Become a Librarian

Embark on the journey to become a librarian: discover pathways, educational resources, and insights into the profession.
A librarian in the library

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What is your passion? Are you fascinated by art, biology, business, technology? Combine your passion with a desire to help others and become a librarian!

Librarians work in various settings, including public libraries, colleges, universities, schools, museums, hospitals, and businesses. They research, instruct, and connect people to technology. They also build websites, digitize archives, and manage social media. Librarians work with people of all ages, connecting them to information, learning, and the community.

Learn more about working in a . . .

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These days a librarian does a lot more than check out materials and shelve books. Technology expert, information detective, literacy expert, trainer, and community programming coordinator are just a few of the hats a public librarian wears.

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As a collaborator, change agent, and leader, the school librarian develops, promotes and implements a program that will help prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill.

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Academic librarianship is for those who are constantly intellectually curious and who can apply that curiosity to efforts that help increase the knowledge base of the institution for research, teaching, and learning.

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Special libraries offer unique opportunities to work in places such as corporations, hospitals, the military, museums, law firms, advertising agencies, professional associations, private businesses, and the government.

Earnings and Outlook

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Librarians' and library workers' salaries vary according to the individual's qualifications and the type, size, and location of the library. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of librarians in 2023 was $64,370 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also reported that librarian employment is expected to grow by 3 percent between 2022 and 2032. (This is as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations.)

Helpful Links

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Visit for librarians' latest national, state, and local earnings data.

at the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more detailed information about educational requirements, work environment and job outlook for librarians and library workers.

For additional information and resources on salaries for library employees, visit the .

Education

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Requirements. A master's degree in library science (MLS), preferably from an Ƶ (ALA) accredited program, is necessary for most librarian positions in most , , and libraries. may not need an MLS but must meet state teaching requirements.

Choosing an ALA-Accredited Program. Find additional information about how to select a library science program and more resources here: How to Choose a Library Science Program.

Books about Library Careers

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By Priscilla K Shontz & Richard A Murray. Presents descriptions of job responsibilities, education and training, and a typical workday for different types of librarians working in public, academic, school, and special libraries, as well as in jobs . . .

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By Rachel Singer Gordon

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By G. Kim Dority. "This is a book you will turn to again and again throughout your career. With numerous tables, worksheets, lists, and extensive bibliographies . . . it gives you everything you need to begin this journey." --Jacket

Emerging Trends

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has prepared a report entitled “MLIS Skills at Work.” It is an annual snapshot analysis of the latest career trends for information professionals. This report explores the career opportunities for individuals who hold a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. The report indicates that in addition to the title of Librarian, the following list of representative job titles is indicative of the diverse ways library information knowledge is being applied in various professional areas:

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  • Application Developer
  • Archivist
  • Collection Care Technician
  • Communications Specialist/Writer
  • Conflicts Analyst
  • Curator of Oral History
  • Digital Initiatives
  • Program Manager
  • Document/Data Control Analyst
  • Emerging Technology Librarian
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Knowledge Center Head of Operations
  • Library Product Manager
  • Litigation Intelligence Analyst
  • Production and Marketing Specialist
  • Technology Hub Administrator
  • Workflow Analyst/Programmer

Learn more about career options

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Read interviews conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. with library workers in various specialty areas of the library profession.

  • Branch Manager, Free Library of Philadelphia
    Interview conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D, published in the August 2018 issue of the Library Worklife Newsletter.

  • Published in April 2018 issue of Library Worklife Newsletter. It is an interview conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. with Aidy Weeks, Systems Librarian in the Health Sciences Library, within the Library Services Department for Orlando Health.
  • , Library Program Manager at the National Emergency Training Center Library
    interview conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D, published in February 2018 issue of Library Worklife Newsletter.
  • (Along with Ukulele Jam Sessions for Her Patrons!)
    Interview conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. with Bretagne Byrd, Bookmobile Librarian for Lewis & Clark Library, headquartered in Helena, Montana. Published in December 2017 issue of Library Worklife Newsletter.
  • ""
    This article is from the October 2017 issue of the Library Worklife Newsletter. It's an interview conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. with two librarians who work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library in Ohio.
  • " ," from American Libraries Magazine. Ken Haycock and Carla Garner discuss the high-tech, high-touch career opportunities in library and information science and how LIS programs are adapting to meet the changing needs of the industry .