Librarians run public and private libraries, managing access to books, multi-media resources and computers.

Annual Salary

£18,500 to £42,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

What's it all about?

You may work in a public, private or mobile library. You could work for a local authority, a community organisation or charity, a college, school or university, or a commercial organisation like a law firm.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • managing staff, budgets and statistical returns
  • using IT systems to catalogue, classify and index stock
  • dealing with counter, phone and email enquiries
  • organising IT access and solving user problems
  • keeping up to date with new publications and selecting stock
  • making sure staff follow Freedom of Information, Data Protection and Copyright laws
  • promoting library services through displays, talks and community events like reading clubs
  • attending meetings and conferences

In a school, college or university you may also teach research and study skills.

You could get into this career through a degree in librarianship or information management accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

If you've a degree in another subject, you could:

  • take a postgraduate qualification in librarianship or information management
  • join a graduate training scheme run by an employer or CILIP

You’ll usually need some practical experience which you could get during your first degree, or by volunteering afterwards.

If you're working as a library assistant or have a job with an information service, you could apply for Certification through CILIP. You could then work your way up by taking further qualifications.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

£18,500 to £42,000

Starter salary: £18,500 to £24,000

Experienced salary: £24,000 to £31,000

Salaries depend on the type of library.

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

In public, college and university libraries, you'll usually work shifts including weekends and evenings. In commercial libraries, you're likely to work regular office hours.

You'll either work in a library building or in a mobile library.

You may need a driving licence to travel to different branches.

You could move into a senior job as a manager. Another option is to take responsibility for a specialist service or collection.

If you hold a senior position in your organisation, you could apply for Fellowship of CILIP.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service and organisational skills
  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • IT skills, particularly in using databases and the internet
  • research skills
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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