Site:United State Department of Labor – 11/04/2010


This article talks about what librarians do. They work not only helping to find a particular book, but also help people with their research, to find the right documents and specific to it, help with using the internet and makes the community grow with the services offered to the population.

• Librarians use the latest generation to information technology to conduct research and help students and library users finding information.
• The number of librarians is expected to grow as well as job opportunities are favorable, because a large number of librarians will retire in the next decade.

Nature of work

The concept of library is changing, it is not just a place to access paper records or books anymore, but also becomes a place where you can find advanced electronic features, the Internet, digital libraries and access various sources of information. Librarians combine traditional duties with tasks involving technology. Librarians can help people finding information and making use of them. This professional should have variety of fonts, and public and academic information, accompany changes related publications, computers and the media to oversee the selection and arrangement of library materials. Librarians manage people and programs of direct information, and systems to ensure that the information is organized in a good way for their users.
“Librarian positions focus on one of three aspects of library work: user services, technical services, and administrative services. Librarians in user services, such as reference and children's librarians, work with patrons to help them find the information they need. The job involves analyzing users' needs to determine what information is appropriate and searching for, acquiring, and providing the information. The job also includes an instructional role, such as showing users how to find and evaluate information.
Librarians in technical services, such as acquisitions and cataloguing, acquire, prepare, and classify materials so patrons can find it easily. Some write abstracts and summaries. Often, these librarians do not deal directly with the public. Librarians in administrative services oversee the management and planning of libraries: they negotiate contracts for services, materials, and equipment; supervise library employees; perform public-relations and fundraising duties; prepare budgets; and direct activities to ensure that everything functions properly.” Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)
Many libraries have access to other databases and have their own computerized databases. Librarians develops databases and help users develop research skills. Some libraries are doing consortiums with other libraries to allow users to access a varieties databases and viewing a multiple information from different libraries simultaneously.
Librarians should know how to use the Internet and inform the public about the richness of information they contain.

Librarians are classified according to the type of library where you work: a public library, school library media center, college, university or other academic library or special library.

"Some librarians work with specific groups such as children, youth, adults, or the disadvantaged. Librarians skills with computer systems and information can function as an automated systems librarians, planning and operation of computer systems, and as information architect
, designing storage and retrieval systems and developing procedures to collect, organize, interpret and classify information. " Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)

These librarians analyze and plan for future needs. With automated information systems means that librarians should focus on administrative responsibilities and budget, grant writing, and requests for specialized research and so on.

Today librarians are applying their "skills of information management and research into other areas, for example, database development, development of reference tools, information systems, publications, coordination of the Internet, marketing, content management and web design and training users of the database. "

Work environment.

Librarians spend significant time to time in front of computer terminals, but prolonged work at video display terminals can cause eyestrain and headaches.
Assist users in obtaining information can be rewarding, but working with users with deadlines can be demanding and stressful.
"Twenty-five percent of the librarians work part time. Librarians and public universities, often work weekends, evenings, and on some holidays. Special librarians usually work normal business hours, but in fast-paced industries such as advertising or legal services, they can work longer hours when necessary. " Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

A master's degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in public libraries cleats, academic and special.
Librarians who work in schools do not require an MLS, but must meet the licensing requirements of state education.

Education and training

"Entry into a graduate program in library requires a bachelor's degree, but any major degree is acceptable. Many colleges and universities offer programs in librarianship, but employers often prefer graduates of 49 U.S. schools accredited by American Library Association. Most programs have a year to complete, some take two. A typical program includes courses in graduate school in the fundamentals of library and information science, as the history of books and printing, intellectual freedom and censorship and the role of libraries and information society.

Other basic courses cover the selection and processing of materials, organization of information, methods and research strategies and services to you.
Prospective librarians also study the systems of online reference, research methods on the Internet, and automated circulation systems.
Elective course options include facilities for children or young adults, classification, cataloging, indexing and abstracts, and library management. Course work in computer science is an increasingly important part of an MLS degree. Some programs offer interdisciplinary degrees combining technical courses in information science with traditional training in librarianship.
The MLS degree provides general preparation for library work, but some people specialize in a particular area, such as reference, technical services, or services to children. A Ph.D. in library and information science is advantageous for the post of university professor or a senior management position in a college library or university or public library system large.
States generally have certification requirements for librarians in public schools and local libraries, although there are wide variations among states. School librarians in 20 states require a master's degree, or an MLS or a master's degree in Education with specialization in media library. In addition, more than half of all states require that school librarians are certified teachers, although not all require teaching experience. Some Member States may also require that librarians spend a comprehensive evaluation. Most states have also developed certification standards for local public libraries, although in some states these guidelines are voluntary. " Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)

Other qualifications

In addition to a MLS degree, librarians have a special library as a law or a corporate library; often supplement their training with the knowledge of the field they are specializing, sometimes doing a doctorate or master's degree in either subject. Areas of specialization include medicine, law, business, engineering and natural and social sciences.
Librarians have continuing education and training to keep inside of new information systems and technology.


Experienced librarians can work in administrative positions, for example, the head of department, the library director, or chief information officer.


"Librarians held about 159,900 jobs in 2008. About 59 percent were employed by public and private schools and 27 percent were employed by local government." Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)

Job Outlook

Employment growth and employment opportunities should be favorable because a large number of librarians will retire in the next decade.

Changing jobs

Employment of librarians will grow 8 percent between 2008 and 2018."The growing number of librarians will be limited by budgetary constraints and the growing use of electronic resources."
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2011)


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Librarians, on the Internet at (visited November 16, 2010).