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All About Librarians

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.

Life As a Librarian

  • Plan and deliver client-centered programs and services, such as special services for corporate clients, storytelling for children, newsletters, or programs for special groups.
  • Author or publish professional articles, internal documents, and instructional materials.
  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons' reference questions.
  • Engage in professional development activities, such as taking continuing education classes and attending or participating in conferences, workshops, professional meetings, and associations.
  • Compile lists of overdue materials and notify borrowers that their materials are overdue.
  • Complete minor repairs and cleaning of library resources, equipment, and facilities, such as dusting and fixing printer paper jams.

What Every Librarian Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Librarians say are important on the job.

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.

  • Elementary Librarian
  • Access Services Librarian
  • Research Librarian
  • Librarian
  • Visual Education Director

Are There Job Opportunities 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. The BLS estimates 14,500 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Average Librarians Salary

The typical yearly salary for Librarians is somewhere between $34,630 and $93,050.

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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

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Librarians may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming a Librarian

What education or degrees do I need to become a Librarian?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Librarian?

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Where do Librarians Work?

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

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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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