How Do I Become a College Librarian? (with pictures)

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Library books.
Library books.

College librarians are information professionals who work in higher education environments. These professionals are often responsible for performing tasks such as ordering books and other kinds of media, organizing items, and using social networking tools to share and access information with students, faculty, and librarians from other institutions. College librarians also help students to perform research by teaching them to find books and periodicals, responsibly utilize the Internet, and access information from digital databases. To become a college librarian, it is almost always necessary to earn a master's degree in library science. A person who would like to become a college librarian might also want to earn degrees in other academic areas so that he or she can work in more specialized libraries, such as business or medical libraries.

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

Unlike librarians who work in conventional public libraries, college librarians are often expected to act primarily as educators. They might speak in classes where students are asked to write research papers. When students enter a library to perform research, a college librarians might help them to get started by showing them books and databases that they can use for reference. An individual who wants to become a college librarian should receive some level of teacher training.

Books in a college library.
Books in a college library.

A person who wants to become a college librarian should also become familiar with new technology that is used for accessing and sharing data. Much information is stored on websites and in databases, so much of a librarian's job includes tracking new software and applications that are used to record and communicate information. It can be a good idea to read trade magazines and even attend workshops and seminars where librarians gather to discuss new technologies that change the way people read and communicate.

If you would like to become the director of a college library, you should probably consider earning a PhD in library science. Many people study for these degrees while they work as college librarians. In some cases, you might need several years of experience as a librarian before you can enroll in a doctoral degree program.

A person who wants to become a college librarian should compose a curriculum vitae (CV). A CV is a document similar to a resume in which you list your academic training and experience. While a resume commonly focuses on an individual's professional experience, a CV might be more focused on degrees and areas of specialization in which you have trained. You can also include publications, awards, and grants.

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    • Library books.
      Library books.
    • An old fashioned card catalog in a library.
      An old fashioned card catalog in a library.
    • Books in a college library.
      Books in a college library.