U.S. News & World Report / Best Careers 2009: Librarian / By Marty Nemko / December 11, 2008
Forget about that image of librarians as a mousy bookworms. More and more of today's librarians must be clever interrogators, helping the patron to reframe their question more usefully. Librarians then become high-tech information sleuths, helping patrons plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records, often starting with a clever Google search but frequently going well beyond. Librarianship is an underrated career. Most librarians love helping patrons solve their problems and, in the process, learning new things.
Librarians may also go on shopping sprees, deciding which books and online resources to buy. They may even get to put on performances, like children's puppet shows, and run other programs, like book discussion groups for elders. [snip]
That effort to land a job will be well worth it if you're well suited to the profession: love the idea of helping people dig up information, are committed to being objective—helping people gain multiple perspectives on issues—and will remain inspired by the awareness that librarians are among our society's most empowering people.
A Day in the Life.
You work in a small municipal library, where you have to do a little of everything. You start your day by leafing through catalogs from online database publishers and book reviews in Library Journal to decide which titles to add to your collection. Next, it's out to the reference desk, where visitors regularly ask how to find something. Sometimes, it's esoteric; often, it's the bathroom. Later, you teach a class: an advanced lesson in Googling. Next, it's back to the reference desk, ... .
Special librarian. All sorts of organizations need librarians, not just public libraries. They work for colleges, law firms, hospitals, prisons, corporations, legislatures, the military, and nonprofit agencies. In fact, special librarianship is the field's fastest-growing job market. [snip]
Median ... $47,400
25th to 75th percentile ... $42,800-$63,700
The American Library Association offers information and links regarding training, including online options.
U.S. News rankings of library programs
American Library Association
Medical Library Association
Special Libraries Association
A Day in the Life: Career Options in Library and Information Science by Patricia Shontz and Richard Murray (editors)
What's the Alternative: Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros by Rachel Gordon
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