Pursuing a career as a librarian makes you a competent, well-organized, and people-oriented expert who supports learning in communities. Generally, librarians are essential in making sure that everyone has access to information. Additionally, they play a critical role in developing a love of learning, supporting literacy, and assisting with research. Pursuing a career as a librarian makes you responsible for roles such as keeping books, notebooks, and digital materials organized and preserved.


A librarian is in charge of setting up, overseeing, and facilitating access to the library’s information resources. Additionally, they help library users locate information resources and offer advice on how to make the most of them. Furthermore, they create and provide services and programmes, such as book clubs, cultural events, and literacy initiatives, to address the needs of the community. 


In this piece, I will walk you through the steps to take in pursuing a career as a librarian. 


Steps to Pursue a Career as a Librarian

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree: You need a bachelor’s degree to be able to pursue a career as a librarian. This degree will provide a solid foundation in the principles and techniques you need to function as a librarian. Additionally, it can boost your chances of getting accepted into a reputable programme and assist you in getting ready for graduate school. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in library and information science. Additionally, you can gain a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as library, history or education. 
  2. Gain Library Experience: You can gain experience while you are studying for your bachelor’s degree and after. This can be done through processes such as internships or volunteer roles. You should apply to a library and learn from professionals in the field.
  3. Pursue a Master’s Degree: A master’s degree will enhance your knowledge and skills in this field.  You can also have the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge in the area of speciality of your interest. Additionally, this degree will give you a competitive advantage during employment as well as a high-income potential. 
  4. Choose an Area of Specialisation: There are various areas that you can specialise in as a librarian. You can choose areas such as school librarianship, archives, or public libraries. These specialisations will enable you to narrow your focus as well as gain competence in your chosen niche.
  5. Pursue Professional Certifications: This is not a compulsory requirement. However, you can choose to obtain additional certifications in library and information science. This certificate will prove your expertise and commitment to this field. Additionally, it can give you additional and advanced knowledge that will be useful to your career.
  6. Earn a Doctorate Degree: A doctoral degree is usually required if you want to work in research or teach at a university.  However, other areas of specialisation can also obtain a doctorate. This degree will provide the advanced expertise you need as a librarian. Furthermore, it might provide you with significant income possibilities as well as research leadership roles.
  7. Develop Professional Skills: As an aspiring librarian, you need to develop the skills that are relevant to your career. You can build skills that are generally needed as well as skills that are needed for your niche. 


Types of Librarians

  1. Academic Librarian: Academic librarians assist students, instructors, and staff with their schoolwork as well as research at colleges and universities. Additionally, they handle digital assets, create archives and unique collections, as well as teach research techniques and citation formats.
  2. Youth Services Librarian: Youth services librarians specialise in supporting kids as well as young adults while working at public libraries. Additionally, they might offer outreach initiatives and programming that encourage reading and library use.
  3. Digital Librarians: Digital librarians oversee digital collections in libraries and archives. Furthermore, they are in charge of handling metadata, granting access to digital resources, and digitising and conserving items.
  4. Music Librarians: Music librarians oversee and arrange music libraries, such as reference materials, recordings, and scores. Additionally, they catalogue, store, and recover music resources for use in classrooms, institutions, orchestras, and recording studios.
  5. Public Librarian: Public librarians operate in public libraries and serve a wide spectrum of users, such as children and adults. Furthermore, they are in charge of overseeing the library’s holdings, offering research and reference assistance. 
  6. Special Librarians: Special librarians are employed in specialised environments such as enterprises, museums, and legal offices. Additionally, they oversee collections tailored to the requirements of their company and assist staff members with their research.
  7. Technical Librarians: These librarians oversee the technical parts of the library’s operations, such as cataloguing, categorization, and metadata maintenance, from behind the scenes. 


Skills Required for a Librarian

  1. Analytical Skills
  2. Collections Management/Organisational Skills
  3. Technological Skills
  4. Customer Service
  5. Information Technology
  6. Library Management
  7. Cataloguing


Universities in Africa that Offer Library and Information Science

  1. Cairo University, Egypt
  2. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  3. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  4. University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  5. Alexandria University, Egypt
  6. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  7. Mansoura University, Egypt
  8. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Assiut University, Egypt
  10. University of Zambia, Zambia
  11. Tanta University, Egypt
  12. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  13. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  14. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  15. Assiut University, Egypt
  16. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  17. Tunis University, Tunisia
  18. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  19. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  20. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  21. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  22. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  23. University of Ghana, Ghana
  24. University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  25. Jimma University, Ethiopia
  26. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  27. University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  28. Makerere University, Uganda
  29. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  30. University of Botswana, Botswana


In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a librarian enables you to play an essential part in a country’s educational and cultural development. Finally, a career as a librarian provides limitless potential for personal and professional development, as well as the gratification of positively impacting an educational system and cultural landscape.


Good luck!

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