How to become a librarian

If you enjoy working with  people and information, consider a career as a librarian. Here’s how to become a librarian in Australia. Here’s how to become a librarian in Australia. 

Begin your career as a librarian

  1. Start with a VET-level course to qualify as a library assistant or technician.
  2. Gain further qualifications to be a librarian by completing an undergraduate course such as a Bachelor of Information Studies. Specialise or move from another field byundertaking a postgraduate librarian degree, such as a Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Studiesor a Master of Information Management.
  3. In Australia, to qualify as a librarian, your librarian course needs to be accredited by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), so make sure you confirm this before starting your studies.

What is a librarian?

Librarians work in a whole range of settings – from public libraries to schools and universities to organisations that require expert information management, such as museums, hospitals or even zoos! In the role of librarian, you’ll use your specialised technical skills to help people find the information they need.

What does a librarian do?

Wherever you work as a librarian, you’ll help keep information organised, open and accessible. However, our exact duties may differ depending on your workplace. 

For example, if you work in a public library, you may be involved in customer service, developing programs for the local community and working with different cultural groups. If you work in the library of an organisation, your work may be more specialised and related to cataloguing and preserving records. 

Some of your tasks and duties may include:

Helping people find information and use library resources
Assisting with acquisitions of new books and other items 
Managing digital systems and databases 
Cataloguing library materials 
Digitising and preserving records 
Providing expert advice on information management and retrieval 
Designing and running community programs 
Training or managing fellow library staff 
Helping with library marketing and promotion

Librarian skills

  • Strong communication
  • Research
  • Organisation
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative thinking
  • Digital literacy
  • Customer service

Librarian salary

At the time of publication, the average librarian salary in Australia is $66,000, according to Payscale, and $75,000, according to Seek This can progress to $90,000 or more, depending on your role.

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