What Are the Job Duties of a Librarian?

Librarians manage information and resources and help people locate and utilize information. Most librarians work in either user services, technical services, or administrative services. Read the following article for a full description of the job duties of a librarian. Schools offering Library Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Librarians keep current on resources and literature and select publications for the library's collection. They require a knowledgeable command of numerous information sources to select material appropriate to a library's needs. A librarian categorizes, prepares, and catalogs these materials. Librarians also recommend material and help individuals find the information that they need. They analyze and organize collections by subject. They educate individuals on how to use the library systems to find the information they need. Librarians may also provide special programming or classes. Other duties include participation in grant writing and fundraising. Librarians may specialize in:

  • User Services: User services librarians help individuals find and use library materials and resources.
  • Technical Services: Technical services librarians work behind the scenes, obtaining and classifying resources for the library. Some might work with or develop computer information storage and retrieval systems.
  • Administration Services: Librarians in administrative services oversee the management of the library.
  • Special Libraries: Government agencies, museums, law firms, corporations, and professional organizations often maintain their own libraries. Librarians at special libraries collect, analyze, and help others use information specific to the organization.

Types of Librarians

Some librarians are trained to work with a specific demographic, such as children, youth, or adults. Many librarians are categorized by the type of library they work in, such as those in schools, public libraries, colleges, or other special facilities. In large libraries, the librarian might take on an even more specialized function, such as cataloging, acquisitions, reference materials, special collections, bibliography, or administration.

Salary Statistics and Employment Outlook

The average annual salary earned by librarians in 2012 was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as $57,190. Librarians employed by the federal government, law firms, private companies and organizations, scientific and technical consulting firms, and aerospace engineering manufacturers earned the most money in 2012, averaging more than $65,000 a year, per the BLS. The employment of librarians in general is expected to grow by seven percent from 2012-2022.

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