Librarians plan, organise and manage library resources and services. They can work in school or college libraries, public or academic libraries, or learning resource centres. Librarians working in a commercial setting are often called information managers.
Librarians are responsible for the day-to-day running of library services and the role depends on the size and function of the library. Their duties include:
Academic librarians may also:
A librarian's working day is likely to reflect the opening hours of the library in which they work. School librarians would work typical school hours 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Public libraries may open until 9pm some or all evenings, and Saturdays.
Librarians are usually located at a single library but some may work in the community in mobile libraries or on cross-site projects where driving would be essential.
To work as a librarian you should:
To get a foot in as a librarian, a degree in librarianship or information management will stand you in good stead. If you didn't specifically study towards these subjects then a graduate scheme leading to a qualification in this subject is possible too.
If you're already a library assistant you could apply for certified affiliate status, which can lead to work as a librarian.
There are opportunities for librarians throughout the country in all sectors. Although the majority work in public library services but opportunities in the private sector are increasing. Positions are available in further and higher education, government, industry and commerce. CILIP publishes vacancy information for members, graduates and final year undergraduates.
Some graduate librarians may take a job as a library assistant as their first rung on their career ladder. National or local public libraries have a formal promotion structure. In larger libraries, you can be promoted to senior posts with management responsibilities, or be given responsibility for a specialist service or collection. In smaller libraries you may need to be prepared to move for promotion.
If you would like to take those steps and find out more about becoming a librarian but can't find certain information on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
7 Ridgmount Street
Tel: 020 7255 0500
Association for Information Management (ASLIB)
The Holywell Centre
1 Phipp Street
Tel: 020 7613 3031
Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) (formerly FENTO)
St Andrew’s House
18-20 St Andrew Street
Helpline: 020 7936 5798