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Details for Librarians


Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.


  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons' reference questions.
  • Analyze patrons' requests to determine needed information, and assist in furnishing or locating that information.
  • Teach library patrons to search for information using databases.
  • Keep records of circulation and materials.
  • Supervise budgeting, planning, and personnel activities.
  • Check books in and out of the library.
  • Explain use of library facilities, resources, equipment, and services, and provide information about library policies.
  • Review and evaluate resource material, such as book reviews and catalogs, in order to select and order print, audiovisual, and electronic resources.
  • Code, classify, and catalog books, publications, films, audiovisual aids, and other library materials based on subject matter or standard library classification systems.
  • Locate unusual or unique information in response to specific requests.
  • Direct and train library staff in duties such as receiving, shelving, researching, cataloging, and equipment use.
  • Respond to customer complaints, taking action as necessary.
  • Organize collections of books, publications, documents, audiovisual aids, and other reference materials for convenient access.
  • Develop library policies and procedures.
  • Evaluate materials to determine outdated or unused items to be discarded.
  • Develop information access aids such as indexes and annotated bibliographies, web pages, electronic pathfinders, and on-line tutorials.
  • Plan and deliver client-centered programs and services such as special services for corporate clients, storytelling for children, newsletters, or programs for special groups.
  • Compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audiovisual materials on particular subjects.
  • Arrange for interlibrary loans of materials not available in a particular library.
  • Assemble and arrange display materials.
  • Confer with teachers, parents, and community organizations to develop, plan, and conduct programs in reading, viewing, and communication skills.
  • Compile lists of overdue materials, and notify borrowers that their materials are overdue.
  • Design information storage and retrieval systems, and develop procedures for collecting, organizing, interpreting, and classifying information.
  • Develop and index databases that provide information for library users.
  • Negotiate contracts for library services, materials, and equipment.
  • Provide input into the architectural planning of library facilities.
  • Collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in specific fields, such as rare books, genealogy, or music.
  • Plan and participate in fundraising drives.
  • Perform public relations work for the library, such as giving televised book reviews and community talks.
  • Write proposals for research or project grants.


  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Related Careers

  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Counter and Rental Clerks
  • Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School
  • Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
  • First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers
  • Food Service Managers
  • Library Technicians
Wages for this career
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