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 for 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.

Tasks

  • Monitoring collection development and culling programs.
  • Managing inter-library loan systems and information networks.
  • Examining publications and materials, interviewing publishers' representatives, and consulting with others to select library materials.
  • Managing library systems for recording and organising library holdings, acquisitions and purchases, reader registrations and loan transactions, and supervising indexing, filing and retrieval activities.
  • Developing and implementing library and information policies and services.
  • Undertaking information research activities on behalf of clients.
  • Selecting, ordering, classifying and cataloguing library and information resources.
  • May plan and direct library promotion and outreach activities.
  • Reviewing, evaluating and modifying services in response to user needs.
  • Supervising and training other library staff.
  • Providing assistance to clients in accessing library resources.

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.


Specializations

par - 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. See the separate entries for Teacher - Primary and Teacher - Secondary for information about becoming a teacher librarian.


Information Manager

An information manager is responsible for bridging the gap between sources of information and those who need to access it. Information managers may also become involved in research, technical writing, public relations, desktop publishing, database management and design, and market research.

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.

Cataloguer
  • Average age
    Average age
    51 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    84% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    39 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,654
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    61% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    15,400 workers
  • Employment Size
    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%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.5%
    20-24: 1.9%
    25-34: 10.3%
    35-44: 19.9%
    45-54: 29.9%
    55-59: 17.7%
    60-64: 13.2%
    65 and Over: 6.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 10.3%
    Bachelor degree: 32.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 3.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 46.6%
    Year 10 and below: 1.9%
    Year 11: 1%
    Year 12: 5.1%
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