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Recruitment Ideas

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.

Become a Librarian (

A site created by the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative featuring librarian stories, information on roles of various types of libraries, library education programs, scholarship links, and guidelines for hosting an open house.

Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Librarians in the 21st Century. (

Career possibilities, trends, library education, and job hunting.

Public Library Association. Public Librarian Recruitment

Resources on library education, testimonials about the profession, brochures, job shadowing, reports on recruitment, etc.

Florida Minority Librarian Recruitment Committee (

In addition to the video tape, Me? A Librarian?!!, the group distributed a book, Stop Talking Start Doing!, brochures, posters, a PowerPoint presentation, and other appropriate information to the placement centers of the 12 colleges and universities in Florida.

Pennsylvania School Library Association (

Job statistics, selecting the career, locating library schools, certification requirements, finding a job, and help for new school librarians.

The Great Librarian Adventure (

Alliance Library System in Illinois has created an entire program to recruit public, school, academic, and special librarians. Read about the program successes through the public access link.

State Library of North Carolina. The Very Best Place to Start. (

State-wide communications campaign for school and public libraries with public service announcements, newsletters, templates, etc.

Brochures, Buttons, Presentations, and 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.
  • Become a Librarian created by New Jersey Libraries ( Also contact Central Jersey RLC, 4400 Rt. 9 South, Suite 3400, Freehold, NJ 07728-1383 for information on:
    • Making a Career Decision? Decide to make a difference. (brochure)
    • Making a Career Change? Make a Difference. (brochure)
    • Buttons
  • ALA Youth Services Divisions.The Ultimate Search Engine Could Be You (text for a brochure promoting librarianship for children and youth)
  • School Library Media Teacher-Librarian Division of the Arizona Library Association. Arizona Teacher-Librarians: A Critical Component in 21st Century Education.

Talking Points:


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

Ohio Library Council. Me? A Librarian?!!

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

Minnesota Educational Media Organization. Building Skills for Tomorrow: Minnesota School Library Media Programs Make a Difference.

QuickTime version of the video with script and accompanying handouts for principals and parents to promote the school library media program.

Ohio Library Council. Looking For Leaders In The Information Age

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.

In the fall of 2000, the Virginia Educational Media Association created and distributed a poster titled Today's Librarian for Tomorrow's Worldto "all high school guidance centers, all college and university career centers, and all college and university Schools of Education in the Commonwealth. Its purpose is to promote librarianship as a varied, challenging, and exciting profession not only for the present but also for the future.: For more information contact VEMA, P.O. Box 2743, Fairfax, VA 22031-0743, phone 703-764-0719.

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.

At the ALA 2003 Midwinter Meeting, the Office of Human Resource Development and Recruitment of ALA presented a workshop on career days. To request materials for career/job fairs, contact the HRDR office at or call 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4282.

Job Shadow Day, now in its sixth year, 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 recieve information 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 media center 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 Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative has a Web site with a section entitled "Guidelines for hosting a recruiting Open House". The site contains the following items:

  • Guidelines for hosting
  • A PowerPoint presentation
  • Sample press releases
  • Mentoring/job shadowing forms
  • A PDF file of two recruiting brochures

"The Great Librarian Adventure"

From the Alliance Library System, Illinois

The Alliance Library System, Illinois, created with the help of an LSTA grant an entire recruiting campaign titled "The Great Librarian Adventure". (Click on Public Access for information on the status of the program and success stories.) They provide suggestions for speaking engagements.


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