public librarian is someone who works in a library that’s open to everyone. Oftentimes, they provide programs for kids and adults and help with research. These librarians focus on helping their community.

Meanwhile, an academic librarian works within a college or university. They offer services to both students and staff members on the campus. At larger institutions, academic librarians have a specialty in a subject. For instance, one might specialize in law or science.

School librarians work in elementary, middle, or high school. Much like academic librarians, school librarians work with both students and teachers. In addition to managing their library, an academic librarian teaches students how to research and promotes reading.

Another type of librarian is a digital librarian. As a digital librarian, you manage ebooks, online databases, and digital archives. You might design preservation strategies and help others learn how to do digital research.

What You Should Know About Being a Librarian

There are a few things you should know about becoming a librarian. First, you should know that it requires extensive education. To be a librarian, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. On average, a bachelor’s degree takes four years to obtain. The master’s degree takes anywhere from one to two years.

Before landing your first job as a librarian, you may want some work experience. This adds one to two years to the process. But usually, it takes between five and six years to fulfill all the requirements. If you only study part-time, the process takes longer.

Secondly, you should know about the average salary of a librarian. Although the salary varies by specialty and location, the average salary is around $60,000. The salary range varies dramatically though, so you should research the average salary in your desired zip code and specialty.

What You Need to Do to Become a Librarian

If you want to be a librarian, you need to start with the education requirements. You should first decide which specialty you want because the requirements vary based on that. In some states, librarians need to hold a teaching certification.

Regardless of your specialty, you need a bachelor’s degree in English, education, or history. Then, you need to obtain a master’s degree in library science. Some programs require very specific majors and courses, so you should research programs before you start your undergraduate program.

A master’s in library science program takes between one and two years. Generally, the program covers things like:

Library administration


Collection management.

Reference services

The majority of library science programs require students to do an internship or fieldwork. With this direct experience, you can be more prepared for your career. You can use your internship on your resume to help you get your first job in the industry.

Other Requirements

In some cases, librarians need to have professional certifications. The industry is always changing and the requirements sometimes change with it. If you attend conferences and take continuing education courses, you can remain current in your chosen field.

When determining which requirements you need, consider both the type of librarian you want to be and the location. Some states have more lax requirements, while others are stricter. For instance, school librarians usually need to have a teacher’s certification. You might also need to pass a PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist Test.

Getting Your First Job

Once you meet the educational requirements, you can start job hunting. Finding a job as a librarian is no different than finding a job in any other role. Before you can start applying for jobs, you need to have a strong resume. Research the resumes of other librarians and follow resume-writing tips.

After you create your resume, use your network to look for jobs. If you had an internship, reach out to your supervisor and let them know that you’re looking for work. Ask your friends and former teachers if they know of any job openings. Sometimes, you can get a job without even looking for one.

In addition to utilizing your network, you should also search for jobs online. You’ll have better luck if you’re willing to relocate for the job, but you might be able to find something local. Use your favorite job search website to find open positions and apply for the jobs. If you put effort into your cover letter and customize your resume for each job listing, you improve your chances of getting an offer. With a little effort, you could be a librarian shortly after you graduate.

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