What Does It Feel like to Be Working as a Librarian?

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What does it feel like to be working as a librarian?

This is an excellent question! One I wish I had explored a bit more before I went to library school. Firstly, I would research all the different types of librarian positions and figure out the one that sounds most interesting to you. You may choose to work in a public library, a school (elementary, high school, or college) library, a special library like law or medical, or some corporation that happens to have a library. Then try to carve out a path in that direction. NOTE. Special libraries often require additional education within the specialty, eg. A Juris Doctor for a law library so be sure to take a peek at the qualifications for each. Then you have to ask yourself if you like customer service and generally working with the public. Your main priority will be helping people find things, work things, troubleshoot, research, etc. Libraries have changed a lot over the past years and now almost all have computers with internet access and people will need help with that. Gone are the days in which you can spend time in the back room reading a book for your entire shift as many of the clerical responsibilities have been centralized or even outsourced so librarians and other library staff are now on the front lines helping patrons. There are very few just clerical (or just anything jobs) now, most of it will be some hybrid of clerical and reference stuff. Another thing to consider is whether you are comfortable presenting information to others. In many organizations, especially colleges, you may have to give information literacy presentations and possibly even teach classes. Your communication skills need to be well honed because in addition to presenting to a group, it is a possibility you will be fielding questions from a multitude of media. over the phone, in person, via chat and/or email and/or text messaging. In that same vein, you will want to have solid technological skills because a large amount of time may be spent troubleshooting computers, helping patrons use computers, performing searches in different search engines and databases, unjamming the printer, etc. You also get to learn a little bit about a lot of stuff. My favorite part of being a librarian was the research. People have some cool projects t are working on and I loved helping them find information on it. If you like to research, librarianship is a good move. It never gets boring (or it didn't for me). The only thing that is constant in the library world these days is change. Many of the old school librarians are retired now and the new school is in session. New technology comes through, new ways of learning, new media for answering questions, etc. There has been a shift in the way libraries handle themselves, and now can be described as learning centers. Most libraries now are collaborative environments instead of quiet tombs for reading and research. With monetary cutbacks and the upswing of internet access in many homes, librarians have to be creative about spending and good at going with the flow. I have an MSLIS but am not currently working in the field. I worked in a few libraries and found it wasn’t for me. It was difficult to find a job but I live in a highly saturated area (an excellent library school in my back yard) so there are jobs out there and interesting ones. You can disregard people who will try to poo-poo your decision to pursue librarianship (it will happen) because if you think you'll love it, you will find a place in the profession. Also, I would highly suggest an internship either before you go to school or even during to get the full idea on what it’s like to work in a library. You can network that way and see some of the different jobs available. I was lucky enough to intern at the Library of Congress and it was a fantastic experience. I met tons of people and got to see behind the scenes of one of the leading libraries of the world. The extra good news? My degree has so far been useful even outside the field. I am working now towards being a database administrator and my education in Library Science has helped me get on this path. Digital libraries are databases and I found many of the skills I learned in library school are very useful in many professions. I loved library school, I learned a ton and even though I'm not a librarian like I thought I would be, I wouldn't change anything. Here is a good article on the evolution of the position. So You Think You Want to Be a Librarian? Here is a guide for those considering the profession. So You Want to be a Librarian? A Guide For Those Considering an MLS, Current Students & Job Seekers Here is a quiz on becoming a librarian. Should You Become a Librarian Here is a basic job description and requirements needed article. Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Librarian

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