Careers in Librarianship
are repositories of knowledge, information and entertainment. The basic aim of
library is to disseminate knowledge. With the upsurge in the number of
institutes in the field of learning and the intensification of research
activities, the importance of libraries is also growing. This has made the
librarianship attain the status of a separate discipline in the universe of
knowledge. Librarianship is the profession which concerns with organising,
maintenance and storage of books in a library. Librarians are the custodians of
library. Librarians assist people in finding information and using it
effectively in their personal and professional lives. (They help people to
navigate the increasingly far-flung and voluminous world of data.)
Libraries contain books, periodicals,
micro-films, videos, cassettes and slides - for education, research, reference
and pleasure. Those who systematically catalogue, store and display these items
are librarians. The traditional concept of a library is being redefined, from a
place to access paper records or books, to one which also houses the most
advanced media, including CD-ROM, the Internet, virtual libraries, and remote
access to a wide range of resources.
There are different kinds of libraries
depending upon the individuals to which it is catering. Various kinds of
libraries are public, reference, children’s libraries and those attached to
offices and institutions of both private and public. These could include a
mobile lending library. There are also specialist libraries attached to the
research and academic institutions that cater to specific readers in specific
subjects such as medicine, engineering, art, music, or types of books such as
Braille or collections for children.
qualification required to take up a course in Library Science is graduation. One
with graduation can go for Bachelors degree in library science. Duration of this
bachelors course is one year. Those with Bachelor degree in library science can
go for Masters degree in library science which is of one year duration. One can
also go for M.Phil and Ph.D in this field. There are also diploma and
Various universities, colleges,
polytechnics, as well as distance learning institutions around the country offer
courses in Library Science. In most of the institutes selection is through an
Course areas include library and information
systems management, classification/cataloguing systems, bibliography,
documentation, preservation and conservation of manuscript, library management,
research methodology, computer applications, information processing, archives
management, indexing, library planning etc.
One can become a librarian if he/she has a
basic interest in books as well as a variety of topics, good communication
skills, customer service attitude, methodical approach, organising ability,
ability to anticipate user's needs, a wide general knowledge and ability to cope
with frequent interruptions when doing jobs requiring concentration.
They must have knowledge of a wide variety
of scholarly and public information sources, and follow trends related to
publishing, computers, and the media to effectively oversee the selection and
organization of library materials.
Job Prospects and Career Options
Trained personnel in this field can find
employment opportunities in areas like:
Universities and other academic institutions
News agencies and organisations
Private organisations and special libraries
Information centres/documentation centers
Companies and organisations with large information
Museums and galleries, which have reading rooms and
Some library technicians are self-employed
as researchers, consultants, cataloguers etc. on short term contracts.
Librarians are information managers.
Librarians assist people in finding information and using it effectively. A
librarian's work would involve acquiring, organising and dissemination of
information. Besides these, the planning and coordination of the library's
financial operations are also important and essential tasks to be performed.
Specific duties depends on the type of library and position held.
Acquisition of knowledge/information
involves selection, ordering and purchasing materials within the budget limits.
For this one must have to take into consideration users interest and latest
developments in various subjects to be able to maintain a balanced collection.
Organising information involves
classification, cataloguing, storage, record keeping, shelving and maintenance
of books and materials in a manner so as to make it easily accessible to readers
Dissemination of information is the most
important work of the librarian, one that is very much directly related to
users. A librarian thus disseminates information by answering queries, issuing
and receiving books as well as planning and organising activities to encourage
use of the library, like sending out a newsletter informing readers of the
latest acquisitions, or inviting a children's author to read his/her book or
The career for a librarian may begin at the
level of library attendant and though the promotions may differ from
organization to organization, in general the levels followed thereafter are of
library assistant, junior librarian, assistant librarian, deputy librarian, and
librarian. One may reach up to the level of Director and head an information
Library Attendant: Takes care of
inter-library loans shelving books, processing bills, subscription renewals and
Library Assistant: Main
duties involve accession, shelf arrangements, levying of fines, maintenance and
binding of books and other materials, location of missing books, and related
Assistant: Works at the counter to receive and issue books, sends out
reminders on overdue loans, looks after accessioning.
Assistant: Is responsible for accessioning, classification,
cataloguing, ordering books, as well as handling computer data.
Librarian: Selects and acquires books and material, takes care of
reference services and computer programming, as well as supervision of
Deputy Librarian: Oversees
administration, supervision, and computer programming.
Librarian: Is overall in
charge of technical, administrative, and financial matters. Responsibilities
include delegation of duties, library supervision and management, personnel
administration, budgeting, classification and cataloguing, and recommendation of
Director/Head Of Information Centre:
Works at the policy and planning level, and is responsible for the
center's organization, coordination, control, leadership, external relations,
supervision and administration.
In information services, designations could be:
Senior Information Analyst:
Activities include processing of information, indexing, documentation etc.
Junior Information Analyst:
Assists senior analyst in all aspects of work.
Information transfers, processing, storage and dissemination of information
under supervision of senior staff are the main tasks in this position.
Salaries of librarians vary according to the individual's
qualifications, experience, type, size and the nature of the hiring
institutions. Librarians with primarily administrative duties often have greater
earnings. Government of India scales are higher than those of the University
Grants Commission. In terms of grades- Assistant Librarians are of equal
position to lecturers; Deputy Librarians to Readers; and the Librarian's
position is equivalent to that of a Professor's. Average annual earnings of
librarians is around Rs 100000 - 150000.