Inside School Librarian Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Hard Work...
How much work is behind being a librarian." (Librarian; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Library Science & Information at San Jose State University in California; completed Master degree in 2012

Best & Worst Things About This Career

School Librarian: "Any teacher will tell you that the best part of their job is working with kids and feeling you are making an impact on the future. While that holds true for school librarians, I love that I see every child in the school every week and get to know them and watch them grow from age 6 to 11. The worst part of the job is having to deal with students' disappointment when they can't find just the right book and having to crack down on kids with overdue or missing books. I hate to keep a book out of anyone's hands but sometimes I just have to say no if a child isn't proving to be responsible." (2010)

Library Media Specialist: "One of the best parts of my job is reading aloud to students. I so enjoy introducing them to great literature and I also love introducing them to new technologies. During a kindergarten tech class I often receive a round of applause from my students because they are so amazed by what I am showing them. One of the most difficult parts of my job is that I rely heavily on parent volunteers. It's very difficult to have 25 kindergarten students on the computer at the same time and manage all of their questions at once. it is also difficult to check out books to those students and help with book selection. The parents who volunteer are wonderful and I am very grateful because they make my job more enjoyable." (2010)

Career Background

School Librarian

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Join Library Industry Associations...
Join your local, state and national professional library associations. They are invaluable for networking, resource and idea sharing, professional development and keeping you up-to-date on the latest trends in literature and education. Attend any conferences you can. Develop a good relationship with your local library as well." (School Librarian; 2010)

"Know Your Collection...
I would suggest that anyone entering this field should have a passion for reading and they should read a lot! A librarian has to be knowledgeable about the collection she manages. When a students asks for a recommendation it is very helpful to have a good working knowledge of the books in the library. Of course you can't read them all but you should be reading often. I also take notes on books so that when I am doing a book talk it is easier to refer to my notes than re-read the book." (Library Media Specialist; 2010)