Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 1 decade ago

How do you become a Librarian?

I'm interested in being a librarian, im in my 3rd yr of college with an English Major/ Creative Writing Minor and wondering what needs to be done to become a librarian? I've heard you need a Masters of Library Science, is that for all librarians, or is there a way to do it with just my B.A? And what kinds of classes would it take to get a MLS if i decided to go that route??

Also what are some of the things that Librarians do besides the obvious?? Is it a good job to have? and what are the chances of me actually finding a decent job in this field?? is there any specific schools that have good MSL programs?

I have a lot of questions, and i appreciate any help you can give me!! :)

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I am glad that you are interested in the field. I'll tell you a little about what we do first.

    I find missing people, often ones that people have spent many hours looking for without success. I order books on terrible diseases I know nothing about hoping that they'll give helpful advice; selecting one book over another because one prof gave a more trustworthy review than another. I help people sign up for unemployment who don't know how to use computers since the state's closed all of its unemployment offices. I carefully decide when to call the police on abandoned children so the city doesn't get sued. (They'll get sued anyway, but what can you do?) I created and write a blog on the area - it's kind of an outgrowth of bibliographies and finding aids I've created for years, just a new format. I schedule the staff and collect statistics on Excel.

    From that list, you need to understand logic and have a good memory, you need to be a quick study and understand people's motives, you need to be able to explain things clearly and genuinely want to help people who are often unappealing in their habits, you need to understand the law and social work, you need to excel at the latest technologies but to use them creatively to present the message, not just to fiddle around with flashy pictures, and you need to develop the authority to hire, train, and supervise others.

    Please note: print off this list when you are applying for a job and mention all of these things in your cover letter.

    As for universities, I have a bias, don't go online. All of those points I've mentioned require a lot of practice and close personal contact with a wide assortment of people. True, I do blog, answer chat reference and frequently use microsoft applications all of which would be ideal to learn online, but it's what you do for people and how you do it that's the key.

    By the way, I always check myspace and facebook pages when we hire someone new. If someone 25 says they don't have one, there's a part of me that figures their page is scandalous and they're lying about it. That makes me search all the harder. If you have one, delete it now, immediately, and start something fresh without any use of old email addresses, old friends contacts, or anything and hope in five or six years I can't find it.

  • 3 years ago

    A lot of these answers seem to be pretty wrong. Basically, it depends on what kind of a librarian you want to be. Middle school and high school librarians don't make very much at all, and you don't need much experience. However, public libraries can sometimes pay a decent wage, while Universities often pay their librarians quite well. The catch is that you need an BA to be a librarian for a university campus library. Lots of big schools give degrees to become professional librarians. Dalhousie, McGill, U of T, UBC all over programs in "Librarian and Information Studies". Most of these positions pay roughly $50000 - 60000 a year.

  • my mom is a librarian-she went back to school for 4 years in 2002 and got her masters in library science. She went to simmons college in boston and now is a reference librarian at Stonehill College. I don't know much about it, but I know she enjoys it very much and this is her third year there. the good thing about her job is that she has summers off. she prefers this area of work to hectic newpaper business which she used to do.

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