What Do Librarians Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Librarians administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers’ advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information. They also check books in and out of the library.

Other tasks include:

  • Teach library patrons basic computer skills, such as searching computerized databases.
  • Review and evaluate materials, using book reviews, catalogs, faculty recommendations, and current holdings to select and order print, audio-visual, and electronic resources.
  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons’ reference questions.
  • Keep up-to-date records of circulation and materials, maintain inventory, and correct cataloging errors.
  • Analyze patrons’ requests to determine needed information and assist in furnishing or locating that information.
  • Supervise daily library operations, budgeting, planning, and personnel activities, such as hiring, training, scheduling, and performance evaluations.

We asked Librarians how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

81%

How meaningful is this job

77%


81% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 77% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Librarians check books in and out of the library. They arrange for interlibrary loans of materials not available in a particular library.

A typical day for a Librarian will also include:

  • Keep up-to-date records of circulation and materials, maintain inventory, and correct cataloging errors.
  • Supervise daily library operations, budgeting, planning, and personnel activities, such as hiring, training, scheduling, and performance evaluations.
  • Analyze patrons’ requests to determine needed information and assist in furnishing or locating that information.
  • Develop and maintain databases that provide information for library users.
  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons’ reference questions.

We asked some Librarians a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?84% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?56% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?94% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?57% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?11% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?25% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Librarians also engage in professional development activities, such as taking continuing education classes and attending or participating in conferences, workshops, professional meetings, and associations. They may also represent library or institution on internal and external committees.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Librarians Compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio-visual materials on particular subjects. They might also Complete minor repairs and cleaning of library resources, equipment, and facilities, such as dusting and fixing printer paper jams.

In addition, they Assemble and arrange display materials.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Compile lists of overdue materials and notify borrowers that their materials are overdue.

To some Librarians, it is also their responsibility to Locate unusual or unique information in response to specific requests.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Librarian, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Librarians work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
75%


Never
25%


Do Librarians work outdoors?

Never
75%


Once a year
17%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Helpers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Librarians

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Related to Librarians Job Description

Librarians job description, what do Librarians do, typical day for Librarians, what is it like to work as a Librarian, how many hours do Librarians work, day to day work of a Librarian

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm
http://www.ala.org/
http://librarycareers.drupalgardens.com/
http://www.sla.org/


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