3 Reasons to Become a Children’s Librarian
Many people know children’s librarians as the people reading stories to young library patrons and returning books to shelves. However, Heidi Cardenas, writing for The Houston Chronicle, says many more responsibilities are part of this role.
You’ll find librarians coordinating library references and services for children and caregivers, selecting high-quality, age-appropriate reading material, conducting outreach programs, and developing library initiatives for toddlers, teens, and children in between. Learn several reasons why you might consider becoming a children’s librarian.
Most Children’s Librarians Love Their Jobs
Image via Flickr by Campbelltown City Council
Most children’s librarians love their jobs, according to Laura Grimscheid of the School Library Journal. Its 2013 job satisfaction survey found 91 percent of school librarians were somewhat satisfied, satisfied, or very satisfied with their work. Job perks such as connecting young people to reading and learning, working with young people, and helping children find the perfect books helped make this work so satisfying for respondents.
“There is very little that gives me as much satisfaction as hearing a student say, ‘I loved that book! What else can I read?’” Melanie Gibson, a private school librarian in Dallas, Texas, tells Grimscheid.
Children’s Librarians Make a Difference
Being a children’s librarian isn’t only about what you’ll gain though. Many children’s librarians find motivation to do their jobs because they know they’re making a difference in the lives of others.
Only 51 percent of children like or love reading for fun, according to research from Scholastic. That figure presents a significant challenge for librarians, but one that many respond to.
“I love when I am able to find a book for a student who is resisting reading, and that book changes their outlook on reading,” Carrie Kausch, school librarian for Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia, explains to Grimscheid.
Even if children’s librarians don’t ignite a lifelong love of reading, they can still make a difference. The School Library Journal’s Debra E. Kachel and Keith Curry Lance cite studies demonstrating how children who attend schools employing full-time librarians read more and have better comprehension skills.
Working as a Children’s Librarian Can Be a Good Career Stepping Stone
Many children’s librarians are so pleased with their jobs that they never want to leave. For others, including many people pursuing graduate degrees such as a Master of Management in Library and Information Science, working as a children’s librarian can be a valuable stepping stone on their career path.
In an article published in RA News, Dawn Wacek recounted her career path from working in the children’s room at Richland County Public Library to serving as the director of the Rice Lake Public Library. She felt her years as a children’s librarian helped her develop a greater degree of flexibility, sense of humor, and ability to accept failure. She insists that these qualities honed early in her career have helped her become a better director. As Wacek’s example demonstrates, even if you don’t intend to work as a children’s librarian forever, you’re bound to learn something during your tenure.
For the above three reasons, and more, a career as a children’s librarian is valuable to pursue after graduation or while you’re pursuing an advance library sciences degree.
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