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How to become a Librarian

Librarians develop and organise collections of information, such as books and electronic records, and also play an important role in helping people to find the information they are looking for. Librarians can work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, archives, museums, and more.

If you are curious and inquisitive, have great organisational and communication skills, and want a career that is always changing and evolving, becoming a librarian could be perfect for you.

What skills do I need as a librarian?

  • Organised & efficient
  • Great communicator
  • Likes to work indoors
  • Helpful & patient
  • Quick thinking & adaptable
  • Technologically literate
  • Great time management skills
  • Can work independently and as part of a team

What tasks can I expect to do?

  • Classify & catalogue library resources & materials
  • Help people access library resources & find information
  • Organise & maintain sources of information, such as books, electronic resources, photographs, & newspapers
  • Manage library systems, such as loan & archival systems, both digital & analogue
  • Source & acquire new additions for the library
  • Supervise & train other library staff
  • Manage library budgets & resources
  • Plan & run library outreach activities & events

What industries do librarians typically work in?

  • Information Media & Telecommunications
  • Education & Training
  • Health Care & Social Assistance

What Career Cluster do librarians belong to?

Because their job involves using their knowledge and skills to educate and advise others, most librarians are Informers.

What kind of lifestyle can I expect?

Most librarians work full-time, though there are some opportunities for part-time and casual work. You will also need to be prepared to work on weekends and occasionally irregular hours.

Most librarians earn an average wage throughout their career.

As a librarian, you will be doing almost all of your work indoors. You’ll need to be on-site to do most of your work, so there are few opportunities to work remotely or from home.

How to become a librarian

To become a librarian, you typically need an accredited bachelor or master’s degree in library or information science, which includes coursework in information organisation, collection development, reference services, and library management.

Additionally, librarians often receive on-the-job training in specific library systems and technologies. If you want to work as a teacher librarian, you will need to hold formal teaching qualifications as well.

If you’re in high school now and are thinking of a career as a librarian in the future, here are some steps you could take:

  • Try to find work experience or volunteer in a library, such as at your local public library or university library. This is a great way to gain some basic skills and find out if it’s a career you’d like to work in.
  • Consider taking short courses and workshops to build on your skills and knowledge.
  • Completing a vocational qualification will allow you to work as a library technician or assistant while you up-skill with a university degree.

Find out more here:

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Australia & Pacific
Asia
UK & Ireland
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North America
South & Central America
Africa

Similar careers to librarian

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Administrator
  • Curator
  • Anthropologist
  • Historian
  • Interpreter
  • Systems Analyst

Find out more about alternative careers.

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