What Are the Job Duties of a Librarian?

Librarians manage information and resources and help people locate and utilize information. Most librarians work in user services, technical services or administrative services. Read the following article for a full description of the job duties of a librarian. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Librarians keep current on resources and literature, and select publications for the library's collection. They require a knowledgeable command of numerous information sources to select appropriate material for a library. A librarian categorizes, prepares, and catalogs these materials. Librarians also recommend material, and help individuals find the information that they need. They analyze and organize collections by subject. They educate individuals on how to use the library systems to find the information they need. Librarians may also conduct special programs or classes. Other duties include participation in grant writing and fundraising. Librarians can specialize in:

  • User Services: User services librarians help individuals find and use library materials and resources.
  • Technical Services: Technical services librarians work behind the scenes, obtaining and classifying resources for the library. Some might work with or develop computer information storage and retrieval systems.
  • Administration Services: Librarians in administrative services oversee the management of the library.
  • Special Libraries: Government agencies, museums, law firms, corporations, and professional organizations often maintain their own libraries. Librarians at special libraries collect, analyze, and help others use information specific to the organization.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required EducationMaster's degree
Professional CertificationSome states require certification to work in public libraries; school librarians need teacher's certification
Key SkillsDemonstrates initiative, excellent reader, good at communication and problem-solving, proficient with computers
Similar OccupationsArchivists, curators, library technicians and assistants

Types of Librarians

Some librarians are trained to work with a specific demographic, such as children, youth, or adults. The type of library they work in, such as those in schools, public libraries, colleges, or other special facilities categorizes many librarians. In large libraries, the librarian might take on an even more specialized function, such as cataloging, acquisitions, reference materials, special collections, bibliography, or administration.

Salary Statistics and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average annual salary earned by librarians in May 2014 was $56,170. Librarians employed by the federal government, aerospace products and parts manufacturing, other financial investment activities and legal services earned the most money in 2014, averaging more than $74,000 a year, per the BLS. The employment of librarians in general is expected to grow by 2% from 2014 to 2024.

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