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Librarians run services that lend and advise on books in public libraries, universities, colleges and schools.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £19,800 to £55,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this career through a degree in librarianship or information management, or a postgraduate qualification in information management, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

If you've a degree in another subject, you could join an employer’s graduate training scheme, leading to an information management qualification.

If you're working as a library assistant or have a job with an information service, you could apply for certified affiliate status.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • organisational skills
  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • IT skills, particularly in using databases and the internet
  • research skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • using IT systems to catalogue, classify and index stock
  • organising resources so that they are easy for users to find
  • dealing with enquiries
  • helping library users to find resources
  • keeping up to date with new publications and selecting stock
  • organising library services for sections of the community like pre-school groups and ethnic minority groups
  • setting up activities like reading groups
  • promoting library services through displays, talks and community events

In a school, college or university you may also teach research skills.

4. Salary

Starter: £19,800 to £24,500

Experienced: £24,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £32,000 to £55,000

Salaries depend on the type of library.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with some evening and Saturday work.

Most jobs are in public libraries. You could also work in school, college or university libraries, or libraries for specialist areas, like healthcare and law.

You'll usually work at a particular library, but you may travel between sites or work in a mobile library.

6. Career path and progression

You could move into a senior job as a manager. Or you could take responsibility for a specialist service or collection.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017