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Librarian

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Summary of occupation

Librarians are responsible for collecting, managing and maintaining library materials. In addition to print materials such as books and newspapers, modern libraries also include CDs, videos and DVDs, electronic copies of books and journals, sound recordings and microfilms.

ANZSCO description: Develops, organises and manages library services such as collections of information, recreational resources and reader information services (registration or licensing may be required).
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Acquisitions Librarian, Audiovisual Librarian, Bibliographer, Cataloguer, Children's Librarian, Corporate Librarian, Information Manager, Legal Librarian, Multicultural Services Librarian, Parliamentary Librarian, Reference Librarian, Special Librarian, Special Needs Librarian, Teacher-Librarian
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A librarian needs:

  • good communication skills
  • a high level of general knowledge
  • excellent research skills
  • good computer skills
  • a strong focus on customer service.
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Working conditions

Working conditions can vary greatly between libraries, depending on the size, location and type. In Western Australia there are 232 public libraries, in both regional and metropolitan areas, as well as a large number of corporate libraries. Librarians working in larger libraries may specialise in certain areas, such as acquisitions, electronic services or they may have expertise about a particular subject. Librarians in these larger libraries may be required to work evenings and on weekends. Librarians in smaller libraries, where there will be fewer staff, will be responsible for managing many/all aspects of the library's operation.

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Salary details

On average, librarians can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a librarian develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Nowadays given the use of technology and information being stored in electronic formats librarians must be increasingly proficient with computers. They must also be familiar with specialised databases and catalogues in order to effectively manage and locate records and information both in their own library, and in some cases, at other locations.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a librarian, you usually need to study a degree with a major in librarianship and corporate information management. Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in any discipline, followed by a postgraduate qualification in information services or information and library studies. 

Curtin University of Technology offers a  three year Bachelor of Arts (Librarianship and Corporate Information Management). This is the only undergraduate degree specialising in librarianship available in Western Australia. 

​Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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