A Closer Look at a Career as a Librarian
Have you ever noticed that whenever librarians are depicted in TV or film, typically they’re shown as stuffy professionals who rarely smile surrounded by dusty books? In real life, this is hardly the case. Librarians, especially those who are employed in public librarians, are important in establishing communities and connecting individuals to access not just reading materials, but also programs and services like newcomer services, disability services, computer classes, tax clinics, and so much more. Therefore, you’ll rarely see a librarian without a smile on their face as they welcome visitors.
If you adore reading and would like to make a difference in the community, being a librarian could be your best bet.
Librarians – What You Need to Know
We often encounter librarians at public libraries and school or university libraries, but they can also be employed by other government entities or private offices to maintain internal records and documents for references. Wherever they are employed, it is a must for librarians to be highly organized and aware of cataloguing procedures, which are done digitally most of the time now.
As a big part of their job is to interact with visitors, it also helps to have excellent interpersonal skills. They are in charge of maintaining library sections are all in place and all items for borrowing and returning are accounted for. For overdue or missing items, they may be required to do follow-ups and reminders. In public libraries, a good amount of patience is required as sometimes they will encounter unruly visitors. In this case, they take the lead in reminding them of library rules and etiquette.
According to PayScale.com, librarians can earn $48,250 a year, and those with 10 years of experience or more can earn as much as $70,733 a year.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Sciences or similar degree is the first step to becoming a librarian. Customer service skills are a must, and these can be learned during coop placements or part-time work experience in other industries that focus on customer service, like retail and food service.
Pros and Cons
Like with any job, a career as a librarian does have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One common downside is the long hours that are associated with the job, where some may be required to work weekends, depending on the location of the libraries. Some may also find it a bit challenging to handle visitors who display less than ideal behavior, and in this cases, they truly have to adapt a firm and authoritative demeanor.
A pro of working as a librarian is the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people who come from different cultural backgrounds or organizational levels. This makes for an exciting work experience each day as no day is ever the same. Another reward of being a librarian is getting involved in projects that aim to improve the community. For some, this is something they look forward to because they get a chance to make an indelible mark on someone’s life.