How Do I Become a Head Librarian?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Most libraries no longer use old cataloging systems, but online catalogs.
Most libraries no longer use old cataloging systems, but online catalogs.

To become a head librarian, you typically need to have a master’s degree in library science, or a similar degree, as well as professional experience as a librarian. There are many post-graduate programs that offer degrees of this nature, or in related fields such as library and information science, and a master’s degree from this type of program can help prepare you for a career as a librarian. As you are receiving this education, you should also gain professional experience in a library. You might also consider any requirements you may need to become a head librarian in a particular field of library science such as a technical head at a library.

A head librarian is typically the highest ranking librarian at a library, though some libraries may have a number of heads for specific aspects of the library’s needs. To become a head librarian, you should pursue a master’s degree in a subject such as library science or information science. This type of degree can help you gain an understanding of various cataloging systems and the types of tasks you may perform as a librarian. You should receive a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and then gain your master’s degree in order to qualify you to become a head librarian.

Many libraries also require a great deal of professional experience in order for you to become a head librarian, which you can gain while you are in school and afterward. As you are working on your degree, you should look for opportunities to work or volunteer at a library. This can be a library at your school, a public library, or a private library that offers internships or other programs for students. Professional experience is often required to become a head librarian and may help you find your first jobs as a librarian after you receive your degree.

Once you have your master’s degree and some experience, then you can begin looking for positions as a librarian. You should try to gain several years of professional experience working as a librarian to qualify you to become a head librarian. As you are working, you can look for opportunities to move up within the library you already work at, or you can look for other institutions that may be in need of a head librarian and have positions for which you are qualified. You might also consider chances to become a head librarian in a particular field, such as a technical head or a head of cataloging, which is an advanced position related to a specific aspect of library operation.

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    • Most libraries no longer use old cataloging systems, but online catalogs.
      By: Andrey Kuzmin
      Most libraries no longer use old cataloging systems, but online catalogs.