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How do I Learn about Careers in Library Science?: Career Information

Shift in Jobs

While librarianship is growing as a field, the skills are shifting.

Follow library job posting to see what types of skills are desired beyond the Master's degree. Often technology skills such as web editing or programming are desired. Other jobs ask for social media, instant messaging and online marketing skills.

It's important to realize, that as older librarians retire their positions are often being reconfigured into new ones. In Public Libraries, a growing field is YA (youth) librarianship- serving tweens and teens. In Academic Libraries, distance learning librarians are being added. School libraries are one type that is shrinking, as unfortunately many school districts are replacing their librarians with staff positions requiring little to no training. Other school districts are requiring librarians with the MLS degree.

Look for Jobs

Your graduate school: often library grad programs list jobs and host recruiters. Sometimes these announcements are password protected for students and alums only, while others are public.

All Library Types:

Government Libraries:

Check your State's website as well.

Academic:

Public:

When looking for a public library job, consider the geographic areas in which you would like to live and work, then start checking the following sources for job postings:

  • Individual Library websites
  • State or Regional Library Association websites
  • State Library websites

Local job resources are best, but you shouldn't ignore national job lists

Special:

Official Job Outlook

Job prospects

Job prospects are expected to be favorable. On average, workers in this occupation tend to be older than workers in the rest of the economy. As a result, there may be more workers retiring from this occupation than other occupations. However, relatively large numbers of graduates from MLS programs may cause competition in some areas and for some jobs.

Job growth is expected to be slower than average at 2% growth from 2012-2022, compared to 11% for all occupations. Librarians are needed to assist library patrons in locating information and resources, but growth will be limited as people become more comfortable using electronic resources to conduct their own research.

Employment change

There will continue to be a need for librarians to manage libraries and help patrons find information. As patrons and support staff become more comfortable using electronic resources, fewer librarians will be needed for assistance. However, the increased availability of electronic information is also expected to increase the demand for librarians in research and special libraries, where they will be needed to help sort through the large amount of available information.

Budget limitations, especially in local government and educational services, may slow demand for librarians. Some libraries may close, reduce the size of their staff, or focus on hiring library technicians and assistants, who can fulfill some librarian duties at a lower cost.

Jobseekers may face strong competition for jobs, especially early in the decade, as many people with master’s degrees in library science compete for a limited number of available positions. Later in the decade, prospects should be better, as older library workers retire and population growth generates openings.

Even though people with a master’s degree in library science may have trouble finding a job as a librarian, their research and analytical skills can be valuable for jobs in a variety of other fields, such as market researchers or computer and information systems managers. A degree from an American Library Association accredited program may lead to better job opportunities.

Projections Data 

Occupational Title: Librarian

SOC-CODE: 25-4021

Employment, 2012: 148,000

Projected Employment, 2022: 159,000

Percent Change 2014-2024: 2%

Numeric Chaneg 2012-2022: 11,000

Employment by Industry: [XML

From: US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook:Librarians

PROJECTIONS DATA INFORMATION SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program