Librarian Job Description

Operating a library requires a lot of resources, and librarians are responsible for doing a lot of the work that keeps our libraries running.

The exact responsibilities for a librarian vary depending on the type and size of the library they work in. For instance, librarians in elementary schools are often responsible for managing the entire library, while those who work at large university libraries normally focus on a specific area. However, all librarians have some responsibilities in common.

One of the primary responsibilities for all librarians is to organize materials in a way that allows patrons to quickly and easily find what they're looking for. Librarians also provide help to visitors when they need assistance finding a particular resource or piece of information, and may direct them to digital resources or books.

Additional responsibilities for librarians include:

  • Planning programs for different groups. For instance, many libraries have resume writing workshops for unemployed workers.
  • Choosing books, videos, magazines, other materials for inclusion in the library.
  • Training library technicians, assistants, and other staff.

Work Environment and Schedule

Most librarians work in public libraries or schools. Virtually every school from elementary school through the post-graduate level has a library, and librarians are needed to keep the resources in order and help students find the materials they need for their assignments or research.

Librarians who work at public or university libraries are normally required to work on nights and weekends. At school libraries (excluding college), they work the same hours that teachers do and enjoy the same time off in the summer.

Most librarians work full-time.

How to Become a Librarian

A master's degree in library science is required for most librarian positions. Before you enroll, check this list to see if the program is accredited by the American Library Association. If it isn't, you may find that your opportunities for employment after graduation aren't as good as you had hoped.

If you want to work as a librarian in a public school system, most states require a teaching certificate as well.

Related occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 156,100 librarians in the United States, with 5,140 new librarian job openings created each year.

Librarian jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Librarian Salaries

Salaries by State

Hover over your state to get an idea of what Librarians make in your area.

How to use this salary data.

Job seekers can use it while negotiating a salary.

Employers can use it to help set appropriate wage levels while writing job descriptions.

Overall Salaries

Librarian salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most librarians make between $43,700 - $69,300 per year, or $21.00 - $33.30 per hour.

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Librarian Video Job Description

Salary and statistical data provided by the BLS.