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Oct 29, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)



Librarians of Today: Roles and Responsibilities


Rubina Markosyan

San Jose State University

School of Library & Information Science

Libr 200


Professor Steven Tash


The research presented in the paper analyzes the trends in the librarian career. The
research specializes in children’s librarian. Children’s librarian salaries, education, training,
experience, language, job prospects and skills are the trends future lib
rarians must know when
entering the field of librarian career. Three job openings from various parts of the country show
qualifications, education, and experience needed to fulfill the job requirement. Research has
concluded the long term and short term g
oals of a prospect student interested in children’s
librarian. Observations about the Glendale Public library have been made and analyzed. An in
depth focus on the collections, websites, outreach programs, special services, budget,
environment, staffing, a
nd governance have been made on the Glendale public library. The
research has shown the importance of education and experience in library career.


My job hunt research project will inquire about job trends; salaries, education, training,
rience, language, job prospects, desired skills and other abilities.

I have focused on the
career of a children’s librarian for my future. I have researched three job openings in various
parts of the United States. Many of the job openings have the same

qualifications with minimal
differences. The job's requirements have made it clear to me of my long term and short term
goals. I have also visited and observed the Glendale Public Library.


Over the past 30 years, studies have been conducted to ref
lect on the current job market
of LIS professionals (Reeves & Hahn, 2010). University of Maryland uses their study to explain
the needs and requirements of the library profession. Salaries is an important trend, studies show
that within the last year, ave
rage salaries rose for academic libraries and archives. The average

salary, nationwide, for any librarian in 2006 was $41,000 and in 2009, the average was $47,500
(Reeves & Hahn, 2010). Within the three years there was an increase of $6,500. The current j
openings for Children’s Librarian show that
an estimate of $39,000 starts

depending on
qualifications (School of Information, 2010).

Salaries also depend on the location of the opening. For example, children’s librarian
opening in Texas is offering $19
.95 per hour and in Washington it is $25.71 per hour (School of
Information, 2010). Studies show that not only regions but different specializations make a
difference in salary. A children’s librarian salary is less than the national average. Reeves and
ahn’s graphs display public services salary in different institution types.


Research shows that education is usually required with today’s standards for current
librarian positions.
Searching for a librarian position, one must have a master’s de
gree in library
Education has become more and more prevalent in this profession (Lyda Truick,
personal communication, October 10, 2010). The requirements for a librarian position has
become more defined and focused today than decades ago. Accordi
ng to the American Library
Association (ALA) the majority of employers require their employers and future applicants to

ALA accredited masters (ALA, 2010). All three of the current job postings require a
Masters degree in library science.

r, it is not just having a master’s degree, John Berry, discusses the gaps in LIS
education (2009). There seems to be more to obtaining a degree from accredited schools. LIS
needs to provide how to obtain a job after they graduate. Berry emphasizes on the
importance of
learning background information for a job opening. Recent graduates express their lack of

support from their LIS curricula (Berry, 2009). Institutions accredited by the ALA can cause a
reasonable belief that employers nationwide will require

the same level of education.


One of the many trends that are important is the training. Future employers almost always
want to hire someone who has

and what better way to gain this experience then by
participating in workshops that are offered by your local library. The city of Glendale has offered
free workshops. Lyda Truick mentions the usefulness of these workshops and participants can
gain useful

experience that cans

head start their career. ALA provides a list of workshops and
training sessions.


Today the majority of employers require applicants to have experience. The institution
type does not matter when it comes to experience; any
librarian position needs experience.
Especially today with unemployment rates scoring high, employers are limited to who they can
interview and those who do not have experience do not have a chance for a position. Theresa
Bruno a recent graduate of MLIS ex
plains her agonizing venture to find a professional job.
Theresa states that it was not the way she presented herself during the interview; it was that she
lacks professional experience (2009).

In a recent job opening, for a Children librarian position in

Washington posted experience
in multi
cultural communities preferred (School of Information, 2009.) Although, some postings
may not require experience it is difficult to find those jobs. As Lyda Truick (personal
communication, October 10, 2009) says “it’s

like a child trying to find a professional job.” Fair
or not, this is reality, employers prefer to hire an applicant who has experience in the library field

compared to someone who does not. Especially now that jobs are scarce libraries do not have the
dget to spend much money on training Librarians.

Experience in the children’s department is different than other library specialization. One
must have a broader range of experience when working with the children. Children librarians
need experience with c
hildren. Librarians working with children must build rapport and
communicate with children differently than adults. Librarians must use creativity and new
resources constantly for children’s short attention span.


Language is a difficult job trend.

In order to serve any community a local library needs to
fluently communicate with its patrons. A second language depends entirely on the location of
the position posted. Certain regions desire a language(s) when hiring because the community is
highly po
pulated with residents who speak that language. Glendale has a large population of
Armenians and it is crucial to have staff who can speak Armenian (Lyda Truick, personal
communication, October 10, 2010).

