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What does a Librarian do?

Learn all about Librarian duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Librarian.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

Librarians are responsible for the acquisition, cataloguing, and maintenance of library collections. They also provide reference and information services to library patrons.

Librarian job duties include:

  • Acquires and processes library materials according to established procedures.
  • Maintains accurate records of all library materials.
  • Shelves library materials in appropriate locations.
  • Assists patrons with locating library materials.
  • Checks library materials out to patrons.
  • Collects fines for overdue or damaged library materials.
  • Performs regular maintenance on library equipment.
  • Keeps the library clean and organized.
  • Assists with planning and implementing library programs.
  • Writes reports as needed.

Librarian Job Requirements

Librarians typically need a master’s degree in library science. Some librarians have a law degree or a master’s degree in information science, which can be helpful for working with legal documents or electronic resources. Many library science programs include coursework in information technology, and some librarians also pursue certification in specific computer applications or systems. In addition to formal education, librarians must be able to stay current with new technologies and developments in the field. They also must be able to effectively communicate with staff and patrons.

Librarian Skills

  • Cataloguing
  • Classification
  • Research
  • Reference
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Information literacy
  • Collection development
  • Outreach
  • Programming
  • Grant writing
  • Fundraising

Related: Top Librarian Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Librarian

There are many reasons you might want to become a librarian. Maybe you love books and reading, or perhaps you’re interested in research and helping people find the information they need. Whatever your reasons, if you’re thinking about becoming a librarian, there are a few things you should know.

First, it’s important to understand that there are different types of librarians. Some work in public libraries, while others work in schools, colleges, or universities. There are also special librarians who work in hospitals, law firms, or government agencies. Each type of library has its own unique challenges and rewards.

If you’re interested in becoming a librarian, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While you’re completing your undergraduate studies, be sure to take courses in literature, writing, history, and research. These will give you the foundation you need for a successful career as a librarian.

Once you have your degree, the next step is to obtain a master’s degree in library science from an accredited institution. This advanced degree will prepare you for the challenges of working in a library, including managing collections, providing reference services, and using technology to support research.

After you have your degrees, the next step is to find a job! Many librarians start their careers working as library assistants or technicians before moving into more advanced positions. Once you have some experience under your belt, you may decide to specialize in a particular area of library science such as children’s services or technical services.

No matter what type of librarian you want to become, remember that helping people find the information they need is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job!

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