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How to become a librarian

Updated February 21, 2017

Step 1

Work during high school and college as a part-time library page or clerk.

Step 2

Learn a foreign language in high school and continue studying it in college. Many graduate programs require knowledge of a second language.

Step 3

Maintain a high G.P.A. while obtaining a bachelor's degree in a field that will give you a broad education.

Step 4

Contact the American Library Association (ala.org) for a list of the 59 graduate schools it has accredited.

Step 5

Write to your graduate school choices for their admission guidelines and applications. Do this well before your senior year in college.

Step 6

Talk to your college counselors for their input well before your senior year. Ask them about your state's certification requirements if you want to become a school librarian. You may need to become certified as a teacher by taking required courses and a state exam, in addition to receiving an M.L.S. degree.

Step 7

Apply to the graduate schools on time and make certain you send them all necessary paperwork, as requested.

Step 8

Decide if you want to work for the public or private sector. Upon acceptance to a graduate school, carefully plan your courses and electives accordingly.

Step 9

Strive to graduate with honors.

Step 10

Send out job applications early, and include references from the supervisors at your part-time library jobs and any internships.

Tips

  • Take any necessary basic computer courses for the advanced degree while you are still in college.
  • Contact public and private libraries while in high school and college for information regarding their employment qualifications and hiring forecasts. Ask if they have internships available.
  • Consider obtaining an additional master's degree if you want to work in a higher-paying specialized library, such as a medicine or law library.
  • Contemplate obtaining a Ph.D. in library science if your eventual goal is to have a high-level administrative library job.

Warnings

  • Do not consider a career as a librarian if you do not want to update your education and skills continually, particularly in the area of constantly changing computer applications.
  • Forget the image of the quiet, shy librarian. Today's librarian is required to have superb interpersonal skills.

Things You'll Need

  • ALA Information On Accredited Schools
  • Academic Counselings
  • Certification Information
  • Individual School Requirements And Application
  • Postage Stamps
  • Envelopes
  • Pens
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About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.