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How Do I Become a Web Librarian?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a web librarian, you will first need to complete the standard educational program required for librarians in the area where you live. In the United States, this means completing a Master of Library Science degree; only a bachelor's degree may be required in other countries. During your degree program, it's a good idea to focus your studies on electronic resources, cataloging, and web development. After graduation, you may wish to pursue additional studies in HTML, web graphics, and even search engine optimization. It is possible to become a web librarian immediately after graduation, but you may find that many libraries would prefer you to have a year or two of experience in a generalist position before you can be hired as a web librarian.

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The duties of a web librarian vary by employer, but typically include assuming responsibility for managing a library's website, evaluating online sources before presenting them to library patrons, and assisting in the cataloging of web-based information resources. Anyone who wishes to become a web librarian will likely need to be able to demonstrate strong technical skills as well as knowledge of library science and online culture. If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, you may wish to consider taking computer science courses as well as courses in online communication and technical writing. This type of knowledge can assist you in furthering your career and may help you get a pertinent web-related internship while you are in library school.

When selecting a library school, review its course catalog to find out whether it offers coursework in HTML, web classification and cataloging, and social media. While in school, take the time to learn about web-based databases and search systems, as both will be crucial to developing a library's web presence in the future. Don't neglect cataloging courses, as the continued proliferation of web-based resources means that even experienced catalogers and bibliographers will need feedback on how to properly classify and cite these sources. When you become a web librarian, you will be the individual whom your colleagues turn to with questions about web-based sources.

If you have already completed your professional education, look into continuing education options. Professional conferences may offer you the opportunity to attend workshops and classes on web design and Internet sources. Keep in mind that after you become a web librarian you will typically be expected to maintain and administer your library's website, which may mean that you will need to learn advanced HTML skills as well as how to work with various graphics-oriented software packages. If you feel that your design or programming skills are lacking, you may need more in-depth education than standard continuing education courses can provide. In such cases, consider enrolling in a web design school in your area for professional training.

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