What Does A Librarian Do?

Everyone is acquainted with librarians. They have assisted students in the elementary, high school and college, helping them find the books and other resources they need. Librarians also assist professionals and the rest of the members of the general public by managing public and special libraries.

Although the main task of librarians is to help library users find information, the work they do is actually varied. They can act as leaders in the school community in matters related to information, as teachers and as helpers of patrons seeking library resources. Within the school community, librarians act as leaders and influence decisions pertaining to information and how it is used or delivered. For example, they can advocate for the use of technology to improve library services and enhance students’ learning.

Librarians, no matter where they work, also serve as teachers. They orient patrons on how to use library resources and use information for various purposes. They also teach users ways to utilize new technologies to make information retrieval faster and more efficient. Librarians may also initiate activities that promote love of reading to young students, such as by holding regular story telling sessions.

The specific work that librarians do often depends on the place where they work. For example, school librarians work in elementary, middle school and high schools. They deal mostly with students, helping them find the resources they need. They may also provide assistance to teachers who are trying to find teaching resources. Academic librarians, on the other hand, work in libraries in higher institutions of learning like colleges and universities. They also work with students and teachers, usually in helping them find the resources they need for research, projects and dissertations. Public librarians are found in community libraries and they deal with a wide variety of individuals. They may help students locate books for homework, senior citizens looking to read books for pleasure or organize programs that encourage patrons of all ages to visit the library or cultivate their love for reading.

Librarians may also be hired by companies, medical facilities and government agencies. Corporate librarians maintain the libraries of various businesses and assist employees of that particular company find the information they need. Medical librarians provide doctors, medical students and patients information about medicine and health. Law librarians, on the other hand, are tasked with organizing legal resources and ensuring that law students and legal professionals are able to locate cases and other information they need. Meanwhile, government librarians work in libraries of government agencies. Their goal is to provide information to those in government service as well as to members of the general public.

Not all librarians help patrons find the resources they need. Some of them work behind the scenes. For example, technical services librarians are concerned with ordering the materials and equipment for the library. They also see to it that new books, magazines and other resources are catalogued for easy retrieval of library users. Systems librarians also don’t get to interact a lot with the public because their main task is to maintain the computer and cataloguing systems used in the institution. They need to have a good background of computer programming since they will be setting up the library’s cataloguing systems. Then there are also administrative services librarians who are concerned with the smooth running of the operations of the entire library. They hire library staff and train them. They also take care of library finances and negotiate with suppliers for library equipment and resources.

Career Spotlight: Librarian

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