Become a Librarian

Embark on the journey to become a librarian: discover pathways, educational resources, and insights into the profession.
A librarian in the library

What is your passion? Are you fascinated by art, biology, business, technology? Combine your passion with a desire to help others and become a librarian!

Librarians work in various settings, including public libraries, colleges, universities, schools, museums, hospitals, and businesses. They research, instruct, and connect people to technology. They also build websites, digitize archives, and manage social media. Librarians work with people of all ages, connecting them to information, learning, and the community.

Learn more about working in a . . .

These days a librarian does a lot more than check out materials and shelve books. Technology expert, information detective, literacy expert, trainer, and community programming coordinator are just a few of the hats a public librarian wears.

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.

Academic librarianship is for those who are constantly intellectually curious and who can apply that curiosity to efforts that help increase the knowledge base of the institution for research, teaching, and learning.

Special libraries offer unique opportunities to work in places such as corporations, hospitals, the military, museums, law firms, advertising agencies, professional associations, private businesses, and the government.

Earnings and Outlook

Librarians' and library workers' salaries vary according to the individual's qualifications and the type, size, and location of the library. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of librarians in 2023 was $64,370 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also reported that librarian employment is expected to grow by 3 percent between 2022 and 2032. (This is as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations.)

Helpful Links

Visit Occupational Employment Statistics for librarians' latest national, state, and local earnings data.

Occupational Outlook Handbook for Librarians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more detailed information about educational requirements, work environment and job outlook for librarians and library workers.

For additional information and resources on salaries for library employees, visit the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA).


Requirements. A master's degree in library science (MLS), preferably from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program, is necessary for most librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries. School librarians may not need an MLS but must meet state teaching requirements.

Choosing an ALA-Accredited Program. Find additional information about how to select a library science program and more resources here: How to Choose a Library Science Program.

Books about Library Careers

By Priscilla K Shontz & Richard A Murray. Presents descriptions of job responsibilities, education and training, and a typical workday for different types of librarians working in public, academic, school, and special libraries, as well as in jobs . . .

By G. Kim Dority. "This is a book you will turn to again and again throughout your career. With numerous tables, worksheets, lists, and extensive bibliographies . . . it gives you everything you need to begin this journey." --Jacket

Emerging Trends

San José State University School of Library & Information Science has prepared a report entitled “MLIS Skills at Work.” It is an annual snapshot analysis of the latest career trends for information professionals. This report explores the career opportunities for individuals who hold a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. The report indicates that in addition to the title of Librarian, the following list of representative job titles is indicative of the diverse ways library information knowledge is being applied in various professional areas:

  • Application Developer
  • Archivist
  • Collection Care Technician
  • Communications Specialist/Writer
  • Conflicts Analyst
  • Curator of Oral History
  • Digital Initiatives
  • Program Manager
  • Document/Data Control Analyst
  • Emerging Technology Librarian
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Knowledge Center Head of Operations
  • Library Product Manager
  • Litigation Intelligence Analyst
  • Production and Marketing Specialist
  • Technology Hub Administrator
  • Workflow Analyst/Programmer

Learn more about career options

Read interviews conducted by Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. with library workers in various specialty areas of the library profession.