The ultimate search engine could be you!
Become a librarian who serves
children and young adults!
** Dynamic. ** Rewarding. ** Cutting Edge.**
Meet the twenty-first century librarian
—a techno-literate, savvy professional who works on the front lines of communities and schools.
In your future career, would you like to:
- Work with children and young adults
- Reach out to diverse communities
- Share your love of books
- Keep up with the latest technology
- Develop leadership, organizational, and decision-making skills
- Use your dramatic and artistic talents
- Bring positive change to individuals, families, schools, and neighborhoods
Most of all, do you want work to be challenging, surprising, and fun?
“I became a youth librarian because it’s the one job that lets me do all the things that I love to do. I get to read, draw, sing, act, write, play, and learn new things, all while helping young people grow and discover who they are. Every day is fresh and fun.”
Youth Services Manager
Rockford Illinois Public Library
**The right choice for you.**
As a librarian trained to serve children and young adults you will have many options. You could work in a public library, specializing in either Children's or Young Adult Services, or you could work in an elementary, middle, or high school as a Library Media Specialist. And these are just some of the career paths available!
What do librarians who serve children and young adults do? They . . .
- Empower and motivate young people
- Promote and nurture the habit of reading
- Introduce students to the latest electronic resources
- Collaborate with other educators
- Build programs to link the library to community groups
- Choose resources to enhance the library collection
- Provide parenting education and family literacy programs
- Design and provide engaging activities that help young people develop their creativity, interests, and talents
helps young people discover themselves!
“As a school library media specialist, I am closely involved in the instructional process as both an educator and a librarian. I feel very fortunate to be able to touch the lives of so many students, teachers, and parents in a positive way. It’s so fulfilling to watch our students develop as learners and to be part of their growth. And I love coming to work each day!”
School Library Media Specialist
Ben Franklin Elementary School
Glen Ellyn, IL
**What Does it Take?**
With the right education and personal drive, anyone can enter this diverse, rewarding career.
A librarian who serves children and young adults:
- Has a sincere desire to work with young people
- Knows and loves children’s and young adult literature
- Strives to learn new information technology and teach it to others
- Has a commitment to helping people learn
- Cares about making a positive impact in the community
- Explores ways to build strong parent/child relationships
- Believes strongly in the rights of children and young adults
- Acts as a catalyst for innovative teaching and authentic learning
- Possesses creativity, motivation, flexibility, excellent communication skills, imagination, enthusiasm, and more!
Does this sound like you?
“I enjoy working with young adults because often teens really need a caring adult to help them with their information needs, and we do that without any judgment. We should not underestimate the impact our libraries have on their lives.”
Coordinator, Young Adult Services
Queens Borough Public Library
In order to work as a librarian who serves children and young adults, you will need an undergraduate and a graduate degree. The American Library Association and its divisions can help you find the academic program that’s best for you . . . and provide resources to help you locate a job once you’ve graduated!
Academic Qualifications for a librarian who serves children and young adults:
- A master’s degree in librarianship from a program accredited by the American Library Association or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)* is the appropriate first degree for school library media specialists.
- For a list of ALA accredited programs, visit:
the ALA Office of Accreditation
- For a list of NCATE accredited programs, visit:
[* School library media specialists are required to meet certification requirements established by individual states.]
“Some of the best moments of my job are when I give tours to preschoolers or kindergarteners, many of whom are first-time visitors. They are in awe that they can find information on any topic (“You really have books on race cars?”). That’s what keeps me in children’s services and makes me look forward to meeting those new groups of kids from year to year.”
Head, Children’s Services
Jefferson County, CO
To find out more about this exciting career, contact the American Library Association and/or the units listed below.
- American Library Association (ALA)
50 East Huron St.,
Chicago, IL 60611
- American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
- Association of Library Services to Children
- Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
- Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR)
For more information on the experience and professional skills recommended for librarians serving children and young adults, consult the following resources:
- "Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries, revised edition”
- “Roles and Responsibilities of School Library Media Specialists”
- “Young Adults Deserve the Best: Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth”
If you need large quantities of this information in a colorful brochure format for career fairs/days, please contact the HRDR Office Assistant, Dennis Ambrose, in any of the following ways:
U.S. mail: 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611
Telephone: 800/545-2433 ext. 4282