My Education: BA, English, Longwood College (now University, Farmville, VA) Master's of Library Science, North Carolina Central University
My Prior Experience: I worked at a library during college as an aide, moved to this state, then worked in a pre-school before becoming a youth library assistant (includes story times for Pre-K).
My Company: I work at a county public library.
Job/Career Overview: Key Responsibilities:
*95% of the time I provide customer service (finding books, reference questions, etc.) on public youth desk
*pull books on request, walk patrons to find books, etc.
*complete statistical reports
*create signs, flyers, and interesting displays to "show off" the library books, audios, etc.
*work heavily with children and families (homework, story times, etc)
*process books and care for small sections of the library (keeping them neat, organized, updated, etc.)
More Insights: Important qualities for success:
flexibility, creativity and gregariousness.
Don't forget to volunteer before you make this a career choice ...and if you do, then get that MLS degree (online is an option, I just got mine that way - I graduated last week!).
the best part of my job? I love the story times. I work with infants to 5 year olds at story times and it is so great to watch them grow up and enjoy silly rhymes, books, and music. It's like being a children's celebrity for local pre-schoolers. If I go to the store, I always see kids I know who are so excited to see me! It's so rewarding to me.
I also love the variety of people, working with diverse races, religions, people who all come together around books and reading. Plus, everything is free to everyone...and there just aren't that many places that can say that.
The worst part of my job is the vigilance it requires. Because we serve the public, anyone is allowed to use the library, which is great, except on occasion when you have some criminals, especially former child sex offenders, using the library during story time. That can get creepy. Occasionally we have to kick people off of computers or out of the library for illicit activities: looking at pornography in a place where minors have access, belligerent and aggressive behavior, gang-related tagging -- of graffiti -- in the bathrooms, etc.
1. Read what you like, and read a lot .... people love a personal recommendation.
2. If possible, get an ALA certified Master's degree (there are no bachelor's degrees for Library Science) and become a librarian. Librarian's get paid about 25% more for the same work as Library Assistants.
3. Volunteer at a library or ask to do an internship, even though it's unpaid. You will get a great idea of the work, and it looks great on college applications and resumes even if you decide it's not for you!