If you have a keen interest in making information and knowledge accessible and enjoy working in an academic environment, then a career as an academic librarian could suit you.
Academic librarians are responsible for acquiring, organising, managing and distributing library resources, and ensuring that library provision meets the needs of all its users.
Duties vary considerably according to the size of library, but typically include:
- selecting, developing, cataloguing and classifying library resources
- answering readers’ enquiries
- using library systems and specialist computer applications
- management of staff, including recruitment, training and/or supervisiory duties
- liaising with departmental academic staff, external organisations and suppliers
- ensuring that library services meet the needs of particular groups of users (eg staff, postgraduate students, disabled students)
- managing budgets and resources
- supporting independent research and learning
- developing IT facilities
- assisting readers to use computer equipment, conduct literature searches etc
- promoting the library’s resources to users
To work as an academic librarian, you’ll usually need either a first degree in librarianship or information science/management.
You’ll need to have:
- customer service and interpersonal skills
- ICT skills
- communication and presentation skills
- research skills
- a flexible approach to work
- negotiation skills
- the ability to work as part of a team but also on your own initiative
- capability to prioritise your work and meet deadlines
- the ability to think logically
- organisational and self-management skills
- an appreciation of the pressures and demands within the academic work environment.