Qualifications for Librarians

In order to become a librarian, one must meet the basic librarian qualifications. Education-wise, this means one must receive a master's degree or higher in library science. Sometimes the degree might not be called Master of Library Science (MLS). Sometimes the title earned will be Master of Arts (MA), Master of Librarianship (ML), Master of Information Studies (MIS), Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS), or Master of Science (MS). Whatever the title, one must have a master's degree from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program. If the program is accredited by the ALA, you can bet that it will meet the basic educational requirements a librarian needs.

Different Qualifications for Different Librarians

Sometimes, what qualifications a librarian needs can vary. If seeking to work in a specialized area, you might need to find a program that provides a specific track that enables you to get the sort of specialized training you need. A person working for a government organization, for instance, would need a different kind of training than someone working at the public library. Certain libraries that hold specialized information, or require you to deal with particular kinds of people, require supplemental knowledge and education. What qualifications a librarian needs than, can change drastically depending on what type of library said librarian works for.

One kind of specialized library, where you would need particular librarian qualifications, would be a hospital library. Hospitals provide materials for medical research. This may require both additional education and additional skills. It is important that a person working in a medical library knows medical terminology and can work under pressure. A hospital library provides information (in the form of articles, video tapes, books, or research papers) to both nurses and doctors who need it to help their patients. Sometimes this information is needed immediately in order to save a person's life. A hospital library is one of the more stressful and fast-paced environments a librarian can work in.

Perhaps, instead, you wish to work for a law library. In that case, it is important that you know the ins and outs of legal research, like legal information systems and how legal resources are organized. If you wish to be a director of a law library or a reference librarian at a law school, than you may be required to have a Juris Doctor (JD), that is a doctorate degree in law. The work of a law librarian is so different from other librarian jobs that there is a large association reserved specifically for law librarians called the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). To check out more about law librarian educational information and community visit http://www.aallnet.org/.

Many people, though, wish to be a librarian because they remember that smiling, kindhearted woman or man who guided them through the Bernstein Bears in elementary school. If you are looking for a career as a public school librarian, than it is true that you may have to become licensed for working with children. The public school librarian qualifications vary by state, but many times to become a public school librarian, one must earn a teacher certification.

So, what qualifications a librarian needs is by no means black and white. Librarian qualifications vary according to specialization and state. It is important that you research the library field you wish to pursue for specifics. Regardless of your specialization, one thing is for sure, the most important qualification is a master's degree from an ALA accredited program.