When looking at the different kinds of librarian jobs, it’s important to understand the range of public and private libraries that make up the national spectrum of the “archival industry”. Different types of librarian jobs are classified according to factors like acquired skills, the use of technology, and the level of administration. These jobs can also vary widely in pay scale and job security.
One way to categorize librarian jobs is by the type of job role that the employee plays in the institution. It is necessary to look at the way an individual nation treats its library system, and what kinds of resources are put into archiving, whether through a government office or in the private sector. This way, those who are looking at library careers can identify some common categories of library work.
There are few high-level categories that librarian jobs can be divided into. One of these is often called “user services” – this is what many commonly think of as a librarian job. This job will consist of helping users to locate items in a library, or otherwise directing the use of a library by visitors. Another type of librarian job is related to technical archiving, and the use of advanced technology. A third category is administrative services, where the employee will be engaged in planning for the dedicated library systems.
Another approach to categorizing library jobs is by a kind of “ranking” system. In most larger libraries, there is a head librarian or other skilled administrator or manager. There may also be a number of lower-level workers called circulation assistants, library aides, or library helpers. These individuals will often do a lot of the physical work in a library, from rearranging the "stacks" and periodicals, to helping to repair damage to items, or providing direct service to visitors.
Jobs in a library also vary according to what the particular library does. Beyond the smaller public libraries that constitute what many people first think of as a library, there are complex library offices and institutions, which help drive research for private companies, preserve files and data for government departments, and accomplish various other high-level goals. Librarians in these complex systems may do a lot more than just helping individuals find the items they need.