When you think of a librarian, do you picture someone restocking shelves and checking out books all day? If you do, you might be surprised at the variety of jobs a librarian actually does. A library science degree is a diverse area of study that incorporates many different disciplines, including information systems and technology, research methods, statistics, and management.
Throw away your preconceived notions about librarians and you will discover that a degree in library science is more interesting and exciting than you thought. Here are four ways to know if a library science degree is right for you:
You Love Research
Librarians are at the very heart of research. People come to libraries for more than just fiction. Both public and academic libraries provide vast amounts of resources in the form of reference books, databases, special collections, and archives.
A research librarian has the job of helping patrons understand how to use these resources to find the information they need in an efficient and effective manner. They teach researchers how to use electronic databases, help them obtain specialized materials on their subject, and provide access to restricted or delicate materials.
You Enjoy Working with Kids
Many librarians who specialize in library science work in elementary schools as media specialists. They teach groups of children, develop programs to promote literacy, and act as the information technology specialist for the school. These individuals are often the school’s experts on technology and online research. Part of their responsibility is to teach the children to use that technology in a safe and effective manner.
Children’s librarians who work at public libraries oversee the large number of programs offered to children and young adults. They often develop and supervise the story time program, the summer reading program, and other programs to promote literacy and learning. Their object is for children to become lifelong learners.
You are Technologically Savvy
As the digital age advances, more and more library systems are online. Libraries need systems librarians who can develop and troubleshoot these electronic systems, including the electronic card catalogues and other databases. Many libraries, especially academic or university libraries, utilize vast electronic third party databases that contain academic articles and research papers. Electronic resource librarians manage these databases and make sure they are functional, user friendly, and accessible to patrons.
You Always See Opportunities for Community Improvement
One of the main functions of the public library is to provide educational enrichment to all members of the community. Outreach librarians are responsible for developing programs that will benefit those members of the community who are often underrepresented. This can include the disabled, residents of low income neighborhoods, home bound citizens, seniors, those who are incarcerated, ex-offenders, rural residents, and the homeless. The Book Mobile is an example of one such program.
Library science is a field that must constantly evolve to keep up with the demands of the ever-changing nature of information and technology. As a degree that incorporates an exciting variety of disciplines and job descriptions, library science just might be the right degree for you.
For more information, please visit https://librarysciencedegree.usc.edu.