Librarians develop and organise collections of information, such as books and electronic records. They assist people to help them find the information they are looking for. Librarians can work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, and archives.
If you are curious and inquisitive, have great organisational and communication skills, and want a career that is always changing and evolving, becoming a Librarian could be perfect for you.
- Organised and efficient
- Great communicator
- Likes to work indoors
- Helpful and patient
- Quick thinking and adaptable
- Technologically literate
- Great time management skills
- Can work independently and as part of a team
- Classifying and cataloguing library resources and materials
- Helping people access library resources
- Organising and maintaining sources of information, such as books, electronic resources, photographs, and newspapers
- Managing library systems such as loan systems and archival systems, both digital and analogue
- Sourcing and acquiring new additions for the library
- Supervising and training other library staff
- Planning and running library outreach activities and events
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Moderate – around 39% of Librarians work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 39 hours a week, which is just below average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Librarians’ salary (average) $80,000* per year (source: com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Stable (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- You will be doing almost all of your work indoors. You will also need to be prepared to work on weekends and sometimes irregular hours.
Librarians are most in demand in these locations:
There were around 8,900 people working as Librarians in 2019 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). Demand is spread across Australia, with very high demand in the Australian Capital Territory. Most work in the education, public administration, and information media industries.
There are jobs available around Australia and globally. You’ll need to be on site to do most of your work, so there are few opportunities to work remotely or from home.
How to become a Librarian in Australia
To work as a Librarian, you will need to complete a course accredited by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). These range from Diploma to Master’s level, depending on the role you want.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12, with a strong focus in English and IT subjects.
Step 2 – Get work experience in a library setting, whether this is at a public library, university library, or a local archive.
Step 3 – Completing a Diploma of Library and Information Services will qualify you to work as a Library Technician or Assistant.
Step 4 – If you would like to upskill and work as a Librarian or Information Specialist, consider studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree such as:
- Bachelor of Information Studies
- Graduate Diploma of Information and Library Studies
- Master of Information Management
Step 5 – If you want to work as a Teacher Librarian, you will need to hold formal teaching qualifications as well, such as a Bachelor of Education.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Librarians do?
Librarians organise and display collections of information and resources, such as books, magazines, electronic resources, and more. They help the public access and use these materials, as well as expand on their collections with more relevant materials.
Which industries employ Librarians?
Most Librarians work in the education and public administration industries.
What options are there for career progression?
You can start out by studying a Diploma and becoming a Library Technician or Assistant. If you’d like to upskill, you can study a Bachelor or Master’s-level qualification to become a Librarian. With lots of experience you may even be able to move into managerial roles.
Do I need to go to university to become a Librarian?
You will need an accredited university qualification in order to work as a Librarian, but a VET-level qualification can allow you to work as a Library Technician or Assistant.
Where do Librarians work?
Librarians are employed all across Australia. You will be doing most of your work indoors. There are lots of different kinds of places librarians can work, such as public libraries, university libraries, academic libraries, parliamentary libraries, archives, school libraries, and specialist libraries.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Librarian?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Librarian is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Try to find work experience in a library, such as at your local public library or university library. This is a great way to gain some basic skills and find out if it’s a career you’d like to work in.
- Volunteer with a community or public library, gaining valuable experience as well as making connections and networks for future opportunities.
- Consider taking short courses and workshops to build on your skills and knowledge.