What Does a College Librarian Do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 11 April 2018
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The duties and responsibilities of a college librarian can vary somewhat, depending on the needs of the library at which he or she is located. They are typically responsible for operations within a library and helping people find resources that they need. This type of work can include placing orders for supplies and materials needed by the library, including new books, office supplies, and computer hardware and software. A college librarian also helps students who are performing research, gives tours to new students to help them become acquainted with the library, and assists professors with research and developing or coordinating lessons alongside library functions.

Many of the tasks performed by a college librarian are similar to those at other types of libraries, though there are some specific services they can provide. Some common responsibilities for a college librarian include basic operational jobs that need to be performed. This includes organization within the library, moving and restocking shelves as needed, as well as ensuring the building is opened and closed on schedule. College librarians may also be responsible for ensuring office supplies are stocked, such as printer paper and pens, and for ordering new books and computer equipment as needed for the library.

Students often require assistance while in a library, and so a college librarian is frequently responsible for helping them. This can include giving tours to new students, often as part of a class or orientation group, to help them become familiar with the library. Individual students may also need assistance from a college librarian, who can handle technical issues with computers and printers in the library, as well as provide assistance with setting up a library account for the use of various resources. Librarians can also help students with research, by instructing them in common methods for searching databases and helping them locate books.

Some specific tasks that a college librarian may perform, that other librarians do not typically need to consider, involve providing assistance to professors. An instructor may come to a librarian to set up time in a study room or section of a library for his or her class, especially for a particular research project or viewing of reserved materials for the class. Professors may also need assistance from a college librarian when performing research, though often less help than students may need. Librarians can also help professors make requests for materials and resources to be transferred from a partner institution, often to assist with research on which he or she is working.



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