How to Become a

School Librarian

The complete career guide to be a School Librarian: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $58,930
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 1.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

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Recommended Schools

What is a School Librarian?


As a school librarian, you have to be adept at the following responsibilities:

  • Work alongside classroom teachers and other specialists to develop and implement lessons and instruction units, and evaluate learning effectiveness.
  • Share up-to-date district policies with school professionals in the community, especially aspects like copyright, circulation, reconsideration of materials, privacy, acceptable use, etc.
  • Organize and place library materials like periodicals, videos and books by the call number or in accordance with school library protocols. Keep track of aging periodicals and remove for storage when needed.
  • Promote a wide range of instructional technologies to better engage students and positively influence learning, give regular access to library resources for the school learning community.
  • Maintain open communication with various stakeholders via school and library websites, newsletters, emails and other mediums like video streaming, podcasts and cable television.

Day In The Life

In both primary and secondary schools, a school librarian is typically responsible for educating students on how best to utilize library resources for research and other reading. You may also support teachers and help them track down resources that are to be used for future classroom lesson plan.

A school librarian at a college or university, would be assisting college professors and students on research papers, projects and dissertations. You may also spend your day evaluating and making notes on existing collections in the library, supervising assistants to complete their duties, computer and literacy skills, and creating accurate index databases and documenting materials. establishing processes and procedures for selection, acquisition, circulation, resource sharing, etc., that assure appropriate resources are available when needed

Work Schedule

Based on the particular school and associated budget, a school librarian can be working full-time similar to teachers or have part-time work. Working hours are usually in line with school hours. Sometimes, school librarians may have to come to work on holidays or over weekends to get routine maintenance done or acquire and house new materials.

Growth Of The Job

With older librarians retiring, there will be less competition for jobs in this industry. Most school librarians build their experience in the field by volunteering at other libraries in the neighborhood, and getting an education in library science. School librarians can advance to positions like library director, department head, chief information officer or assistant director. If the library is of larger scale, you could also move to a specialist role like that of an archivist or conservator.

Typical Employers

If you have the educational qualifications to work as a school librarian, the prospects are much better in comparison to other kinds of librarians. School librarians work with academic and school libraries. The most promising employment for librarians, especially school librarians, is found in metropolitan area of the country, such as the Washington D.C, Boston, New York/New Jersey, Chicago, and Los Angeles areas. Candidates that have a clear understanding of a range of print and electronic reference sources as well as related software or other, will be at an advantage versus others in the market.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a School Librarian

If you aspire to become a school librarian, you must have at least completed a bachelor’s degree in a related field like library science or library and information studies. Eventually, your employer will request that you complete the master’s degree program to work with K-12 schools in the country.

Many school libraries prefer that candidates for librarian positions hold a master’s degree from a school that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Accreditation from the ALA shows that a program is well equipped enough to have the association’s standards. Individuals that are already licensed as teachers in a different subject, could add a school librarian’s endorsement to their existing license via a master’s degree in library science.

In case you are enthusiastic about sharing knowledge, then working as school librarian is a great role. The right individual should be curious to inspire young minds and respond to any and every question from students or their parents. The school librarian must also cultivate his or her skills as an outstanding communicator who motivates students at a school environment.


School Librarian Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do School Librarian salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, School Librarian's can make an average annual salary of $58,930, or $28 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $44,580 or $21 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #283 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a School Librarian. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among School Librarians

  • 5.1%   Doctorate
  • 57%   Masters
  • 23.1%   Bachelors
  • 4.3%   Associates
  • 9.9%   College
  • 0.4%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does School Librarian job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,600 jobs for a total of 145,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #556 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most School Librarians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Elementary and secondary schools; local 45,100 -2,200 -2%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 41,300 2,400 2%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 14,900 2,000 2%

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