The idea of Library has changed over the years from a place to get file records, dusty books to a place that has advanced electronic mediums like internet, digital libraries and remote access to a wide range of information sources. Similarly, the task of librarians have evolved through the years and now they are able to handle sophisticated systems. A librarian helps the customer find the information they are looking for and teach them how to use this information effectively and efficiently to achieve their personal and professional purposes.
Librarians supervise staff and develop and direct information programs and systems for the public and ensure that information is accessible and organized in a proper manner that meets users' needs. There are three main focus of library work User Service, Administrative service, and Technical service.
Work with customer to help them find needed information.
Acquire, prepare, and classify materials so that customers can access it easily.
Oversee the management and planning of libraries
Make deals and contracts for materials, services, and equipment
Manage library staffs
Maintain public-relations and execute fundraising duties
Earning a Bachelor’s degree is the initial step to becoming a Librarian and students have many options to select from in this level. According to the American Library Association, a bachelor’s degree in a related field is not required to become a librarian so students can study any course that interests them.
A Master’s degree in library science is required to become a librarian. A master’s degree accreditation from the American Library Association is not mandatory but it increases the chances of getting hired of the student.
Every student has to complete an internship for a specific period of time in the related field during their master’s degree program. Getting a good internship will significantly help students to get a good job after the program.
Licensure requirement varies from state to state but it is mandatory for all 50 states. The University of Kentucky provides a list of licensure requirements for all 50 states. Students can also choose to become certified in a specific area. The Allied Professional Association (ALA) offers a list of state and regional certifications for librarians.
There is no specific course in bachelor’s program for library science so students are free to choose any course they like. However, there are some courses that will help students prepare for master’s degree in library science like art, history, music, law, psychology or sociology.
Most library science and information studies programs are of two years and prepare students to work as a librarian in various places ranging from schools and special collections to public and governmental settings. A master’s degree in library science can be earned through traditional or online degrees.
A doctoral degree in library science is of four years and designed for students who want advanced roles in universities or research institutes. Most Ph.D. students teach postsecondary students.