How to Become a Systems Librarian

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Libraries offer an abundance of resources to a variety of patrons. Systems librarians are specially trained library professionals that conduct a variety of tasks that focus on the systems of the library.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

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What does a systems librarian do?

Systems librarians typically manage the systems of the library, including library catalogs, electronic resource databases, and the website of the library. They monitor and update system data and coordinate the implementation of new features. They often integrate other services and troubleshoot problems. They also train library staff on changes and new features. System librarians are responsible for maintaining the library’s website and updating necessary information such as hours, staff, announcements, and resources. Systems librarians support the electronic needs of staff such as printer and software maintenance, solving desktop operations issues, assisting with missing or corrupted files, and providing training on a variety of programs. They also assist patrons on the use of programs.

What kind of training does a systems librarian need?

Systems librarians typically need a master degree in library science or related field. Many colleges and universities offer library science programs, but most employers prefer applicants that have completed a program from an institution that is accredited by the American Library Association. Prospective systems librarians often complete courses in information science, censorship, history of library science, the role of libraries, and organization of information. Many aspiring systems librarians complete internships or obtain part-time jobs as library assistants to gain practical experience in the field. Many states require systems librarians to complete certification standards. The requirements vary by state but often include minimum education and passing an examination. Systems librarians must complete continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with new information systems and technology.

What are the prospects for a career as a systems librarian?

Employment of systems librarians is expected to grow as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects should be favorable especially for systems librarians with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace systems librarians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do systems librarians make?

As of February 2010, the average annual salary for systems librarians is $50,000; average annual systems librarian salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a systems librarian is a great choice for people with a strong interest in library science and the maintenance of a variety of library systems. Systems librarians must have a solid understanding of the many different functions of the systems of their library.

Detail orientation, good organizational skills, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Systems librarians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of patrons and other professionals. They must be able to provide the necessary support and effectively implement new features.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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