What Does a Media Librarian Do?

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  • Written By: Nick Mann
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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A media librarian is a job position that functions much like a traditional librarian, except there is an added emphasis on non-print materials. For example, these individuals are usually the ones who manage things like DVDs and CDs. While the precise duties of a media librarian can differ between libraries, most individuals share similar duties. These include organizing the media section, re-shelving the media section, assisting library patrons with finding materials, demonstrating how to use online resources and answering media-related questions.

One of the most important duties of a media librarian is keeping the media section organized at all times. It's her responsibility to create and maintain a media section that is easily navigable by library patrons. For example, she may organize DVDs by genre and then alphabetize each genre accordingly. This also includes attaching labels identifying each item. Developing an easy-to-follow system is critical for making media items easy to find and avoiding complications.

Along with the overall layout of the media section, a media librarian must continually re-shelve items. Much like a traditional librarian who places books back on shelves after they are returned, a media librarian must place items like DVDs and CDs back on the appropriate shelf. In order to perform this duty effectively, she must have an eye for detail.


Another key aspect is assisting library patrons with finding materials. This can include showing patrons how to use the library's catalog system to find materials or locating the materials herself. In cases where the library doesn't have a particular item, a media librarian may contact other libraries within the region to see if the item is available elsewhere. Consequently, this career requires a person with considerable interpersonal skills who enjoys interacting with the public.

Showing patrons how to use online resources is also a common practice. Since a media librarian will typically have significant knowledge of the Internet and research methods, it's often her responsibility to educate others. For example, she may demonstrate how to implement search engines to find needed information. She might also educate patrons on using things like social media and social networking.

In addition, she must be able to answer various questions concerning media topics. For example, if a patron is unfamiliar with e-books, a media librarian might explain how they function and perform a demonstration. As a result, a media librarian must stay up to date on advances in technology.


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