The requirements to become a media librarian can depend on the job, but may include a master of library science degree or a teaching certificate and some specialized training. Some media librarians work in school settings to provide services to students, while others oversee collections of particular media, like records in a music library. This field can have continuing education requirements to keep up with developments in the industry and trends for librarians. Pursuit of such training may be subsidized by an employer in some cases.
For librarians who work in school settings, it may be necessary to have a teaching credential to become a media librarian. In addition to a credential, the teacher would need to complete a training course in handling library media, or a set number of classroom hours in training. Another option is to pursue a master of library science degree as the primary credential. School librarians can help design curricula, make resources available to students, and provide a range of other services.
Someone who wants to become a media librarian who oversees a particular kind of collection will probably need a master of library science degree. It can also help to take elective courses in caring for media, archival practices, and related topics. Undergraduate training could also reflect a potential area of interest; someone who wants to supervise a music library, for example, might have a bachelor’s degree in music.
Library school training can include classes as well as practical experience in library settings. A student who plans to become a media librarian might want to take advantage of opportunities to work with mixed media like art, music, and videos. Some library schools also offer specific coursework as career preparation to allow students to get in-depth training in particular topics. Graduates from such programs may have an advantage with job applications, as they may have specialized knowledge.
It can take four years or more to become a media librarian. Some people may choose to join professional organizations to have access to trade journals, conferences, private job listings, and other resources. Such memberships can also be beneficial on job applications, whee they may be used as evidence that an applicant is committed to constant improvement and continuing professional education. Pursuing periodic courses in topics like new library software, caring for fragile media, and patron services can also help a media librarian stay sharp and competitive in the field.