What does a librarian do?

Librarians help facilitate the search for literature and information by maintaining systematised libraries, organised by the Dewey Decimal System of classification in most Australian collections. They guide library patrons to informational resources, assisting with research and access. Some of the daily duties a librarian may perform are: cataloguing books, providing training and education to staff, students and members of the public, assisting library goers in accessing information, developing online and in house databases and curating digital resources to help library users. 

Tasks:

  • Digitising information
  • Creating systems to improve resource access
  • Communicate with library users in a friendly and informative manner
  • Extend assistance to users who need guidance
  • Systematically putting books away

What skills do I need to be a librarian?

Librarians require superb organisational skills coupled with a friendly and informative demeanour. Librarians are responsible for making libraries welcoming, structured and accessible environments for study and leisure. This requires a keen attention to detail and an ability to organise resources logically. Librarians are also required to liaise with students, staff and members of the public alike – extending friendly assistance and helping to meet an individual’s personal needs.

Skills/attributes
  • • Organisational skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Logical and rational thinking
  • Excellent literacy skills
  • Enjoys providing assistance

Specialisations

With the right experience and qualifications, librarians can branch out into a number of related professions and industries and elect to further specialise their career path. You can choose a specialisation based on your personal interests and ideal career path. 

Archivist

Archivists play a fundamental role in the preservation, storage and maintenance of documents that are perceived to have a significant level of importance. Archivists can work in a number of environments and perform a number of duties i.e. working with financial statements on a corporate level or preserving old documents for a museum or historical society.

Library Assistant

Library assistants work closely with librarians, providing assistance to them in the smooth running of a library. There are a number of duties that a library assistant may perform, particularly related to the lending, storage and stocktake of books, magazines and other resources.

Teacher Librarian

Teacher librarians work within schools to assist students in the development of research skills and teaching them how to effectively use the resources that a library provides. Library teachers instruct students in how to access and use different information resources, and reference their sources in essays. They also promote literacy and reading for leisure.

Study pathways for librarians

Knowing what your specialisation is will help determine what qualifications you need and which study options are the most beneficial for you.

Getting Started

Choose a course that builds your understanding of information services

Skill Building

Work towards your career with focused library services study options

Professional Development

Learn classification standards and resource cataloguing skills

Industry Recognition

On completion of your degree you can apply for membership with the Australian Library and Information Association. In order to work in schools, you will need to undertake further study.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your library and information services career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is forecasted to be a moderate level of growth in employment opportunities over the next five years.