Today's school librarian works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, instruct students and teachers how to acquire, evaluate and use information and the technology needed in this process, and introduces children and young adults to literature and other resources to broaden their horizons. As a collaborator, change agent, and leader, the school librarian develops, promotes and implements a program that will help prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill.
Visit AASL (American Association of School Librarians) for more information about becoming a school librarian.
According to the American Association for School Librarians (AASL), the appropriate first professional degree for school librarian is either of the following:
- A master's degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA)
- A master's degree with a specialty in school librarianship from a program recognized by AASL in an educational unit accredited by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Educational and certification requirements vary by state.
- Overview of the state requirements provided by AASL.
- A list of certification requirements for each state compiled by the University of Kentucky.
School librarians are generally on a similar salary schedule as teachers. Salaries go up with years of experience and amount of education in most cases. When transferring from district to district, a school librarian may be given credit for some, but possibly not all years of prior experience based on the teacher contract in the district. Occasionally school librarians will have a slightly extended contract to finish administrative tasks outside of the school year, but this is not common.
Teacher salaries vary from district to district, but averages can be found at:
- National Center for Education Statistics - Digest of Education Statistics, 2010, table 78: average base salary of full time teachers in public elementary and secondary schools through 2007-2008
- National Education Association - Rankings & Estimates: Rankings of the States 2010 and Estimates of School Statistics 2011- average salary of public school teachers by state through 2000-2010
Learn More About a Career as a School Librarian
- Profiles of School Librarians and further information about the career are available at a website developed by the University of South Carolina School of library and Information Science.
- Useful Information for New and “About to be” School Librarians
- The 21st Century School Librarian: Literacy in a New Era. April, 2011 blog post by new librarian Laura Lee Calverley.
"I love being the spark for beginning readers: introducing them to authors, illustrators, series, genres. There is still no more satisfying experience than seeing 25-30 student hanging on every word of a good story. Matching kids to the books they want and are able to read is another rewarding part of my job. My primary students still need a lot of help with this. We have a school wide Reading Counts program. As we have refined and expanded this program kids reading scores have gone up. Their interest in reading and the difficulty of the material they read has increased."
I LOVE my career and the children and teachers it allows me to work with every day!
DeEtta Perkins, Lyons Elementary District, Lyons, IL
The mission of AASL (American Association of School Librarians) is to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school library field.