Librarian Jobs Far From Book Stacks
A librarian’s job entails so much more than just shelving the books that have been returned. The library science specialist possesses essential skills that make him or her perfect for a number of career opportunities. Such skills include research, database management, collection development and information technology utilization.
Librarians must be up to date and knowledgeable on every step of the research process, from start to finish. Those steps include:
- Selecting a topic
- Obtaining background information using resources like new articles, bibliographies and encyclopedias
- Locating current and/or historical articles that identify important concepts related to the topic; selecting database or index; searching online and then evaluating the results of that search
- Evaluating resources from the web
- Utilizing research that is peer reviewed
- Explaining citation analysis and how it can benefit the selector’s research
- Creating an annotated bibliography
- Developing a research proposal and requesting assistance from experts as needed
- Sharing the research with the surrounding community
- Having knowledge of copyright and visual media
Librarians have many responsibilities in terms of database management. Some of those duties include adding new volumes and copies, checking in serials and government records, changing library locations, performing authority work, and correcting errors that influence selectors’ access to the library resource, and withdrawing materials. Bibliographic files on e-sources must also be updated to the online catalog. This task takes a lot of coordination and preparation on the part of the librarian, due to the swift rates of IT development.
Librarians are responsible for collection development. Collection development pinpoints the forces of change in a development. A well-managed collection influences the individual selector and contributes to that selector’s capacity to address and handle such changes.
Use of Information Technologies
The rate of development in communications and information technology (IT) has been astonishing in the past ten years. Librarians must be able to quickly adapt to such changes. As an example, people now use the internet as their main source of information. Books are often utilized as a last resort, due to common issues like time and money. IT has even changed the layout in library buildings. Most libraries devote space for housing computer and electronic equipment for public use. IT affects library personnel, as staff need to undergo additional training to be knowledgeable for selectors when questioned about current research techniques and online resources. Selectors’ questions for librarians today certainly go far beyond, “Can you help me find a book on this topic?” and “Can you show me where to locate this book?”
Learn more about the skills unique to library and information science graduates, visit University of Southern California’s library science program online.