How Do I Become a Librarian?

If you have good communication skills and are drawn to a career which involves selecting and maintaining materials, you may be interested in the answer to the question, “How do you become a librarian?” This type of work involves working with paper and electronic records. The librarian’s work also involves teaching people how to retrieve information they need.

Librarians work in a variety of settings. Some of them work at public libraries or at universities. Others work for government agencies and departments, or in the private sector at large corporations. Librarians are also employed by hospitals, boards of health and by large law firms.

Education Required to Become a Librarian

The minimum level of education required to work as a librarian is a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS). Librarians who hold a Ph.D is qualified to hold a high-level position at a university library or to teach at a post-secondary institution.

Before enrolling in the graduate Library Science program, a future librarian must obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Applicants holding any undergraduate degree may be considered for a Master’s degree program, which opens the door to a variety of people who are interested in becoming a librarian.

Some universities offer Bachelor’s degree programs in Library Informatics and this is an excellent way to prepare for an MLIS degree. Students enrolled in this program would take the following courses:

• Advanced Information Literacy Skills
• Critical Reading
• Current Trends in Information Studies
• Digital Searching Interfaces
• Government Information
• Information in Our Society
• Introduction to Meta Information Systems

Each school offering a MLIS degree sets its own admission requirements. If you are interested in being admitted to a top-ranked school, you will probably need to have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 in your highest completed degree. The program would include courses in the following:

• Assessing Information Needs
• Foundations of the Information Professions
• Information Behavior
• Information in Social Context
• Information Organization
• Information Resources, Services and Collections
• Instructional and Training Strategies for Information Professionals
• Introduction to Information Policy
• Life Cycle of Information
• Management of Information Organizations
• Organization of Information and Resources
• Research, Assessment and Design
• Research Methods in Information Studies

Online MLIS Degree

A number of universities offer an online MLIS degree program. The curriculum and standards for student achievement are identical to those used for on-campus learners. This is a great choice for learners who want to complete an advanced degree while working. An online degree can also make sense to someone who is working as a library assistant and would like to qualify for a more senior position.

Each school offering an online learning option will post information about the program on its website. Prospective students will want to find out whether they are expected to log into the school’s online learning platform at certain times or if the lectures and other materials can be accessed on demand.

The answer to the question, “How do you become a librarian?” is that a Master’s degree is required to do this job.

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