Library Science Careers – Jobs, Salaries & Education Requirements

TBS Staff Writers
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Updated October 11, 2023
What Do Librarians Do? Most common workplaces for librarians are elementary and secondary schools, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Library science is the study of information, and it offers rewarding, in-demand careers with opportunities for growth.

Professionals who work in library science organize books, periodicals, and other resources. They may also conduct research, organize community events, manage fundraising efforts, and assist people of all ages and backgrounds in accessing information.

This page covers how to pursue a library science career, including education requirements, relevant skills, common library jobs, and answers to frequently asked questions.

What Do Librarians Do?

Librarians organize library materials, help visitors find books and periodicals, check books in and out, and generally maintain library collections. Many librarians also plan and host programs for the community, like reading groups for children. They may also carry out research. Librarians usually need a master’s degree in library science or information studies.

Where Do Librarians Work?

Librarians may work in a variety of library and related settings, but the most common workplaces for librarians are elementary and secondary schools, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also frequently work at colleges and universities. In addition to libraries, librarians may work for government agencies, law firms, museums, or hospitals, doing data management.

Skills

Librarians need archiving, indexing, and cataloguing skills. They also need strong information organization skills, which they can develop through library science programs. Librarians may also assume administrative duties, which require organizational and general management abilities. Additionally, librarians use problem-solving and interpersonal skills to help patrons access library materials.

Career Information

Salaries for library science professionals vary by education, experience, and job description, but in 2018, librarians earned a median annual pay of about $59,050, according to the BLS. As illustrated below, librarians in New York City and Washington, D.C., make the highest annual wages.

Salary and Job Growth for Librarians
SalaryJob Growth (2018-2028)
Librarians$59,0506%
Library Technicians$29,640-3%
Source: BLS
Highest Paying Cities for Librarians
CityMedian Annual Salary
Washington, D.C$64,521
New York, New York$57,831
Source: BLS

Similar Careers

Ask An Expert

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Michele Lefler has an MS in library and information science from Drexel University. She is the library director at a small public library in south central Pennsylvania. Her passions include intellectual freedom and access to information for all. Her favorite reading topic is dystopian fiction.

Why Become a Librarian?

How to Get Hired

Day in the Life

Organizations

Founded in 1876, ALA is the largest association for library professionals in the world. Members have access to scholarship opportunities, library tools, and information about potential jobs.

A branch of ALA for librarians who work in elementary and secondary schools, AASL offers conferences, e-learning sessions, and members-only publications and newsletters.

Another branch of ALA, this organization connects professionals who work in collections, acquisitions, and cataloguing. The group hosts continuing education opportunities and gives out awards and grants.

Frequently Asked Questions

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