What Are the Different Types of Librarian Qualifications?

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  • Written By: David Bishop
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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A librarian is a person who organizes collections of books and other media and helps patrons find materials within these collections. In the United States, librarian qualifications typically include completing a four-year bachelor's degree in a related subject along with a graduate-level program known as management of library and information science (MLIS). An MLIS program may offer specialized training for students, depending on the type of library system in which they want to work. Some organizations may require additional librarian qualifications, such as previous work experience or skills with computers and other modern media devices.

The first step in building a resume of librarian qualifications typically begins with a four-year bachelor's degree. While many students in this field pursue liberal arts degrees such as English or history, others may consider computer-related degrees, based on the increasingly important role of technology within the profession. During this period, students may seek work within their college's library as part of a work-study program or pursue an internship in a library system. This will give students a taste of the profession and provide them with additional librarian qualifications for their resumes. Admission to most MLIS programs is a competitive process, and students must maintain a high enough grade point average and score well on the Graduate Records Exam® (GRE®) to be considered.


Once a student has gained admission to an MLIS program, he will need to complete all coursework and other requirements. Students in these programs will learn traditional library skills and how to manage modern library technology. Some MLIS programs may require a student to complete a graduate-level thesis or project and perform an internship in a library or related institution.

MLIS students may need to complete additional requirements, depending on the type of library in which they wish to work. Students wishing to work in academic libraries or archives may focus on topics related to preservation. A certification to work as a media specialist in the U.S. may require additional testing and specialized classes, depending on the state requirements for employment in this area.

In addition to completing a library science curriculum, a graduate may need other librarian qualifications to achieve employment in the field. Many libraries require applicants to have developed good computing and communications skills. Librarians also should have a firm grasp of Internet-related technology and the role that networked systems play in disseminating information to their patrons.


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