Summary Report for:
25-4021.00 - 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Catalog Librarian, Children's Librarian, Librarian, Library Director, Library Media Specialist, Public Services Librarian, Reference Librarian, School Librarian, Technical Services Librarian, Youth Services Librarian
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Check books in and out of the library.
- 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.
- Plan and teach classes on topics such as information literacy, library instruction, and technology use.
- Confer with colleagues, faculty, and community members and organizations to conduct informational programs, make collection decisions, and determine library services to offer.
- Code, classify, and catalog books, publications, films, audio-visual aids, and other library materials based on subject matter or standard library classification systems.
- Respond to customer complaints, taking action as necessary.
- Plan and deliver client-centered programs and services, such as special services for corporate clients, storytelling for children, newsletters, or programs for special groups.
- Explain use of library facilities, resources, equipment, and services and provide information about library policies.
- Locate unusual or unique information in response to specific requests.
- Develop library policies and procedures.
- Evaluate materials to determine outdated or unused items to be discarded.
- Direct and train library staff in duties, such as receiving, shelving, researching, cataloging, and equipment use.
- Organize collections of books, publications, documents, audio-visual aids, and other reference materials for convenient access.
- Develop, maintain, and troubleshoot information access aids, such as databases, annotated bibliographies, web pages, electronic pathfinders, software programs, and online tutorials.
- Engage in professional development activities, such as taking continuing education classes and attending or participating in conferences, workshops, professional meetings, and associations.
- Compile lists of books, periodicals, articles, and audio-visual materials on particular subjects.
- Evaluate vendor products and performance, negotiate contracts, and place orders.
- Arrange for interlibrary loans of materials not available in a particular library.
- Represent library or institution on internal and external committees.
- Complete minor repairs and cleaning of library resources, equipment, and facilities, such as dusting and fixing printer paper jams.
- Assemble and arrange display materials.
- Develop and maintain databases that provide information for library users.
- Compile lists of overdue materials and notify borrowers that their materials are overdue.
- Negotiate contracts for library services, materials, and equipment.
- Perform public relations work for the library, such as giving televised book reviews and community talks.
- Collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in specific fields, such as rare books, genealogy, or music.
- Author or publish professional articles, internal documents, and instructional materials.
- Write proposals for research or project grants.
- Design information storage and retrieval systems and develop procedures for collecting, organizing, interpreting, and classifying information.
- Analytical or scientific software — StataCorp Stata
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; Saora Keepoint; Structured query language SQL ; Thomson Scientific Dialog (see all 15 examples)
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; SmugMug Flickr
- Information retrieval or search software — Classification Web; LexisNexis; Westlaw
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Library software — Ex Libris Group Voyager; MC2 Systems Auto Librarian; Online Computer Library Center OCLC; WorldCat (see all 17 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — Oracle Java
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro; Apple iMovie
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; Really Simple Syndication RSS; Social networking software; Wiki software (see all 6 examples)
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Cargo trucks — Bookmobiles
- Cash registers
- Desktop computers
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Film projectors
- Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfiche readers; Microfilm readers
- Microfiche reader printers — Microfilm printers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Public address systems — Public address PA systems
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Video cassette players or recorders — Video cassette recorders VCR
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Teach others to use technology or equipment.
- Process library materials.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Maintain operational records.
- Search information sources to find specific data.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Help patrons use library or archival resources.
- Direct department activities.
- Develop library or archival databases.
- Confer with others to conduct or arrange operational activities.
- Classify materials according to standard systems.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Develop policies or procedures for archives, museums or libraries.
- Organize informational materials.
- Direct activities of subordinates.
- Inspect materials or equipment to determine need for repair or replacement.
- Train staff members.
- Negotiate purchases or contracts.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Construct exhibits or parts of exhibits.
- Write grant proposals.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
- Electronic Mail — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 59% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 55% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 31% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 34% responded “Very important.”
- Time Pressure — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Public Speaking — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 42% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Physical Proximity — 39% responded “I work with others but not closely (e.g., private office).”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Fairly important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 38% responded “About half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|6||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: CSE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Librarians and Media Collections Specialists.
|Median wages (2019)||$28.61 hourly, $59,500 annual|
|Employment (2018)||134,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Average (4% to 6%)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||14,700|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association of Law Libraries
- American Association of School Librarians
- American Library Association
- Association for Information Science and Technology
- Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
- Association for Library Service to Children
- Association of College and Research Libraries
- Association of Jewish Libraries
- Medical Library Association
- Music Library Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Librarians
- Public Library Association
- Special Libraries Association
- The Black Caucus of the American Library Association
- The Library Information Technology Association