Recruitment Ideas

ALA’s Recruitment Assembly maintains the ALA Recruitment Clearinghouse Wiki external link iconwhich is an interactive resource that contains information about successful recruitment efforts as well as a variety of recruitment materials.

ALA provides several useful tools for advertising the profession that may be useful in recruiting:

Web Sites

State organizations, other associations, and library schools have developed sites to promote librarianship. In addition to those listed in the state-by-state information, check out these sites.

Have you considered a career as a school librarian? external link icon
Supported with an IMLS grant, the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science created this site for both those interested in school librarianship as a career and for those recruiting individuals to the profession.

Pennsylvania School Library Association external link icon
Job statistics, selecting the career, locating library schools, certification requirements, finding a job, and help for new school librarians.

State Library of North Carolina - The Very Best Place to Start external link icon 
State-wide communications campaign for school and public libraries with public service announcements, newsletters, templates, etc.

Other Resources

A wide range of resources are already out there. Many have information specific to the creating group, but provide ideas of what your group might do. Contact the sponsoring organization for more information.

  • Association for Indiana Media Educators. Media Specialists: A Vital Link to Educational Standards.

  • ALA Youth Services Divisions. The Ultimate Search Engine Could Be You (text for a brochure promoting librarianship for children and youth)

  • Kaaland, Christie. (2010). Recruitment to the Profession: A Form of Advocacy. School Library Monthly, 26 (10), 44-46.

  • Klais, Madge & Bugher, Kate. (2010). Helping Administrators Recruit and Support School Library Information Specialists. Library Media Connection 29(2), 22-23.

  • Bishop, Kay & Janczak, Sue. (2007). Recruiting the Next Generation of School Librarians. Library Media Connection 26(2), 14-18.

Talking Points:


There are several videos that can be used in recruitment efforts.

Ohio Library Council. Me? A Librarian?!! external link icon
A 10 minute video designed to showcase librarianship to middle and high school students. Available with print materials that enable a person to present the information with confidence from the Ohio Library Council.

Ohio Library Council. Looking For Leaders In The Information Age external link icon
A fast-paced, 8 minute video with a "new media" look. Meet exciting people in exciting jobs at exciting places! This video profiles library and information professionals as they talk about their careers in the information age and explores the many career opportunities available to those with a library and information science degree. Support materials include multiple copies of five separate brochures and a fact sheet outlining scholarship information. Gain an overview of the career and degree requirements. Learn about the unique opportunities available in academic, public, school and special libraries. Use this informative recruitment tool in your library or community -- wherever you want to showcase a career whose time has come. Available from Ohio Library Council (Member: $40.00 + S&H | Non-Member: $60.00 + S&H).

Displays and Posters

Displays at job fairs, in the library, at conferences, and in other public places are a good way to promote the profession. Beverly Obert, Rolling Priaire Library System in Decatur, Illinois, provide guidelines for creating your own displays.

Recruitment Events

Job Fairs or Career Days

Events promoting different careers to high school students, college students, or the general public are good venues for promoting the profession. Beverly Obert of the Rolling Prairie Library System provides some tips on setting up a career day.

Job Shadow Day external link icon gives students across America the chance to "shadow" a workplace mentor as he or she goes through a day on the job. School, academic and public librarians will receive information external link icon and support from ALA divisions including AASL to participate in the program as part of recruitment efforts.

Open House

There are several ways to approach this event that can promote both the library and the job of the library media specialist. In schools, this may be done in conjunction with a general school open house that attracts parents and community members. A school library might consider hosting an open house in conjunction with other technology staff in the school or district. Ideas from public library systems can be modified for use in individual schools or districts.

"The Great Librarian Adventure”

The Alliance Library System, Illinois, created with the help of an LSTA grant a recruiting campaign titled "The Great Librarian Adventure" which includes suggestions for speaking engagements and library tours.