Librarian Career Information
What a Librarian does
The invention of the printing press meant that books could be mass-produced and since then they have been the main medium of passing on knowledge and wisdom. If you want to help people discover the joy of books come, become a Librarian
Books, books and more books! In a library you will be surrounded by nothing else but books periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, microfilms, audio and videotapes and even multimedia CD- ROMS. Your job would be ensuring that all these materials are arranged in a logical manner so that they can be accessed conveniently.
You will maintain records of all the resources and track their movement. Besides this, you will find out what the user's needs are, the latest resources available in the market and go about getting them for your library. You will also be managing the day-to-day functioning of the library, supervising others under you and ensuring that the facilities are up to the mark.
You can gain employment in any school, college or university library. Government archives, Museums and public libraries are another option. Then there are libraries maintained by newspapers and other business houses as well as clubs, trusts and other such private libraries. The most lucrative option however remains the information centres maintained by foreign embassies. You could also branch out into areas like research, information management, archival work, database operation, etc.
Let's be honest. There is no library boom as such anywhere in the world! In fact with the advent of the Internet and e-books the very existence of the library seems to be threatened. But one should look at computers as an added tool in the hands of the librarian. Libraries will not close down. They will just change form. Along with that librarians too will have to keep pace with the advances in Information technology.
Abilities & Traits Required
A love for reading is highly desirable. You also need to have good communication skills, be detail oriented, neat, and organised and have a pleasing personality. Your job would involve constantly helping people get what they want and solving their problems. You therefore need to be patient and helpful in nature.
A number of educational institutions offer certificate, diploma, graduate and post-graduate courses in library science. In the undergraduate programme, you will learn subjects such as literature, cataloguing, bibliography, documentation, computer applications, research methodology, preservation and maintenance of manuscripts etc.
The Master's programme involves topics like data processing, indexing, and management of information centres, archives and library planning. This includes topics such as architecture and furnishing. So it's no walk in the park people.
Pay scales range from Rs.25000 to Rs.30000 per month. In most institutions rules set by the University Grants Commission (UGC) apply.
Generally, assistants need to have at least 5-8 years of experience before they can move on to the Senior Library Assistant's position.
In around 13-16 years time you can expect to reach the post of Chief Librarian. However in private libraries you can expect much faster career growth