Jobs of the Modern Librarian
With a higher demand for library services and a lower budget than ever before, there is a lot being asked of the modern librarian. Many people think that librarians spend the work week sorting books and reading, but this is only a fraction of the things being asked of them. Here are just a few of the modern jobs of librarians.
The books in libraries naturally eb and flow. Every year, damaged and non-circulated books are rotated out of the collection to make room for new additions. This also means that there must be a yearly budget in place to purchase new titles. Running an effective budget is a crucial part of library management and can be a time-consuming entity to maintain. Librarians are often responsible for finding financial resources and planning out their library’s budgets for the year.
Due to lack of funding, many libraries cannot afford to hire a media specialist, and these responsibilities often default to the librarian. Media specialists are often responsible for finding new technology and implementing it into the school environment. For some people, the library is the only place that they have access to technology such as laptops and Wi-Fi. With no media specialist on staff, it falls to the librarians to manage these technologies. Administering these resources as well as keeping track of the user information of the patrons who use them could be a full-time job on its own!
Miscellaneous school responsibilities
Most school librarians do not just stay in the library and are often asked and tasked to help with various responsibilities around the school. They may be asked to proctor tests, supervise detention, help with classes, escort students to the buses, and more. These tasks detract from the hours they get to spend in the library.
School and public libraries really stepped up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and are a hub for resources and information about the disease. With so much being unknown about COVID, especially in the early days of the pandemic, libraries became a place to find the most up-to-date and trusted information. Many libraries distribute masks and at-home tests. Others supplied resources to help ease students into the virtual learning environment. Libraries have always been a trusted hub for local communities, and COVID-19 was no exception.
Combating book bans
Did you know in 2021 alone, there were nearly 1,600 banned and challenged books in the United States? When a book comes under scrutiny, usually the librarian is also criticized for holding that book in their collection. It has fallen onto librarians to help combat these challenges and to educate patrons on the benefits of having these books in our libraries.
Connecting with young readers
Librarians have the job of not only teaching students how libraries work and what benefits they can get from them but also helping to instill a love of reading at an early age. There are countless studies that show the benefits of reading for both students and adults, and it is incredibly beneficial for students to build strong reading habits early on. To foster this, librarians are tasked with making their spaces warm and inviting, and with connecting with young readers.
In addition to managing their budgets, librarians are also responsible for auditing their own collections. This is to make sure books are where they’re supposed to be and to see if any titles are missing or unaccounted for.
One of the biggest tasks that librarians shoulder is curating content for their collection. School and public librarians are serving a wide array of readers of all different ages, interests, and reading levels. Because of all the additional things being asked of them, there is extremely limited time during the week for librarians to read and select works for their own libraries. With more books being challenged and banned than ever before, it is incredibly important that librarians are aware of which titles are in their collections.
That’s where we come in. At JLG, we curate collections of the best new books for children and young adults. These collections are sorted into categories based on reading level, age group, and content. Each of our titles comes with a content alert describing major topics and any potentially sensitive areas in our books. When you are a JLG member, you will get monthly shipments of the best new titles delivered right to your door each month. Ready to learn more?