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How can I Become a Librarian?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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If you are interested in becoming a librarian, the steps are relatively straightforward, but they aren't easy. You should also seriously assess yourself before going to school and training to become a librarian. A good librarian is passionate about knowledge and the work, and he or she loves sharing information with other people. Whether a librarian works in a community library or a private law library, he or she should have a strong analytical mind and an ability to process and think about information in unique ways.

The first requirement to become a librarian is a deep interest in knowledge and learning. If you constantly seek out information on obscure and unusual things, you might make a good librarian. You should also have a interest in technology, and you should be flexible and able to handle a wide assortment of media. In addition, you should be good with people to become a librarian. Librarians work extensively with a wide assortment of individuals, and you need to be ready to help people research topics and find information that they need.

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There are several different types of librarian, and you may want to think about these before you start school. You are probably familiar with school librarians who work with children; these librarians are often certified teachers in addition to librarians. Academic librarians on the college level handle requests for research assistance and other cries for help from students and academics. A community librarian works on a broad range of things in a local library which may vary widely in size. Special librarians handle specific collections, like law libraries, tax libraries, medical libraries taxonomy collections, and so forth. If you have a passion for a very specific field of knowledge, you might enjoy being a special librarian.

If you are serious in your desire to become a librarian, start young if you can. Volunteer in local libraries so that you see what librarians do every day, and so that you get experience in a working library. Attend a college or university which will give you a broad general education, unless you want to become a special librarian, in which case you should focus on a very specific program. Next, apply to a graduate school which is accredited by an organization like the American Library Association. You may also want to pick up an additional language, as it will help you in your work.

Once you graduate from graduate school, you have become a librarian in title, but you still need to find employment. Many trade magazines for librarians offer listings of available openings, and you might also want to try contacting libraries which you are interested in directly. If you know now that you want to work for a well known library such as the Library of Congress, write to them and find out what their requirements for employment are, so that you can be sure that you get what you need out of your library education.

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