Career Outlook for Librarians
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The average value of the Master degree needed to become a Librarians is $1,036,291.00.
Librarians’ careers are focused on information. Librarians help people to find information. The work they do is rapidly changes as resources are being added all the time. No long just an expert on books and reference materials librarians are able to research and communicate information to the public, businesses and organizations.
Points of Interest
- Librarians don’t spend their days keeping a card catalog in order anymore. They use up-to–date technology to help patrons find the information they need. They are essential in both the public and private sector for finding and classifying information.
- Librarians work in public libraries but they also work for private companies, research institutions, schools, museums, advertising firms and government to organize and research information.
- Although some have predicted the demise of libraries as the internet takes over librarian jobs are actually set to rise as fast as average over the next several years.
Nature of the Work
Librarians do keep books in order but they also do much more. They keep up with the latest resources such as public information, specialized databases, literary trends, and technology to be sure that they can access the information they are searching for in an efficient and thorough manner.
Librarians work in one of three areas of expertise; user services, technical services or administrative services. If a librarian works in a public or school library and is in user services he will help patrons to find the information are looking for. A librarian may also teach others how to research information, use the internet or understand how the library is organized. Librarians who work behind the scenes may be in charge of acquiring new materials for the library. They also classify those materials and decide where they will be placed in the library. Administrative librarians may be in charge of planning library activities for the community, negotiate budgets and contracts, supervise employees and oversee the library funding. A librarian’s day-to-day duties vary depending on the type and size of library where he works. In a small public library a librarian may perform all aspects of a librarian’s job including buying new materials, entering them into a computer system, and helping library users. In a large library at a university or large company a librarian may specialize in one area such as cataloging, acquisitions, reference or even oversee a special collection of materials. Some librarians give classes to adults or provide storytelling for children. Other librarians, media specialists, may set up or maintain databases, or organize computerized information.
The work environment of a librarian varies depending on the kind of library he works in and his duties. A librarian who assists patrons in finding the information they need may find it challenging to deal with the public occasionally. Most librarians work at a computer screen much of the day and may experience issues with eye strain and repetitive movements. In a small library he may need to carry stacks of books and climb ladders to reach upper stacks when re-shelving materials.
One quarter of librarians work part time. Most librarians work normal business hours, possibly with some evening hours during the week. School librarians usually have the same schedule and workdays as teachers. Librarians in business, law or specialized libraries may work extended hours as the work requires.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
Librarians in public, university libraries and specialty libraries are usually expected to have a master’s degree in library science. A school librarian below the university level may not be required to have a master’s degree but they do have to meet the state requirements for a teaching license.
In order to be accepted for a Master’s Degree in Library Science an undergraduate degree is required but it can be in any field of study. The American Library Association accredits 49 university programs. The Master’s program includes the basics of library science, the history or books, censorship, information systems, research, cataloging and communicating with the public. The course of study can be specialized in the area of children’s libraries, organizing and indexing materials, online resources and computer science. The Ph.D. in library and information services is usually needed to be a college professor or to for a top administrative position in a public or university library.
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Most states have certification for librarians that work in public libraries and school libraries. About 20 states require a school librarian to have a Master’s Degree in Library Science or a Master’s Degree in Education with a library science specialization. In some states a librarian must pass a state test for both school and public librarians while in other state certification is voluntary.
Librarians who work in libraries with a specific focus may also need additional education in that area. These areas of concentration may be medicine, science, law, engineering, or foreign language. Continuing education is essential in order to keep up with new technology and resources that become available. Librarians may advance to positions of supervisor, library director, administrative manager or chief information officer. Job Outlook According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics job growth for librarians is expected to be average at about 8%. Because many librarians are expected to retire in the next 10 tens, job opportunities are encouraging. The factors that influence job openings are government budgeting and more electronic resources becoming available. These factors could limit the number of librarians hired. As the public learns to do their own online research, fewer librarians are needed. Also many libraries have made their resources available online instead of requiring patrons to visit the libraries in person. These changes reduce the number of librarians needed in public libraries.
The fastest growing positions for librarians are in specialized libraries, nonprofit organizations, working as consultants and information brokers. Librarians are increasingly hired to gather, analyze, organize, evaluate and communicate large amounts of information for a specific project or organization. Librarians who specialize in classifying, indexing and presenting information for websites and company systems are also hired by organizations.
Jobs for librarians were expected to grow by 8 percent between 2008 and 2018 from 159,900 jobs to 172,400 jobs. This is an average growth rate in comparison to other occupations.
Earnings and Wages
The wages earned by a librarian vary widely. Their compensation depends on where they work their level of responsibility, their specialization and the geographic place where they live. The average salary of a librarian in 2008 was $52,530 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Management level librarians earned the most with an average salary of $84,796. Librarians at local public libraries earned the list with average wages of $47,940. Only about 30 percent of librarians are covered under a union contract.
Librarians’ main job is to provide information to people. Other jobs that use similar sills of organization, analyzing data and communication skills include:
- Museum curators and archivists
- Computer scientists and systems analysts
Sources of Additional Information
Resources for finding out more about a career as a librarian are listed below:
- American Library Association, www.ala.org
- American Association of Law Libraries, www.aallnet.org
- Special Libraries Association, www.sla.org
- Medical Library Association, www.mlanet.org
- State governments can furnish the information about licensure, testing and also the requirements for a school librarian.
People with the educational background, skills, and desire to become a Librarians might be well suited to work in one of the following fields as well: