Careers in Public Libraries

Institute for Career Research

Careers in Public Libraries
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Careers in Public Libraries

Institute for Career Research

HAVE YOU READ ANY GOOD BOOKS lately? If you are a librarian, you undoubtedly have, and you will probably never be at a loss for a good read. Being a librarian at a public library is more than shelving books and being able to recommend a good new novel. Librarians are curators of the written word and data in general. In public libraries those words and a seemingly endless amount of data are contained in everything from newspapers, magazines, and journals, to paperback and hardcover books of both nonfiction and fiction, as well as digital repositories of all kinds. It is a librarian who, every day, leads people in all walks of life on a journey through all these resources. People rely on librarians to help them navigate the complicated world of technology, enabling everyone to maximize the wonders accessible in the public library. For communities large and small throughout the United States, the public library is a major resource for literacy and education. Libraries serve people in a variety of ways, providing a quiet place to study and convenient tools for searching and applying for jobs. The librarian is the friendly face people seek out when entering this world of information. The public library allows people to access millions of books, as well as audio recordings, movies, and other visual aids. Librarians are teachers, researchers, detectives, guides, guardians of knowledge, purveyors of information, skilled organizers, and problem solvers. Millions of children have had their love for reading cultivated by a librarian who hosted a story hour at a local public library. Countless more children, with the aid of a librarian, have searched the shelves seeking out an exciting tale to spark their imagination. Many children learned the basic skills needed to conduct research from librarians. It was a librarian who watched them go from elementary school through high school and college, using their research abilities to complete homework assignments and term papers. Hunting down sources for people who are writing books or conducting research projects is where librarians put their talents as detectives to work. For many of these projects, the information needed is not easily found. That is when a librarian really gets tested, digging into the mounds of scholarly journals, papers, and letters left behind by generations, that may contain the answer to a baffling question, an unsolved problem, or a historical mystery. Library science can open new worlds for people who enter the field. Each day presents an opportunity to research new topics you have never explored before, meet interesting people and touch many lives. This is also a career in public service, helping people retrieve information that might open a new chapter in their lives.

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