You mentioned that people don't really get what a librarian does most of the time. What DO different types of librarians do? I might be a writer considering becoming a librarian as a career, but there's not a lot of info online about it, so?
Lets start off with the different type of Libraries.
There are four major types:
Academiclibraries serve colleges and universites.
Publiclibraries serve cities and towns of all types.
Schoollibraries serve students from Kindergarten to grade 12.
Speciallibraries are in specialized environments, such as hospitals, corporations, museums, the military, private business, and the government.
With in these are a wide variety of Librarian Jobs.
A Librarian is just not the person who helps you check out books. There are a variety of positions, that do all types of thing for the library. I’ve pulled together a list of types of Librarians and information about their positions.
(Note: This information is mostly US based, I’m not familiar with European Libraries or their system)
Pages are usually responsible for putting returned books and other items in their proper places on the shelves. They are also responsible for keeping items in the right order. Some handle requests for retrieving materials that are in secured areas, and others may be responsible for checking items back in. Page jobs are usually part-time.
Great first time job for someone who is getting their degree or wanting to see if they want to work in a library.
Library Assistants or Technicians generally perform clerical duties, and are often mistaken for librarians as they are the first face people see, since most libraries’ checkout desks are near the entrance. Library assistants often check materials out and in, collect fines and fees, answer general phone questions, issue library cards, process new library materials, and assist with items on reserve.
Normally the job just out of Library School!
Librarians help people with homework and research questions, decide what items to purchase and to discard, offer programs and training, help people use the internet, build websites, and more. Specialized librarians may run computer systems, work with seniors and non-English speaking populations, become specialists in a specific subject area, or maintain the records for the online catalog.
These are the guys you normally see. The ones that will help you with whatever you need. It doesn’t matter if it’s a University Library, Public Library, Law Library, Research Library or a Specialized Library.
Library Managers such as department heads, branch managers, and assistant/deputy/associate directors, and are typically middle managers responsible for the operation of departments or other functional areas such as “all library branches.” As managers they may be responsible for work schedules, employee evaluations, training, and managing budgets. Branch managers, in particular, can have additional director-like responsibilities, such as overseeing the condition of the facility or involvement in local neighborhood groups and projects.
Career goals! As you move up the rank from Technician, to Librarian, to Manager you take on more responsibility with in the Library.
Library Directors have the main leadership role in the library. Typical duties include preparing and overseeing the budget, developing employment and service policies, strategic planning, public and governmental relations, reporting to the governing board or official, ensuring compliance with laws, fundraising, hiring, motivating and firing staff, and more. Directors’ duties and compensation can vary greatly depending on the size of the library.
This is it! The big job! The one where you run the library. All those skills you’ve trained for are now starting to come together. For most people this is someone who’s been a in the field for 20 + years.
There are also other professionals that work with in a Library. They may include public relations, accounting and human resources, network administration, facilities management, transportation services and security. These people do not always have a Library Science Degree but just as important to running the library.
As I’m an Archivist not a Librarian I’m adding some links to more information that I hope will be useful.
Librarians - the real ones not the TV Show .. wikipedia article gives a quick rundown of information.
ALA- American Library Association - I recommend this site as it’s very helpful to anyone looking to become a Librarian.
25 Of the Most Magnificent Libraries Around the World - Right from the Pages of a Fairytale
There is an essence of timelessness when it comes to libraries and books. Even with the modern marvels of human technology, e-books, audio books, libraries have still preserved the atmosphere of exercising and feeding the human mind with rich text and pages of storytelling. These great feats of architecture we have featured below are the integration of great design and the age old love of ancient yellow pages that have the history of the world etched in them.
Have you ever thought about how much is available to you, to use and take in and enjoy, without needing to own them? Concerts, libraries, parks, a good joke, sunsets, the smell of freshly cut grass, soaking in the sun a lazy afternoon in August, or sharing a cup of coffee with someone you love on a still Sunday morning, watching the world wake up? And have you ever thought about the fact that memories, all your memories, are built on these things—things you don’t need to own. They are like the universe’s gift to us all, to enjoy. Like a present to celebrate you being here. How beautiful is that?
200,000 Rare Books Are Inside 300 Year Old Dublin Library
The Long Room, as this 300 year old library has been dubbed, is stowed away in a corner of Dublin’s Trinity College. The magnificent library is boasted to be the largest in Dublin, and contains over 200,000 rare books that would make any scholar, student or teacher make a permanent nest within these 65 feet long walls holding a precious amount of knowledge. The library was built in 1712 and 1732, and is dotted with Peter Scheemakers’s famous bust sculptures.
in the Appalachian mountains on horseback delivering books and reading
to those who could not as a feature of the Works Progress Administration
(WPA) of the 1930’s. Established in 1935, the Pack Horse Library
Project was aimed at providing reading materials to rural portions of
Eastern Kentucky with no access to public library facilities. Librarians
riding horses or mules traveled 50 to 80 miles a week up rocky
creekbeds, along muddy footpaths, and among cliffs to deliver reading
materials to the most remote residences and schools in the mountains.
Some homes were so remote that the book women often had to go part of
the way on foot, or even by row boat. — with Stephanie McSpirit.