Librarians are responsible for the day-to-day running of library services.

What does a librarian do?

Librarians are responsible for the day-to-day running of library services. You could work in public libraries or in libraries in organisations such as universities, colleges and schools. You’ll organise and manage the cataloguing system in the library, as well as dealing with library users. You’ll need excellent customer service skills and good analytical and administrative skills. You’ll often also be dealing with IT systems, so IT skills are important too.

What do I need to do to become a librarian?

You can qualify as a librarian either by studying for a university qualification or by working as a library assistant and doing work-based training.

To get on a degree you need five GCSEs A-C, including maths, English and science, and at least two A levels. There are no specific subjects required but relevant ones would include English literature and English language.

Level 3 vocational courses are accepted as an alternative for entry to many degrees. Check with universities regarding acceptability.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • IT
  • Literacy
  • Organisation
  • People management
  • Word processing

Academic route

  • At least two A levels in relevant subjects, e.g. English literature, English language

Vocational route

  • Level 3 vocational qualification
  • Level 3 Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant

Related subjects

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Religious studies

Essential qualifications

  • Degree in librarianship or information management that is accredited by CILIP
  • OR a degree in any subject followed by an accredited postgraduate qualification in information management
  • OR work-based training and CILIP qualification

Desirable qualifications

  • A level English

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You will be working indoors, in either a small, medium, or large company.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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