A Career in Librarianship

Being a Librarian can go a long way in serving your community while you get paid good money for it.As strange as it may sound, librarians earn a good salary and librarianship is one the rarest and most sought after skills that exist in the entire world.

If you are like me you probably have wondered how someone became a librarian or a library assistant or even an Archivist. To answer this question now, I can reliably tell you that 99.9 percent of people being employed to work in libraries happened by chance and sheer opportunity.

What Librarians do

Librarians or Information workers, Select, Acquire and organize a

vast amount of information , and make this information and its sources

available as efficiently as possible and wherever needed.A direct

service to the user consists of answering of inquiries :

A typical library consists of the following departments or sections :

Ordering or acquisition = Buying or getting books.

Cataloging and classification = Putting books on shelves .

Registration of users = Capturing user IDs and Residential addresses and other contact details to keep records of who borrowed library material or giving them an internet pin.

Lending or circulation= Loaning books out to users.

Information and reference = Guiding a user on which books or library material to use to gain information on a particular subject. This also involved getting books from shelves or searching the web to give information to users. A library reference section can include Encyclopedias , Dictionaries ,Magazines and Journals.

In large libraries and information centers the different kinds of

information may be handled in separate departments , but in small

libraries the same member of staff usually perform all the tasks. Some

libraries are aimed at a certain type of user e.g Public , University

, College  and  School . Other libraries are those that are those

found in individual research institutions , state departments ,

Commercial firms and associations.

The Workplace of a Librarian

Libraries in general consist of :

A  counter  or a table to serve the users or the public (Issue  Desk)

– Offices with computers .

– Storerooms for books.

– Computer LAN

– A small kitchen .

– Rest Rooms.

– Adult section.

– Children section ( with books and toys ) .

– Some librarians are expected to travel to  , schools , hospitals ,

correctional institutions and  commercial firms. Some librarians may

also operate mobile libraries .

Instruments and Tools of a Librarian

– Books .

– Magazines.

– Newspapers .

– Records .

– Tapes.

– Television Sets.

– Video Tapes .

– CDs

– Computers.

– Internet .

– Video Projectors  ( For Presentations ) .

– Banners .

– Micro-graphics .

– Cards .

– Catalogs.

– Filming Systems .

– Petty Cash for collected fines .

Pros and Cons of Librarianship

Pros :

– Helping others locate information .

– Keeping up with the latest books and periodicals .

– There is a variety of work that librarians do.

– Working without supervision .

– Plenty of time at hand which means you can study or learn a new skill

while employed. This depends on the type of library you work for.

Cons :

– Some routine duties .

– Working evenings  (Especially if you work for Universities and Colleges ).

– Working weekends in some situations.

– Job Opportunities

– Being a librarian is still considered a scarce skill in many countries

around the world.This means that you are guaranteed a job once you

finish your university or college  studies.

– Earning Potential

– You can earn a decent living working as a librarian.Some librarians

earn a better salary than teachers  and nurses.

How to prepare to become a librarian

– Learn how cataloging works .

– Learn how library systems work .

– Volunteer at your area library .

– Ask your local librarian  to obtain first hand information about the occupation.

– Be willing to help people .

– Personality traits of a Librarian

– Fond of books .

– Systematic , Accurate and Responsible .

– Enjoy reading .

– Enjoy working with information and people .

– Aptitude for organisation and Management.

What should You study to become a Librarian

(You can pick one of the following qualifications ) .

– Business Management .

– Information Science .

– Informatics .

– Communications .

– Library and Information Science .

– Information storage and Retrieval .

– Library and Information Technology .

– End User Computing .

– Bachelor of Information Systems.

– Bachelor of Information Science.

– Bachelor of Library and Information Science.

– National Diploma: Library and Information Studies.

– Bachelor of Library and Information Science; Diploma: Specialized

– Education (School Library Science).

– Bachelor of Information Systems.

– National Diploma: Library and Information Studies.

How long do these Courses Take to Complete

You can expect to study three  to four years depending on the type of qualification and the institution you choose will determine the length of time it takes to graduate and become a qualified librarian. You can go to this link or click here to learn more about what librarians do and the types of librarian jobs that you can choose from if you decide to become a librarian one day or now.


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