The Empire State College library currently has four professional librarians. What does that mean when you say professional librarian?
A librarian is someone who:
- has successfully completed high school, Undergraduate and Graduate School. Their Graduate Program needs to be a library science or information science program from an ALA accredited institution.
- may have more than 1 master’s degree. Many librarians specialize in certain subject areas based on their Undergraduate background or their Graduate education in other fields.
- is qualified to work in many places like colleges, law firms, hospitals, prisons, corporations, legislatures, the military, and nonprofit agencies as well as libraries.
- needs to keep up-to-date on information and technological resources available to better serve patrons in helping them find the information they need.
- is a lifelong learner who continues learning and seeking out education to keep up with the constant changes in information systems, resources and technology they use and provide.
- has the following skills (as listed on the ALA website: LibraryCareers.org):
- Desire to meet and serve the library’s user community
- Ability to think analytically and to develop new or revised systems, procedures, and work flow
- Ability to exercise initiative and independent judgment
- Knowledge of computers, the internet, and commercially available library software
- Knowledge of a foreign language for communities with non-English speaking populations
- Ability to prepare comprehensive reports and present ideas clearly and concisely in written and oral form
- Ability to make administrative decisions, interpret policies, and supervise staff
- Ability to motivate, establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, supervisors, volunteers, other community agencies and the public
- Knowledge of the philosophy and techniques of library service
- Ability to organize job duties and work independently
- Demonstrated knowledge of library materials and resources
- Creativity to develop and implement library programs and services
- Ability to communicate both orally and in writing
- Positive attitude toward library users with special needs
- Accuracy and skill in typing
Curious to know if you should become a librarian? Try this quiz from About.com Career Planning: http://careerplanning.about.com/library/quiz/career_quizzes/bllibrarian_quiz.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Librarians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm (Accessed March 23, 2012).
“How to Become a Librarian”, Career Suite @ suite 101, July 28, 2009. http://sapna-nayyar-pellicane.suite101.com/how-to-become-a-librarian-a94337 (Accessed March 23, 2012)
“What Librarians Need to Know”, American Library Association, November 21, 2006. http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/careers/librarycareerssite/whatyouneedlibrarian (Accessed March 23, 2012)