How to become a Librarian

Librarians design, develop and manage physical and online collections in order to deliver innovative services to users. Library collections can include books and e-books, magazines, images, music and video, maps, newspapers, computer games and other digital resources. In large libraries, librarians may specialise in areas such as acquisition, research, cataloguing, online services or children's services. They may also work in specialist libraries, including corporate, legal, medical or school libraries, or independently as researchers or knowledge managers.

Personal requirements of a Librarian

  • Good organisational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work with people of all ages from diverse social and cultural backgrounds
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Strong customer service focus

Education & Training for a Librarian

To become a librarian you usually have to complete a degree at university with a major in information media, information services or information studies. Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in any discipline, followed by a postgraduate qualification in information studies or information management. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Librarian

Librarians:

  • develop, manage and digitise collections
  • undertake strategic management of information and resources
  • select, classify and index library and information resources
  • assist users to identify or interpret information
  • coordinate and conduct training programs or promotional events to assist and engage library users
  • manage and promote library services through websites and social media
  • train and supervise other staff
  • create and maintain databases and systems for recording loans
  • develop and nurture partnerships, such as with faculty, community organisations, learning providers, authors and publishers
  • plan and select library infrastructure.

Employment Opportunities for a Librarian

Librarians work in public libraries, archives, schools, technical colleges and tertiary institutions. They also work for government departments, museums, research and consulting organisations, teaching hospitals and industrial and business firms, all of which have libraries specialising in particular fields.

Specialisations:


Cataloguer

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,654

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT 4.4%

NSW 31.6%

NT 1.3%

QLD 15.5%

SA 7.5%

TAS 1.5%

VIC 28.3%

WA 9.8%

Hours worked:

39

Unemployment:

Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 16%

Female 84%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 5.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 3.1%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 10.3%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 32.1%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 46.6%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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