Library Jobs

OLC JOBLineAvailable library positions in Ohio’s libraries.

Careers in Public Libraries…Connecting people and information
What do public librarians do?
In what areas do public librarians specialize?
What training is required?
Why become a public librarian?

The Ohio Library Council is dedicated to promoting librarianship and advancing the careers of those who have made public libraries their venue of choice for serving the information and knowledge needs of their communities. The mission of the OLC is to promote and support excellence and professionalism among public library staffs and to work diligently to increase their effectiveness, image and their impact on the communities they serve.

What do public librarians do?

Public librarians ensure free and open access to information and assist people in locating information for personal and professional use. They maintain popular materials collections and help library users find items that match their interests and hobbies.

Public librarians assist individuals in locating and using information to enhance the quality of their lives. Each year, public librarians in Ohio answer more than 19 million reference questions. Communities look to public libraries to provide electronic resources and teach literacy in the use of new technologies. Public libraries throughout the state provide customers access to books, audio materials, and video materials. In addition, Ohio’s public libraries have more than 7,800 computers providing free and public access to the Internet.

Approximately 60% of public library customers are children and young adults. Public librarians develop programs that encourage children and teens to read and to get involved in educational and civic activities. Services such as story times, peer book reviews, and group discussions help meet the educational and social needs of children and teens.

In what areas do public librarians specialize?

A career in public librarianship may emphasize public services, technical services or administration. Many public librarians perform all of these duties during their careers.

  • Reference, Children’s, and Reader’s Advisory Librarians interact with the public, providing guidance and instruction in the selection and use of library materials.
  • Technical Services Librarians select, acquire and process library materials. They may be catalogers, acquisitions librarians, or systems librarians.
  • Network/Systems Librarians design and maintain computer networks, applications and online tools for library staff and customers.
  • Library Directors and Managers oversee library activities and personnel.
  • Public Librarians often have expertise in outreach services, literacy education, or services to special populations, including people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the aging or unemployed.

What training is required?

Professional positions in public libraries typically require a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS). A Bachelor’s degree in any liberal arts discipline is appropriate preparation for entering a Master’s program.

In addition to these education requirements, understanding the role of the library in the community is an important facet of public librarianship. Public libraries are important links in community networks and participate in resource sharing and information referral services.

People with good written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills, a strong commitment to customer service, and a desire to serve the special needs of their community are perfect candidates for public librarianship.

Why become a public librarian?

Public librarianship is a dynamic professional that embraces people with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. A career in public librarianship offers opportunities to:

  • Play an integral role in community development
  • Learn and introduce new information technologies
  • Help people find answers to questions
  • Bring people together through reading and learning

Public librarianship often appeals to those who have acquired professional skills from work experience outside the library. Experience in public service, teaching, marketing, organization, and technology is highly relevant.