A once-in-a-life-time opportunity to connect people with stories, ideas and information is on the other side of a library course.
What do librarian graduates do?
Graduates of library courses usually work as librarians, managing all aspects of library services. You may complete tasks like:
- Developing, writing and implementing library and information policies and services;
- Examining publications, catalogues and materials, and consulting with publishers and others to select and purchase library materials;
- Selecting, ordering, classifying and cataloguing library and information resources;
- Managing and culling library collections;
- Managing library systems, including systems for recording and organising library inventory, for client registrations and loans, and for indexing, filing and retrieving stock;
- Issuing loans and conducting customer services activities;
- Sorting, shelving and retrieving books and resources;
- Managing inter-library loan systems;
- Reviewing, evaluating and modifying services in response to user needs;
- Undertaking research;
- Providing assistance to patrons in accessing library materials; and
- Supervising and training other library staff.
As a librarian, you may also be responsible for outreach and marketing activities for your library, encouraging new patrons to visit the library and directing existing clients to new services, resources and programs offered by the library.
You’ll thrive working in a library if you:
- Are highly organised and efficient
- Are passionate about sharing knowledge and ideas
- Love working with people
- Work well with systems
- Can work independently
- Can focus on details
- Are curious about the world
- Have strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Can work well under pressure
- Are empathetic
- Want a career helping people
According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, librarianship in Australia is a small and stable profession. Currently employing approximately 8,400 people, the profession is expected to expand slightly over the next few years, to employ approximately 8,500 people by 2020.
Job opportunities for librarians have fluctuated in the last few years, with opportunities rising steadily to 2012, but declining in the last five years. This pattern likely reflects the increase in library locations across Australia in the financial years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
Librarianship is a profession people tend turn into a career, with PayScale reporting over a quarter of librarians in Australia have more than 20 years of professional experience. However, more than a third of librarians have less than four years of experience, reflecting recent job opportunities opening in the sector.
PayScale reports that librarians can expect to earn an average annual salary between $48,000 and $82,000, with an approximate average salary of $63,000 per year. While earning capacity rises with experience for the first decade of a librarian’s career, PayScale notes that this increase levels off after a librarian has been working for 20 years.
According to PayScale, a library assistant can expect to earn between $37,000 and $61,000 per year, with an average annual salary of approximately $51,000. Earning capacity for library assistants similarly peaks when practitioners have approximately 10 years of professional experience.