Career summary

Details for Librarians


Description

Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.

Tasks

  • Check books in and out of the library.
  • Teach library patrons basic computer skills, such as searching computerized databases.
  • Review and evaluate materials, using book reviews, catalogs, faculty recommendations, and current holdings to select and order print, audio-visual, and electronic resources.
  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons' reference questions.
  • Keep up-to-date records of circulation and materials, maintain inventory, and correct cataloging errors.
  • Analyze patrons' requests to determine needed information and assist in furnishing or locating that information.
  • Supervise daily library operations, budgeting, planning, and personnel activities, such as hiring, training, scheduling, and performance evaluations.
  • Plan and teach classes on topics such as information literacy, library instruction, and technology use.
  • Confer with colleagues, faculty, and community members and organizations to conduct informational programs, make collection decisions, and determine library services to offer.
  • Code, classify, and catalog books, publications, films, audio-visual aids, and other library materials based on subject matter or standard library classification systems.
  • Respond to customer complaints, taking action as necessary.
  • Plan and deliver client-centered programs and services, such as special services for corporate clients, storytelling for children, newsletters, or programs for special groups.
  • Explain use of library facilities, resources, equipment, and services and provide information about library policies.
  • Locate unusual or unique information in response to specific requests.
  • Develop library policies and procedures.
  • Evaluate materials to determine outdated or unused items to be discarded.
  • Direct and train library staff in duties, such as receiving, shelving, researching, cataloging, and equipment use.
  • Organize collections of books, publications, documents, audio-visual aids, and other reference materials for convenient access.
  • Develop, maintain, and troubleshoot information access aids, such as databases, annotated bibliographies, web pages, electronic pathfinders, software programs, and online tutorials.
  • Engage in professional development activities, such as taking continuing education classes and attending or participating in conferences, workshops, professional meetings, and associations.
  • Compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio-visual materials on particular subjects.
  • Evaluate vendor products and performance, negotiate contracts, and place orders.
  • Arrange for interlibrary loans of materials not available in a particular library.
  • Represent library or institution on internal and external committees.
  • Complete minor repairs and cleaning of library resources, equipment, and facilities, such as dusting and fixing printer paper jams.
  • Assemble and arrange display materials.
  • Develop and maintain databases that provide information for library users.
  • Compile lists of overdue materials and notify borrowers that their materials are overdue.
  • Negotiate contracts for library services, materials, and equipment.
  • Perform public relations work for the library, such as giving televised book reviews and community talks.
  • Collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in specific fields, such as rare books, genealogy, or music.
  • Author or publish professional articles, internal documents, and instructional materials.
  • Write proposals for research or project grants.
  • Design information storage and retrieval systems and develop procedures for collecting, organizing, interpreting, and classifying information.
  • Plan and participate in fundraising drives.
  • Provide input into the architectural planning of library facilities.

Interests

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Knowledge

  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

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