There’s a lot more to being a librarian than simply loving books. They have to serve as guardians of information and also find out new ways for readers to access this information using the latest technologies. If you are considering becoming a librarian, the first thing you should do is find out all you can about the job: how it is, which tasks are performed, and which skills are required. In this article, we will explore the different skills that are required for the job. Stay with us and find out whether you have what it takes to be a librarian!
XXI Century libraries come with many challenges, and modern librarians need to be up for it. Nowadays, the world is full of information, but there is also an increasing amount of misinformation out there. This represents one of the biggest challenges for modern librarians, and is the reason why this profession will be essential for the next few decades.
First of all, to be a librarian requires solving complex problems on a daily basis. Librarians are loaded with several petitions, problems, and questions during the same day, often at the same time, and they need to solve them in the shortest time possible. Furthermore, sometimes they need to take care of these things while also performing other tasks, which makes everything really challenging.
Secondly, to be a good librarian requires critical thinking. This is a skill that has always been associated with librarianship since the origins of the profession. It refers to the process of analyzing, understanding, and evaluating the way in which knowledge that pretends to represent the world is organized. This is particularly important for trying to keep misinformation out of the library’s boundaries. Librarians are in permanent touch with information and culture. Both of them are fundamental pillars for personal and professional projection. It is also a librarian’s mission to promote both of them so that they reach people and societies.
Third, if you wish to become a librarian, you will need creativity. Probably, this is a skill that wasn’t really required for librarians until recently, but technology has definitely changed the profession quite a lot. A modern librarian needs to take on responsibilities to create new services, activities, and forms of advertising for the library.
Finally, to be a good librarian, it requires a clear orientation to service. They need to understand and accept that they work for the users. They have to constantly offer help and assistance, and to do so in a happy and educated manner.
But, what else does it take to be a librarian? We already went over the most important skills that are required, but a good librarian also needs to develop certain functions that are usually associated with other job positions within society:
- Public relations: Librarians have to interact with people, making them see the library as the place they need to be. In this way, they need to constantly promote the benefits of the library and all of its activities to the users.
- Psychology: Since librarians are in touch with people all the time, they tend to gain their trust. As long as this trust grows between them, librarians may end up becoming a sort of psychologist for some people! Users start talking about their issues and problems. Of course, it’s not expected to hold a degree in psychotherapy and actually solve people’s problems, but lending an ear and simply listening to what these people have to say will make them feel better, and can become a significant part of the job.
- Professor: Librarians need to teach people about the use of information and searching skills. This can help people not to fall into misinformation, which is something we as world’s society are currently in need of. Apart from that, librarians may also need to train people for new activities that the library holds, such as language learning groups or writing workshops.
So, do you think you have what it takes to become a librarian? Have you realized how important and rewarding this profession is? The next step would be to enroll at a Master of Library and Information Science course (MLS). There are different MLS out there, and each of them specializes in a different aspect that modern librarians require. We recommend to do some research and find out which is the most suitable for you in order to begin your dream of becoming a librarian!