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 ( 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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