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Career Profile: Library and Information Sciences

Information about Librarians:

Librarians……….They're NOT what you think!
Today's librarians are a fascinating and diverse group of people working at a broad range of jobs in public, academic and institutional settings. Using cutting-edge technology and extensive data bases, many of today's librarians are the ultimate search engines for clients who range from research scientists to the general public. Others produce Web sites that bring around-the-clock library services to patrons with home or office computers.

The American Library Association (ALA) has a comprehensive website with resources to help students explore the field of Library Science.  You will also find helpful information in the Occupational Outlook Handbook which outlines information about Librarians and related careers including the Nature of the Work, Training & Qualifications, and Salary Ranges. 

Scholarships:
The American Library Association (ALA) awards scholarships towards education in the field of Library Science. For more information and application instructions, view http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/scholarships.

The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) also offers scholarship opportunities to students continuing their education as well as to librarians currently employed in the field. View the following site for more information: http://wla.wisconsinlibraries.org/awards-scholarships/

Graduate Study

Whether you need a graduate degree will depend upon factors such as the type of position to which you are applying, state library requirements, and the size of the library.  If your desire is to attend graduate school, be certain to choose a program that is accredited by the ALA.  Click here to search the ALA's database of ALA accredited graduate programs in library and information studies.

Salary, Benefits and the Job Market
Do you want your future career to have great pay and benefits as well as be

  • Dynamic
  • Rewarding
  • Cutting-edge
  • Challenging
  • Surprising
  • And most of all…FUN!

If so, consider becoming a leader in the information age!  The current job market is strong. Library school placement centers  report that 90 percent of their graduates have jobs within six months after graduation.  Technology skills are in high demand, as are candidates who bring diversity, energy, and other outside job skills to the workplace! 

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (compiled by the u.S. Department of Labor) the median pay for Librarians was $56,880 per year ($27.35 per hour). View the Librarian profile in the OOH to see differences among industries at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm#tab-5

Career Options and Industries:
Here are some career possibilities:  

  • Academic Librarian
  • Corporate Librarian
  • Government Documents Librarian
  • Cyberlibrarian
  • Information Architect
  • Information Broker
  • K-12 Librarian
  • Law Librarian
  • Medical Librarian
  • Public Librarian

Other career possibilities include:

  • Information consultant
  • Art & Architecture Librarian
  • Science & Engineering Librarian
  • Patent Searcher
  • Serials Librarian
  • Rare Book Cataloger
  • Systems Manager
  • Archivist
  • Acquisitions Librarian
  • Head of Collections

And many more!

Remember-- This list is just a small sampling of the professions that are available.   

Industries in which people in this occupation are employed include:

  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
  • Junior Colleges and Technical Institutes
  • Libraries
  • Religious Organizations
  • Legislative Bodies
  • Legal Counsel and Prosecution
  • Administration of Public Health Programs
  • Land, Mineral, Wildlife, and Forest Conservation
  • Space Research and Technology

What else can you do with a library and information science degree? 

A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree prepares students for library work, but some graduates use their education in non-library settings.  MLIS graduates working outside the library include: 

  • Book publishing workers who use their knowledge of books to choose and edit manuscripts
  • Chief information officers who decide which information technology a business needs and how employees will share information
  • Content managers who find and organize material for online communities
  • Database administrators who organize, update, and store data using extensive programming skills
  • Information brokers who conduct research for people who contract for it
  • Salesworkers who sell software and other products to libraries
  • Taxonomists who work for data processing and e-commerce companies by classifying information about putting it in appropriate categories
  • Webmasters who design, maintain, and program websites

Want MORE information?!  The best one-stop shopping place for information about library careers is the ALA website at www.ala.org.

 

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