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What Does a Systems Librarian Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2016
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A career as a systems librarian is ideal for individuals who enjoy dealing with books, computers and interacting with the public. A position in this field means that a person could work in a variety of settings including university libraries, public libraries and government agencies. Though a systems librarian's job duties can vary depending upon the employer, there are four primary job duties performed. These include consistently updating library databases, assisting library patrons, training other library personnel and troubleshooting electronic equipment.

One of the main job duties of a systems librarian is routinely updating a library's database. For example, this individual is often responsible for adding and classifying recently obtained books in the electronic database. She might also be responsible for updating the library's website with pertinent information. In addition, she will add new software upgrades to ensure that the library's technology is up to date. Consequently, this career requires the person to have significant computer skills.

Another important part of the everyday job is assisting library patrons and answering any questions that arise. For example, the systems librarian might help patrons locate particular books that they are having difficulty finding. If a book isn't located in that library, she would help the patron track it down elsewhere.

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In addition, she might help patrons learn the basics of utilizing the electronic library catalog, and help them understand the shelving system. Along with this, a systems librarian is responsible for handling complaints and resolving conflicts. In turn, this position also requires a certain level of customer service skills.

Training other library personnel is also an important duty. Any new software or changes to the library's database will require the systems librarian to transfer that information to other employees. It's up to her to ensure that everyone is adequately trained on all programs to keep the operation running smoothly. As a result, she will need to attend occasional workshops in order to learn about new programs. She will then be responsible for holding her own workshops where she instructs library personnel.

In addition, she will have to perform occasional troubleshooting on electronic equipment. Since computers, databases and websites sometimes experience glitches or abnormalities, it's the duty of a systems librarian to find solutions. This means that she might have to fix computer crashes, deal with viruses and perform system backups. Consequently, she helps maintain order and makes it possible for the library to function at a high level.

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