Librarian

Image  by Media Mike Hazard from Flickr

If you love books, then being a librarian is the perfect job for you. Not only will you get to read all the new releases first, but you will have the old but good ones around you too.

Librarians have an amazing job in that they help not only the patrons find their books, but they get to be around all the resources. Their jobs are different than that of the past librarians when card catalogs were used to find the books. You will be surprised at all their jobs entail in this day and age.

What Is a Librarian?

They are a human version of a Google search engine. With a librarians help, they will show you where the references are within the library as well as the sites to look on for more data. Having that human interaction is good because they can observe when you might need more data. With their keen skills, they can narrow down what you are confused about and find more information to help you. Some are educated in specific areas of expertise and will not only get you the information but possibly sit and explain it to you as well.

 What Is the Job Outlook for Librarians?

Librarians have a few steps to do before heading off to get that dream job at the local library. While you might know a lot about books, this will not be enough when applying for the job. Before we talk salary and all things financial, let’s look at what education and experience you need to land a librarian position.

Find Out What Kind of Librarian You Want to Be

library

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This is a great introductory step in deciding if this is the right position for you. This type of research is fun and can be done at your local library. It will give you a chance to meet your librarian and get their help on where to look for this information. There are a lot of different kinds of librarians to choose from, so you will need to know what each of them does. Here are some to consider: Public, University, School, Digital, Law, or even managing a branch.


Education Needed

There are two degrees needed to become a librarian. You will need a bachelor’s degree and an MLS/MLIS degree. Here’s an explanation of what is needed within those degrees.


Bachelor’s degree - It is good to have a bachelor’s degree in a field that is relevant to a library position. This would be, for example, a degree in library science or in education as it pertains to teaching.  There is no defined area of what type of bachelor’s degree you need; those are merely suggestions.


MLS/MLIS– MLS stands for Master of Library Studies and Master of Library and Information Science. These are slightly different degrees, so it all depends on the program that you choose. The original MLS degree doesn’t have a set area that you specialize in, so you might want to choose MLIS instead. This degree allows you to work in the library that is in your specified area of knowledge.


In deciding between these two, you need to know what your career goals are and line them up with your degree. They both can be learned online once you choose the best degree for you. But, no matter which one you choose, make sure that you are getting it from an accredited online college.


Gain Work Experience

This is an excellent way to get to know your own library. After all, your local library might be the perfect one to work for. Score some brownie points and get your MLIS degree at the same time. It will also be a great thing to put on your resume when applying. If this doesn’t work for you financially, meaning you need more pay as you go to school, then try volunteering there. That way you can still use them as a reference.

Verify What You Need in Regards to Any Other Credentials

library filled with books

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This is important in that your area might require that you have additional testing or certification. You need to know this so that you have all your ducks in a row when completing your program.


Salary

This is an area that we all want to know, especially when we are dedicating a lot of time studying to become a librarian. We want to make sure that there is money in this field of work that will support us.


From 2016 to 2026, the expected growth in librarian positions is nine percent. This tends to be the norm with all jobs, so at least you know there is job security. Salary amounts, as you know depends on what state you live in. These numbers are the average range, but you should research more specific ones online should you decide to go into this field.


Expected annual salaries for a librarian range from $53,000-$73,000. The average salary is about $62,000. As with any job, the more you have credential wise, the better the pay. So, arm yourself with other skills that will set you apart from the average applicant. Knowledge of computers, IT experience, ability to research, public speaking, event planning, budgeting, and organizing experience will help put you above other applicants.

Interesting Facts about Librarians

man sitting and reading a book inside the libarary

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The librarian of yesterday is nothing like the one at your branch today. They are skilled in different areas, and they are not just sitting there waiting for you to ask where to find a book.  You’d be surprised at all the things that they do behind the scenes that you might take for granted. Here are some facts you might find interesting.


They Work with Your Child’s School and Community



Did you know that they actually go to the local schools and find out what projects are being assigned or what subjects are being covered? That's right. They meet with teachers and find out what is on the curriculum so they can get the resources together at the library. So, when your child comes in, all the materials he/she needs are readily available. This also means that any websites are researched beforehand by the librarian so that the student can find the data quickly.


In addition to working with patrons, they also work with the families in the communities by providing activities that they all can do together. They work with young toddlers all the way to teenagers and provide a safe place to learn and grow.


Some are Writers

Whether it is for the library newsletter, blog, or just on their own, they are writers. This would make sense considering they love books so much.


They Plan Events

Have you ever seen an event at your library like a book festival or a reading program? These are all coordinated by the librarian. They make sure that the library continues to create new ways to get people excited to read and learn. Other events that they do are crafts, concerts, booking the performers, and designing themes to name a few.


Promoters and Performers

One of the great perks of being a librarian is to be the first to read a new book. They get to do this regularly. If they like it, then they promote it to those that come to the library. This gets parents and their children excited about reading and knowing that the librarian has read it makes it even more special.


The love for stories doesn’t just stop at the classic read aloud. They still do that, but there is so much more that they do now. When they love a story, they want to tell it, sing it, or perform parts of it to get you interested. Some even venture to do it outside of the library at parties. They truly love to be a storyteller in all aspects of the word.


Detective Agents

Well, maybe not enlisted in the FBI or anything, but they are good detectives. Ask them to find you something and watch how fast they do. If you don't know the name of a book but have a description of what it was about, she could find it. Or, if you needed to know more about Greek methodology and wanted a legitimate site to search for it on, they would know how to locate it. They might not have a badge, but they do know their stuff like a real detective.

Conclusion

librarian

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The librarian of yesterday has been replaced by a human research engine. They are well educated and some even have experience in different fields of study. This makes the librarian an asset to any type of library with their expertise in finding materials that will help someone.

The other benefit that isn’t always noticed, but should be, is their love of books and getting others to read them.  They really shine when they plan out ways to encourage interest in reading. Planning events, parties, social time, story time, just to name a few, are all done by the librarian of a library. They know how to promote their love for books. No computer or marketing department could do it as well as a librarian.  This is where we find that the book is mightier than the computer.