The Benefits of Finding A Job In A Library
When you hear the word “library,” what usually comes to mind is the image of an old, grumpy librarian with thick eyeglasses behind a desk who’s always ready to silence a crowd of rowdy students. However, for others, a library could be a dreamy place where they have pictured themselves to be working all day surrounded by books that they long to read.
If you belong to the group who would want to be working at a library, as early as now, know that gone were the days when you only need to deal with printed materials. The digital age has radically changed the operations in a library. If you want to have the upper hand, getting a master’s degree that deals with digital materials may greatly benefit you. Nowadays, institutions like the University of Southern California offers online courses. This way, you can take your classes anywhere and at any time of your convenience.
If your dream job is to work at a library, here are some of its benefits:
- The variety of positions to fill.
When you generally want to work in an environment where there are books around you, it is good to know that you don’t have to be a librarian all along. There are several other positions that you may choose from.
These are the positions to keep the library’s operation:
- Library Directors – Large or small facilities require this post. This person will mostly handle financial, administrative, and select relational duties. Budget preparation is among the financial duties. For administrative functions, this involves developing policies and strategies that will be adhered to by all employees. As for select relational responsibilities, it means having to deal with government bodies and officials when the need arises.
- Library Managers – These people report to the library director. They mostly oversee the functions of each division of a library, as well as perform administrative tasks such as scheduling of works and the evaluation of employees under their supervision.
- Librarians – They recommend which materials to purchase, whether this is in print or digital format. Also, they assist patrons especially the elderly if they need help with the resources they would like to locate.
- Library Assistants or Technicians – They do the clerical works. They check in and checkout the books, and could often be mistaken for the librarians. They may be library-goers’ best buddies since they hand out the library cards—or they can be library-goers’ best foes since library assistants collect the fines.
- Pages or Shelves People – This position is highly required for large facilities. They are responsible for putting the books back into shelves and making sure that they are in their proper order.
- Computer and Software Professionals – Since libraries now no longer deal with print materials alone thanks to technological advancements, these professionals are required to keep the hardware and software aspects of the digital section of the library functioning.
- Public Relations Specialists – These people maintain the library’s communication with the community. They prepare materials like flyers and newsletters, and organize events like a book fair or an authors’ book signing.
- A competitive salary rate for the educational requirement.
Whether you have a degree or not, you have a place working in a library. Also, you have the option to work part-time or full-time. Whichever of the two conditions you’ll choose, you will, of course, be paid accordingly. Naturally, if you have degrees that are related to your position in the library, there’s a chance that you can get paid higher or get a promotion.
According to the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), the mean annual earning of a librarian in 2017 was USD 60,760. Meanwhile, the mean hourly rate of a library assistant or technician was at USD 17.07. A library director, according to the American Library Association (ALA), may earn up to USD 175,000 for a large facility in a year.
For the educational requirement, a library technician would need a High School diploma but is preferred to have a Postsecondary Training in Library Technology. Librarians must have a Master’s Degree in Library Science (MLS), Master of Information Studies, or Master of Library and Information Studies. The computer support professionals must also have an equivalent degree.
- A fast-paced and challenging work environment.
If you imagine working in a library as working in a solitary place, then you’re wrong. Working in a library means you always need to be on your toes as patrons will approach you for any assistance anytime they deem it necessary. If you’re the type of person who thrives on challenges, then this is for you.
In a library, you’ll be meeting various people with different personalities. Some may irritate you for being rather extreme, so your relational skills will be tested. Others will give you that warm feeling after they compliment you for the assistance you’ve extended or for any little gesture that they find worthy of appreciation.
Some patrons may also ask you about certain books or authors, so you need to be well-versed in both classical works as well as contemporary ones. Engaging in a conversation with library visitors may also encourage them to come back more often.
The good things about working in a library are laid out for you. It’s up to you then to see if any of the positions fit you. If ever you decide pursuing a library job, then you should start preparing now. You may want to seek out library volunteer works and go from there.