So you want to be a Librarian?

So you want to be a Librarian?

Before you take on a job as a librarian, first find out if it is what you really want to do.

The majority of jobs require a degree in librarianship and some demand a post-graduate degree in the subject. Sometimes the pay is really good, but at other times not so good. I would say you have to look at each job on its merits. For an example of wages, my job as a school librarian (in 2008) before it was pro-rata’d was around £26,000, I know the public sector school librarian’s pay was around £17,000 – and they are the highly paid ones! As a Library Manager at the Audit Commission I make just shy of £27,000 pro rata’d, if I worked in a university the same job would net me around £35,000 in my ‘catchment area’.

Also look at the job spec.. In the school, there were parts I hated but there were others I really loved as well. Notably I loved the actual librarian side stuff but schools expect more. For example I looked after 40-60 school children on my own for two hours each evening. Not really clever considering I am partially sighted but that is what the school wanted – a part time librarian who doesn’t mind baby sitting.  School Librarians do not have the same authority as a school teacher for example and the children for the most part know it. It is a constant battle of wits with certain segments of the school population with the minimum of help from the Academic staff. But, and that is an extremely big but, working with children is worth it. They brighten your day and make you enjoy life without trying.

Things to love about being a Librarian:
Buying new books – ooh they smell gooood
Cataloguing- mindless but relaxing
The interaction with the good kids – they can be really funny!
Interaction with people.
Having control of your department, from spending to how the library looks.
Getting to read kiddie books
The HOLIDAYS (only working in a school).

Things to hate about being a Librarian:
Interaction with the bad kids
Prep
Having to shout at/tell off kids

The job is firmly weighted in the advantages side of the debate. Only you can say if it would appeal to you but I love being a Librarian and I can’t think of a better job – except a writer :-).

What do you think? Please comment.

Published byCeriC

Ceri is an author, graphic designer and librarian. Find her books on Amazon and other good bookstores.

1 Comment

  • Nona Raines

    August 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Ceri, 
    I was both a public librarian and later a school librarian here in the U.S. before I retired. I totally agree with your posts. School librarianship was better paid, with better insurance and other perks. The kids could be delightful but once in a while a real pain. And you’re right, you don’t have the same clout a classroom teacher has. As a public librarian, you have to deal with the PUBLIC, which has its ups and downs. Most people are wonderful, but occasionally you meet the off one. Even tho I’m retired, I still think of myself as a librarian :-). It’s a wonderful profession, but folks should know it’s as much about people as it is books!