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What Does a High School Librarian Do?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A high school librarian aids both teachers and students in finding resources relevant to their studies or classes. He or she may also provide students with instructions on how to efficiently research topics. A high school librarian is also responsible for running the library and performing several or all of the required administrative tasks. He or she also typically organizes library events and schedules library use with teachers.

One of the primary functions of a high school librarian is helping students with research. Students and librarians often discuss a research topic together, and the librarian suggests resources and provides assistance to the student in finding and using the materials. These can include books, periodicals, websites, magazines, and videos. Teachers may also request resource recommendations from the high school librarian based on what their classes are studying.

The librarian is also responsible for checking out and accepting returns of all library materials. This includes keeping track what class or student has items and when they are expected to be returned. Depending on the school, this may include charging late fees and contacting parents about overdue books.

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Librarians working in a high school often provide instructional classes on how to conduct research. This can include how to properly search the Internet and how to find books in the library. The librarian may also provide students with classes about citing sources in their papers and how to use encyclopedias. These classes are typically scheduled the a teacher in conjunction with the high school librarian and may coincide with a specific topic.

Outside of teaching students about the library, a high school librarian is also responsible for running the library. In larger high schools, he or she may be responsible for supervising staff. He or she is also often responsible for supervising students in the library.

A high school librarian usually administers the library's budget and orders materials and resources for the library. Once the items arrive, the librarian is often responsible for both cataloging and storing the resources. This typically includes updating card catalogs and the library's computerized system.

A person in this job is also responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing events in the library. Book fairs, during and after school hours, are often run by the high school librarian. Book drives or donation events and reading competitions are also usually part of the responsibilities.

The librarian often has to work closely with the teachers and staff at the high school to ensure materials are available when each class needs them. When whole classes need to use the library, the librarian ensures that there are not too many students or classes there at once. In many secondary schools, the computer lab is located in the library, thereby making the librarian also responsible for scheduling computer access for students and teachers.

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