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Librarian

LibrarianLibrarians help people find information and use it effectively. They select and organize library materials.

In 2002*, librarians held about 167,000 jobs. Most worked in school and academic libraries. About one-third of librarians were employed by public libraries. Others worked in special libraries.

Those who want to work in public, academic, and special libraries need a Master`s degree in Library Science (MLS). The Federal Government requires an MLS or the equivalent in education and experience. Employers often prefer graduates of schools accredited by the American Library Association. MLS programs take one or two years to complete.

With experience, librarians can advance to administrative positions, such as department head, library director, or chief information officer.

On a typical day a librarian might perform some of the following duties:

  • provide reference help;


  • select and purchase materials and prepare those materials by classifying them according to subject matter;


  • supervise assistants who prepare cards, computer records, or other access tools that direct users to resources;


  • compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audiovisual materials on particular subjects;


  • analyze collections and recommending materials;


  • collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in a specific field, such as rare books, genealogy, or music;


  • coordinate programs such as storytelling for children, and literacy skills and book talks for adults;


  • conduct classes;


  • publicize services;


  • write grants


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