How To Train To Be A Librarian

Published: 30th March 2010
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Library Science and Information Management is a growing field that needs enthusiastic employees who are dedicated to preserving and protecting data in all its forms. You may not think of a High School Librarian's job as a highly specialized, challenging career, but you're wrong.

All schools employ librarians who select and order books appropriate for their school's student body and their current collection. As a High School librarian, you may find yourself requisitioning audio-visual equipment, new computers, or other materials pertinent to your school's educational program. Your day to day duties may change with the size of the library you work in. In very large libraries, you may work with a sizable staff that includes clerks or technical assistants. In more modest libraries, a head librarian man work alone. In High School, students begin to learn research techniques and as their librarian you are an indispensable resource.

You may hold orientation sessions for individual classes that explain the myriad of technical and traditional library resources available to students, or help individual students by suggesting specific sources. Most libraries have a selection of Audio-Visual and multimedia materials. Some are educational in nature, others, recreational. Perhaps a faculty member wishes to show a biopic on Vincent Van Gogh - it's your job to ensure that film is available for check out, and in working order.

Often in schools, librarians will set up attractive displays focused on a theme pertinent to their students' education. You may find yourself working on a selection of literature appropriate for Black History Month, or arranging a display of poetry to honor Emily Dickinson.

Of course, all this takes training, and attending a university accredited by the American Library Association is your first step. Earn a Master's Degree in Library Science or Information Management, and pick a specialty. You may decide that elementary schools attract you more than a traditional library or other academic environment, and many ALA certified colleges and universities have special programs to prepare interested students for Elementary Librarianship.

If you have a Bachelor's with a strong concentration in a specific field, like Art History, or Media Studies, there are also programs which offer Master's degrees that train you for work as a Media Librarian, or as a head of a museum's special collections. You can take additional courses in conservation to help preserve rare books, or sometimes earn a dual Master's degree in Art to aid your career.

A librarian doesn't have to sit behind a desk and read all day - librarianship is an exciting career choice that provides opportunities for growth financially, intellectually, and bibliophilic-ally!

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