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How Do I Become a Business Librarian?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

In order to become a business librarian, you will typically need a master's of library and information science (MLIS) or master's of library science (MLS) degree. The other requirements can differ depending on your location and what type of business librarian you want to become. If you want to become an academic business librarian, you may want to take various business- and economic-related courses as you work toward your degree. Corporate business librarians can be even more specialized though, so if that is your goal you may want to tailor your undergraduate degree with that in mind. If you obtain a bachelor's degree in information technology (IT), for example, that may help prepare you to become a business librarian in the tech sector.

There are many different types of librarians employed in both the public and private sectors. Business librarians are individuals who specialize either in the subject of business itself or a particular industry. Universities sometimes employ librarians specifically to manage their business libraries, or to interface with departments such as business administration or economics. Large corporations often employ librarians as well to organize and curate various documents and other resources. These different career paths have similar education requirements, though you may want to shift your focus depending on your goals if you want to become a business librarian.

Library books.
Library books.

The first step to become any kind of librarian is to obtain the necessary educational background. In the United States, you will need to obtain a four-year bachelor's degree and then study for a MLS or MLIS degree. It is also important that you choose a school with the proper accreditation, such as that offered by the American Library Association (ALA) in the United States or the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in the United Kingdom. You can typically become a business librarian after you obtain your master's degree, but a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in library science may be necessary to obtain certain high-level positions.

An old fashioned card catalog in a library.
An old fashioned card catalog in a library.

When you choose a major for your bachelor's degree, you may want to consider what field you plan to work in. If you want to become a business librarian who runs an academic business library, you might consider obtaining a bachelor's degree in a business- or economics-related field. This is typically not a job requirement, but it may help prepare you. If you prefer to obtain your bachelor's degree in a different subject, you may want to consider taking some business and economics electives.

If you want to become a corporate business librarian then you may want to obtain your bachelor's degree in a specific field. A degree in information technology may prepare you for a librarian job in the IT field, and many law firm librarians also hold legal degrees. By identifying an industry of choice early on, you may help your chances of eventually finding employment as a corporate librarian.

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    • Library books.
      By: trotzolga
      Library books.
    • An old fashioned card catalog in a library.
      By: Andrey Kuzmin
      An old fashioned card catalog in a library.