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What Does it Take to Be a Librarian?

Librarian Definition Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers’ advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.

Daily Life Of a Librarian

  • Perform public relations work for the library, such as giving televised book reviews and community talks.
  • Assemble and arrange display materials.
  • Provide input into the architectural planning of library facilities.
  • Develop library policies and procedures.
  • Direct and train library staff in duties, such as receiving, shelving, researching, cataloging, and equipment use.
  • Compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio-visual materials on particular subjects.

Librarian Skills

When polled, Librarians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Other Librarian Job Titles

  • Library Associate
  • Special Collections Librarian
  • Film Librarian
  • Classifier
  • Catalog Librarian

Is There Job Demand for Librarians?

In the United States, there were 138,200 jobs for Librarian in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 12,400 new jobs for Librarian by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 14,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Librarians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Librarian are Utah, Nevada, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maine, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Librarians Make A Lot Of Money?

Librarians make between $34,630 and $93,050 a year.

Salary Ranges for Librarians

Librarians who work in District of Columbia, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Librarians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $54,470
Alaska $71,180
Arizona $49,240
Arkansas $53,310
California $81,580
Colorado $63,960
Connecticut $70,710
Delaware $70,820
District of Columbia $85,330
Florida $57,340
Georgia $60,650
Hawaii $67,800
Idaho $44,630
Illinois $57,680
Indiana $47,870
Iowa $47,690
Kansas $45,580
Kentucky $58,440
Louisiana $52,540
Maine $51,010
Maryland $72,470
Massachusetts $70,860
Michigan $51,780
Minnesota $64,550
Mississippi $46,400
Missouri $53,450
Montana $50,870
Nebraska $51,070
Nevada $69,390
New Hampshire $56,360
New Jersey $67,700
New Mexico $51,650
New York $68,520
North Carolina $55,020
North Dakota $55,250
Ohio $55,090
Oklahoma $44,270
Oregon $63,450
Pennsylvania $57,530
Rhode Island $69,010
South Carolina $57,650
South Dakota $41,480
Tennessee $55,010
Texas $60,810
Utah $50,790
Vermont $48,370
Virginia $69,480
Washington $71,780
West Virginia $41,560
Wisconsin $57,330
Wyoming $55,100

Tools & Technologies Used by Librarians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Librarians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • LexisNexis

How do I Become a Librarian?

Learn what Librarian education requirements there are.

Librarian Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Librarian Work Experience

Where Librarians Are Employed

Librarian Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Librarian Industries

Those who work as a Librarian sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Diliff via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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