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Aug 05 2011 Q: I am considering a career change and have been thinking about getting my MLS. What are the job prospects like for school librarians?

Posted by Editor on August 8, 2011

From Career Q&A with the Library Career People

Published by at 1:35 pm under career change,getting started,job satisfaction

Q: I am considering a career change and have been thinking about getting my MLS. I am wondering what the job prospects are like for school librarians. Also what is the day to day career like? What do librarians like the most about their jobs? What do they like the least? What kind of job satisfaction do they have? Thank you so much for any information you can provide.

SM:  Since neither Tiffany nor I are school librarians  (often called school library media specialists), we cannot give you firsthand advice on what it is like to be one. However, we are quite good at providing information that might be useful:

Find out if your State has a school library media association, and if so, check out their web site. They can provide you with information on specific certifications you may need and offer educational resources and tools. You can also look at your State’s Department of Education web site for information on teacher certification. Check out library job postings online to get a sense of how many jobs are available right now, and read the job listings to get an idea of what employers are looking for in an ideal job candidate. And finally, look into some library schools that offer a school library degree program to see what the curriculum is like and to find out more information on what it takes to get started.

I have a few friends who currently work, or have worked, as school librarians (or school library media specialists) and they tell me the best parts of the job are working with students and the schedule (which definitely has its advantages especially if you have school age kids yourself). I’ve heard that the job can be more like that of a classroom teacher than a traditional librarian, and in many schools, your closest colleagues are teachers. We would love to hear from our readers who happen to be school librarians. Please tell us what you love, and don’t love, about your job.


One Response to “Aug 05 2011 Q: I am considering a career change and have been thinking about getting my MLS. What are the job prospects like for school librarians?”

  1. Olga Casarez said

    If you are looking for a school librarian job at the elementary school level, check with the district you are interested in and see what their criteria is. Many districts require their librarians to be certified teachers since they teach lessons to the students and give grades, etc. Many districts have cut the librarian positions due to budget cuts. They have replaced the librarian positon with a paraprofessional (teachers aide). They can pay them a lot less, since only a two year degree or high school is required. This is what happened to me. I have my MLS and am also a certified teacher. I was replaced with a paraprofessional, I had to go back into the classroom. It has been hard to make the change, I was in the library for five years. I miss it terribly. If you want high school or college, check and see what is needed for those positions. Hope this helps.

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