How to Become a High School Librarian

How to Become a High School LibrarianThe high school librarian has a multi-faceted job. The fact is, many people do not realize that this is a position that you can enter into through various challenges, but most often you will need to have ample education and training to find high paying senior positions. Often called a multimedia specialist rather than a librarian, this individual now helps students with everything from day-to-day study to navigating the Internet for resources to helping students to find research materials through books. Nevertheless, this is a job that is right for anyone who is dedicated and willing to go the extra mile for it.

What Does A High School Librarian Do?

Master's Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The tasks of this professional can range depending on the location and the availability of materials. In general, a librarian manages a library in the high school. This often includes more than just books (though some head librarians will also work in purchasing materials and managing the actual library structure.) Often, media specialists also help students one-on-one to learn about the resources in the library or media center and then aid in research whenever a student needs guidance. Though it may seem as though this teacher’s job is to simply babysit students in study hall, it is often much more complex than that.

What Type of Education Does a High School Librarian Need?

It may not seem like this individual needs to have a higher level of education, he or she does. Nearly all high schools will require these specialists to have at least a master’s degree, states the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This degree is often in library sciences. Some teachers work with high school students teaching classes and have a bachelor’s degree with a teaching certificate. They then work on their master’s degree while teaching to earn the focus in library sciences. This may help the individual to qualify for a position in a high school working directly with students.

Many people who wish to become a high school librarian will work through the following type of schooling path:

  • Work to earn a bachelor’s degree in library sciences, teaching, or a related field.
  • Earn a teaching degree to work in the field as a high school or elementary teacher.
  • Work towards earning a master’s degree while studying. Often times, students will use online education to obtain their master’s degree in this field since it is so accessible.
  • Obtain a position working as a media specialist or librarian.
  • Work to earn experience to transition into head librarian positions. This often takes time to accomplish.

However, it is also possible for individuals in a vast number of other fields to focus their master’s degree on library sciences to make the transition into education and this field. In short, with the help of online programs, it is possible to come from virtually any other degree and earn a master’s to work as a librarian.

Is There a Demand for These Professionals?

Although bookstores may be closing, the demand for skilled teachers in the field of library science is growing. According to the American Association of School Librarians, in fact, many schools have reduces the requirement of individuals from having a master’s degree to have an advanced bachelor’s degree due to the lack of people to fill openings. This is not the case in all areas, but in many communities there is a significant need for these professionals.

The person who wishes to work as a high school librarian is dedicated and willing to work one-on-one with students. This is a type of teaching position and as a result it is very common for professionals to work towards earning a teaching certificate. Nevertheless, it can be a very rewarding career for those who enjoy reading and teaching.

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