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. Many special librarians/information specialists now work outside the typical library setting and have a non-library job title. Special libraries can serve particular populations, such as the blind and physically handicapped, while others are dedicated to special collections, such as the Library of Congress or a presidential library.
Read about a few of the special library areas:
- You Work Where? Combining a Love of Music with Some Great LIS Skills at an Awesome Workplace By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.; This article is from the October 2017 issue of the Library Worklife Newsletter. It's an interview with two librarians who work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library in Ohio.
- Become a Conservator: A Guide to Conservation Education and Training
- I Was a Fashion Librarian by Ida Tomshinsky from Library Worklife
- Read about a couple of science librarians
- So You Want to Be an Archivist
There is a growing trend for librarians to use their knowledge and skills in areas outside of libraries--for example, database development and training, information systems, publishing, internet coordination, web content design and management, and marketing. Some librarians start their own businesses as consultants. They act as freelance librarians or information brokers and provide training and/or services to libraries, businesses, or government agencies.
For more information, visit the Special Libraries Association.
There are also groups for many special library specializations:
- American Association of Law Libraries
- American Theological Library Association
- Art Libraries Society of North America
- Film and Media Round Table of ALA
- Games and Gaming Round Table of ALA
- Government Documents Round Table
- Map and Geography Round Table
- Medical Library Association
- Music Library Association
- Theatre Library Association
- The International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers
- Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists