Sometimes referred to as information professionals, librarians are responsible for acquiring, organizing, managing, promoting, and distributing various library resources to meet the diverse needs of the community.
Often tasked with many or all aspects of the operations needed to make a library run smoothly, librarians are essential for providing assistance to individuals conducting research for personal or professional uses.
Daily Duties for Librarians:
- Assisting patrons of the library with finding the information they need
- Conducting classes about how to search through reference materials for resources
- Organizing library materials in easy-to-use collections by subjects
- Developing databases of library resources
- Planning programs for various audiences, including storytelling time for children or book clubs
- Researching new books, audio books, videos, references, and other materials to expand the library’s collections
- Directing library technicians, assistants, volunteers, and other library support staff
- Buying new computers or other equipment needed for library search services
- Promoting the use of the library through displays, community events, or talks
Librarian Job Description
What do librarians do? The daily duties of a librarian will change drastically based on the type of library where he or she has found employment. While those in small libraries are often responsible for all aspects of the library’s operations, librarians in larger libraries may focus their work in user, administrative, or technical services. Librarians are usually found working in elementary or secondary schools, public community libraries, colleges, professional schools, hospitals, or government libraries.
Most librarians are employed on full-time schedules, but it is estimated that around a quarter of information professionals work part-time. Librarians in special governmental or corporate libraries typically work during normal business hours, but those in public or academic libraries must work on weekends and evenings. School librarians usually follow the same work schedule as teachers with holiday vacations and a summer break.
Skills Needed to Be a Librarian
Due to the complexity of library referencing systems, it is typically required that librarians have at least a master’s degree in library science (MLS). All librarians must possess comprehensive knowledge in selecting library materials, organizing information, research methods or strategies, program development, online reference databases, and Internet search methods.
In order to conduct their daily duties, successful librarians must also have exceptional communication skills to explain information to patrons, computer skills for assisting with online research, problem-solving skills to draw conclusions based on information found, and reading skills. Since technologies and resources are consistently evolving, librarians should also have initiative to continually stay up-to-date on the latest literature in their field specialization.