In Summary - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
Librarian / Archivist / Curators typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Jonathan Smyth, Library Assistant
Jonathan Smyth is working as a Library Assistant in Cavan County Council. From an early age he was interested in History and books. He completed a BA in Information and Library Management at John Moores University in Liverpool and worked in various libraries and book shops before becoming a County Librarian.
Videos on the Web
- Librarian / Archivist / Curator- from: Youtube Search
- Head of Digital Library, NLI - from: National Library of Ireland [Video]
- Head of Outreach, NLI - from: National Library of Ireland [Video]
The Work - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
Libraries exist to serve a specific community, be it the general public, an academic community or industry. The work of the Librarian lies in the field of communication, information, education and recreation.
Librarians select, purchase and organise library materials, making sure the best use is made of them.
Some librarians buy materials regularly through a supplier. As they buy, they may become aware of other relevant publications. They can also spend a lot of time scanning publications to extract material. In all cases, librarians must be aware of all the sources available and of their clients' needs. This normally involves making close links with clients and may include canvassing opinions through discussions and surveys.
Librarians use information technology to organise and retrieve information so an understanding of computers is essential. Librarians are also responsible for classifying, indexing and arranging of materials.
Librarians are involved in the provision of information via user-education programmes, publicity campaigns, or the distribution of information through bulletins, as well as dealing with enquiries. In public libraries, in particular, it may involve activities such as children's storytelling and helping users to use the Internet. Librarians can also supervise staff.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Analyze patrons' requests to determine needed information, and assist in furnishing or locating that information.
- Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons' reference questions.
- Teach library patrons basic computer skills, such as searching computerized databases.
- Plan and teach classes on topics such as information literacy, library instruction, and technology use.
- Review and evaluate materials, using book reviews, catalogs, faculty recommendations, and current holdings, to select and order print, audiovisual, and electronic resources.
- Locate unusual or unique information in response to specific requests.
- Explain use of library facilities, resources, equipment, and services, and provide information about library policies.
- Plan and deliver client-centered programs and services such as special services for corporate clients, storytelling for children, newsletters, or programs for special groups.
- Respond to customer complaints, taking action as necessary.
- Develop library policies and procedures.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Interests - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
To work in a library you need to be an out-going person capable of dealing with and communicating with people. You need an enquiring mind, an appreciation of the role of information technology and the ability to cope with it since modern libraries have adapted to and extensively use information technology to record, store and disseminate information. A high level of literacy is expected and an enjoyment of reading is desirable. You need to enjoy work involving order, accuracy and attention to detail. You also need to be comfortable working in a quiet environment.
Entry Requirements - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
Librarianship is a graduate profession. Entrants must first complete an undergraduate degree and then pursue a Masters degree.
Within these programmes, BA and BSocSc Information and Library Studies may be taken by students who wish to obtain an entry-level qualification in Information and Library Science that is recognised by the Library Association of Ireland (LAI). Students must also complete six weeks of full time information and library science work experience in a library and/or other organisation to obtain accreditation by the LAI.
The two accredited Master's programmes are available in Ireland:
UCD ~ School of Information & Library Studies - M.Sc in Library & Information Studies - A bachelor's degree in any subject plus minimum of 6 weeks' experience working in a information or library work environment is required for entry - for details click here
DBS ~ Dublin Business School offer an M.Sc. in Information & Library Management - applicants to the programme must hold a minimum Second Class Honours Degree (2.2), which can be from an unrelated discipline, but from a recognised third level institution or equivalent qualification - click here.
University of Ulster offers the Library and Information Management (M.Sc and Postgraduate Diploma) - Click here
Full details of all acceptable qualifications for entry as a Librarian are available from The Library Association of Ireland here.
Recruitment as a librarian is usually confined to those who hold a professional qualification in Librarianshiprecognised by the LAI. Posts in the public the private sectors are typically advertised in the national and local press. Advertisements normally indicate the qualifications required and the salary scales offered. See also online website libraryjobs.ie.
Library Assistant roles also provide useful experience to support progression, when accompanied by appropriate academic qualifications.
Last Updated: November, 2015
Pay & Salary - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 23k - 55k
Starting: 23 - 28
Experience: 28 - 55
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Librarian / Archivist / Curator
Department of Library and Information Studies
Library Association of Ireland
Dublin City Council Libraries