Novel career as a librarian

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IF you are organised, love books and helping people, a job as a librarian might be the one for you.

Librarians are responsible for the day-to-day running of library services. They work in public libraries and in libraries in organisations like universities, colleges and schools, and also in some larger companies.

In this job you will need good customer service skills. You will also need to be confident using computers for research and administration.

You can qualify as a librarian either by studying for a university qualification or by working as a library assistant and doing work-based training

As a librarian, your duties would vary depending on the size and function of the library, but could include:

l using IT systems to catalogue, classify and index stock

lorganising resources so that they are easy for users to find

l dealing with enquiries

l helping library users to find resources

l keeping up to date with new publications and selecting stock

l organising library services for sections of the community such as pre-school groups, housebound people and ethnic minority groups

lsetting up activities such as reading groups

l promoting library services through displays, talks and community events.

As a librarian in a school, college or university you may also teach research skills to students.

Salaries vary depending on the type of library.

In public libraries, newly qualified librarians can earn between £19,500 and £23,500 a year.

Chartered librarians, with up to five years’ experience can earn between £23,500 and £29,500.

You can train to become a librarian either by taking a university qualification in library and information studies or by working as a library assistant (or para-professional) and completing work-based training.

University qualification route

Most librarians qualify by completing one of the following:

l a degree in librarianship or information management that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)

l a degree in any subject, followed by an accredited postgraduate qualification in information management.

Courses can be full-time and part-time, and there are some by distance learning.