Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Paul Meany from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

Paul Meany

School Principal

Department of Education and Skills

Read more

Paul Meany

Need to have a belief about the value of the sort of education provided by the school to which you are applying.

Need to be able to cope with ambivalence - being leader in the school is not a black and white thing.

Need to believe in people, whether it is staff or students.


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 clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
All Courses
PLC Progression Routes
PLC Points Calculator
CAO Points Calculator
CAO Video Guide

Templemore College of Further Education
Cavan Monaghan ETB Training Services
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Librarian / Archivist / Curator

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist 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. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€23k > 55
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€23 - 55
Related Information:
Starting: 23 - 28
Experience: 28 - 55
Data Source(s):

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.
Occupational Category

Records & Library Clerks etc.

Also included in this category:

Clerical officers (hospital service); ward clerks; records and filing clerks; library clerks and assistants; information assistants (library).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 16%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 31 / 69%
Non-Nationals: 14%
With Third Level: 51%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Supervises and manages the running and organisation of a library, museum or collections of documents or other media.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

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.

Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Head of Digital Library, NLI - from: National Library of Ireland [Video]
Go..Head of Outreach, NLI - from: National Library of Ireland [Video]

Go..Search YouTube for Librarian / Archivist / Curator videos

The Work header image

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.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


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.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


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.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


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.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


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.


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.


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.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


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.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.


Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

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 Routesheader image

Librarianship is a graduate profession. Entrants must first complete an undergraduate degree and then pursue a Masters degree.

Undergraduate routes

UCD Bachelor of Arts – DN500 / DN501 and Bachelor of Social Science – DN550

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

Library Assistant roles also provide useful experience to support progression, when accompanied by appropriate academic qualifications.

Last Updated: November, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Librarian - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Librarian - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Department of Library and Information Studies
Address: University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Tel: (01) 716 7777
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Library Council of Ireland/Library Association of Ireland
Address: 53 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (087) 676 1167
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Dublin City Council Libraries
Address: Pearse Street Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 674 4800
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Search for Jobs

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Media & Publishing
Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU
Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 2