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How to become a Librarian?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered April 15 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
The most common requirement for a Librarian is a Master's in Library and Information Science, also known as an MLIS or MLS. 

 To qualify for these graduate degrees, you usually only need a Bachelor's degree with decent grades, usually about a B average. Your chosen area of study for your undergraduate degree is mainly inconsequential to this career. Many people enter MLIS programs with BAs in English or the humanities. Suppose you want to be a specialized Librarian, such as a medical Librarian. In that case, it could be helpful to obtain your undergraduate degree in a related field, such as biology or health sciences.

In your MLIS program, you will take classes on information management, archiving, and database management, among others. Most MLIS programs also require either an internship or a final project, or both. There is much variance in course offerings across MLIS degrees, so you should take the time to research different schools and choose the one you think is the best fit for you. 

Once you have your MLIS degree, you may need to pass additional exams, depending on your state and the kind of library you want to work in. For example, some states require only k-12 Librarians to pass a test, while other states require testing from all Librarians. 

Important Things to Know Before Becoming a Librarian
  • Librarians care more about people than books. Librarians have a common misconception that they scuttle around stacks of books all day without talking to anyone. However, libraries exist because people need accessible, high-quality information. Librarians help people access that information and interact with it in meaningful ways. You must like working with people and figuring out the best way to help them. 
  • While in school, seek out a mentor who does some of the work you're interested in. This can provide experience, knowledge, and maybe even a position as a research or teaching assistant to help you gain more insight into their chosen specialty.
  • Especially in a public library, you will deal with a diverse clientele. All kinds of people use public libraries, from children to people in mental health crises. You need to be able to keep calm and have great people skills to navigate potentially tricky situations.