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Career Overview

Libraries are changing in character. They remain storehouses for the printed word, but they are also becoming information centers that utilize database access, online tools and other electronic information retrieval systems to help library patrons find what they are looking for. Librarians today must know their own buildings, and also how books or raw data can be found and accessed within their own library systems or through available online search centers. The position has gotten sufficiently complex that most librarians focus on one of three areas: technical services, user services and administrative services.


A master's degree in library science is necessary for the position of librarian in most schools, colleges and universities. A bachelor's degree in almost any discipline is sufficient for qualification in a graduate library science program. Some are one year programs and some are two years in length.


There were 158,000 librarians working in the U.S. in 2006. The Department of Labor data says that a quarter of them worked in public libraries. Most of the rest were employed by schools, colleges or universities.

Job Outlook

Over the next several years growth in the librarian profession is expected to be about half that of the average for jobs overall. The slow growth rate is due to the electronic body of knowledge available today that is replacing the library as a research center.


Lowest 10% $33.190

Median Salary $52,530

Highest 10% $81,130

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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