Public Librarian


    Public librarians are responsible for acquiring, organising, managing and distributing library resources, and ensuring that library provision meets the needs of all its users. They are sometimes referred to as information professionals.

    You’ll support independent learning and encourage reader development, and will also provide information on areas such as:

    • business
    • the community
    • careers
    • learning
    • recreation.

    Public librarians are proficient in the use of ICT as part of the role involves assisting the public in accessing the internet and other web-based services.


    Employers of public librarians

    • Local authority libraries
    • Information services
    • Government departments



    • keep up to date with newly released publications in order to select library resources
    • organize resources in an accessible way
    • manage your stock, including the weeding out of old resources
    • anticipate community needs and trends to ensure library services are used as much as possible
    • promote the use of the library through displays, talks and community events, which may involve work in the library or going out into the community
    • provide reader, advisory and information services to the public and local businesses
    • organize library provision for specific community groups, such as minority ethnic groups, schools, youth organizations, adult learners and pre-school groups
    • develop the use of ICT to improve service delivery
    • deal with enquiries and help library users in accessing ICT and other resources
    • undertake reader development activities
    • provide services to socially excluded groups
    • work with other agencies and bodies, such as museums and educational services, to develop services and initiatives in the community.



    To become a public librarian you will normally need an accredited degree, although it is possible to become a librarian through a vocational route or an apprenticeship.



    • interpersonal, listening and language skills, including the ability to interact with a range of people
    • strong ICT skills
    • written and verbal communication skills
    • research skills
    • enthusiasm and the ability to motivate yourself and others
    • team-working skills
    • a flexible attitude to work
    • the ability to prioritize your work and meet deadlines
    • good presentation skills
    • a meticulous approach to work
    • the ability to think logically
    • organizational and self-management skills.