How Do I Become a Librarian?

If you’re passionate about books and want to share your knowledge with the world, a career as a librarian is an excellent choice. You can make a difference by bringing life to books and teaching people how to use them.

The path to becoming a librarian is fairly straightforward, but with funding for libraries shrinking, you’ll need more than just an MLS degree to secure a job in this field. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now that will increase your chances of getting a job in this highly competitive field.

Obtaining an ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science will help you secure a professional position as a librarian. You’ll also learn how to use current information technology and coding, which are two skills that many employers seek in library science professionals.

Network with librarians at your school and in the community to find job opportunities. You can do this by volunteering, getting a part-time job or internship, joining your school’s Student Library Association (SLA) chapter or starting one of your own. You can also start working on your MLS at a university or local public library before you complete the degree, so you can gain experience in the field and decide if it’s right for you.

Be Respectful of the Library’s Resources and Space

When you’re visiting a library, you’ll be using its resources. The best way to make sure you’re utilizing them properly is to know the rules and code of conduct for visiting that library. This can include knowing how to sit at a table, where children should be kept while in the library, and whether or not you need to check your library books out before you leave.

Be Polite and Responsible While In the Library

Librarians are expected to be polite and responsible in the way they interact with their patrons. In particular, you should avoid disrupting other patrons by talking loudly or chatting with the staff while in the library. Additionally, you should be sure to keep your feet off of library furniture and only sit on the chairs provided. Doing so can prevent you from disturbing others or even causing them to move.

Be Smart about Your Books

In many instances, you can borrow a book from a library without checking it out. However, it’s important to remember that you should always check the books out before you leave so that they don’t get lost or damaged. If you’re unsure of how to do this, ask an employee for assistance.

Be a Goodreads Librarian

You can become a librarian by applying for a special role on Goodreads, a website that lets you share your thoughts about books and read others’ reviews. In order to be a librarian on Goodreads, you’ll need to show that you’re reliable and trustworthy by taking a quiz about the site’s policies. You can answer this quiz in person or on the website, and you should have at least 50 books shelved in the Read or To-Read shelfs to demonstrate that you’ve read them.