In the current job postings, two out of three Chi
ldren’s librarian openings preferred a
Spanish speaker (School of Information, 2010). Libraries change their requirements because the

need of the community changes; h
ence why Katz believes the communicatio
n between patron
and librarians.

Job Prospects

Children’s librarian positions are small in numbers compared to other types of librarian
positions. According to Reeves and Hahn, statistics show that 17.5% of library positions are
public and ranked second highest job ads following academic libra
ries (2010).

Lyda Truick

discusses the hardships the full
time employees face because of the extreme budget cuts.

Due to
the economic downturn the City of Glendale reduced its libraries budget more than any other city
departments and because of the reduc
ed budget the vacant positions have been eliminated while
the children’s fulltime library assistant position request has been denied for two years (Lyda
Truick, personal communication, October 10, 2010).

Skills and Abilities

After analyzing the job positi
on I noticed that the skills and abilities slightly vary from
once children’s library position to another. For example, skills and abilities include knowledge of
the principles and practices of modern library science and the ability to assimilate and adjus
t to
procedures unique to this library. In addition to other skills, the children’s position requires the
librarian to have knowledge of publications and resources for library materials. Furthermore, the
ability to maintain new and changing technology is n
eeded at all times due to the advanced
technology (School of Information, 2010). All of these are an essential part of the children’s

Another valid skill is communication with children. For example, the Glendale public
library provides the Tre
e House Tales. The Tree House tales is a television show produced by the
city of Glendale on GTV 6. GTV 6 is government access cable channel for the City of Glendale.
The television program has children’s librarian reading stores to a live audience (GTV 6,

In the video’s I noticed that the librarian was able to easily connect and communicate well with
the children. This enhanced her ability to actively stimulate the audience to the storybook.


ALA is an organization that links to other
divisions, such as Public Library Association
(PLA). The PLA is an organization that strengths public libraries and communities. ALA
connects users to other organizations such as the as a subtitle. A subsection is the Youth Adult
Library Services Associa
tion (YALSA). YALSA is to promote and enhance services to teens.
One of the roundtables provided by ALA is Library Research. Children’s librarian can use
Library Research to provide public program offerings and to educate research techniques.
Librarians us
e blogs as a means to communicate with patrons. For example, the blog, Tree House
Tales, is a review that is created by librarians and library assistance by the Glendale Public
library to help parents and children review the books (2010).

As a library assi
stant I have worked with adult, teen, and children’s reference.

And over
the years I have become very fond of children’s literature.

I was also interested in becoming an
academic librarian.

However, now I see how enjoyable it is when working with childr

It is a
different world working with children.

I would definitely want to further my career as a children’s librarian.

It is a fulfilling role
to have.

I see myself as an educator, providing resources to expand the knowledge of children.

n’s brains absorb information like a sponge and it is crucial to provide them with
excellent, correct information.

A children’s library is like a safe haven where children go to
spend their day.

As a children’s librarian, one holds a certain level of
responsibility in all aspects.

Librarians want to make sure that the children are safe from predators.

Some libraries even
provide a “safe place”.

“A safe place” is a program that allows any person to ask for help and
the library must provide that for t

Furthermore, librarians must be educated.

For example,

if a child/parent asks for a recommendation, the librarian needs to be equipped (ready) to provide
an appropriate book, which suits that particular child.

The ALA is an organization that promo
tes library service. The ALA is a major supporter
of this setting. The YALSA also provide support (Lyda Truick, personal communication,
October 10, 2010). YALSA provides resources to librarian to better equip them for their
services. Lyda Truick (personal

communication, October 10, 2010) also shares that Public
Library Association (PLA) supports the setting as well.

Lyda Truick, a

Librarian, presented the Children’s Code of Ethics in the Glendale
public library children’s room manual.

Job Cand

All job listings require at least two

related to children’s librarian and a
masters degree. Another common requirement is to develop and implement library services and
programs to children, parents and caregivers. The children’s

department promotes literacy and
the love of books. As a qualification of the job, one must have creative means of promoting the
library and its services. Another common qualification, I noticed, is the knowledge of using
electronic devices. I must know h
ow to find and utilized electronic resources and activities.
Knowledge of techniques used in library classification and cataloging is also needed.
Additionally, I must be able to generate instructions for the children and parents to follow.
(School of info
rmation, 2010)

This brings me to my next point of having great communication skills. Children’s
librarian must be able to build rapport with children in a timely manner. One must be able to
effectively communicate with their colleges, parents and caregive

to understand

the diverse
community. For example, two of the job listings prefer Spanish proficiency. Other parts of a

diverse community include schools, childcare agencies and various special interest groups. One
job posting specified a qualification r
egards knowledge of current public service theories and
practices. In addition, good analytical skills and reasoning ability is required. Most importantly,
a children’s librarian must be knowledgeable about children’s literature. (School of information,

I feel I am proficient in most of the skills listed in the posting. I have nine years
experience in the library. Five of which is of a library assistance position. I feel I am creative in
promoting literacy. I conducted many story times and activi
ties that promotes the love of books.
I am able to build rapport with children, parents and caregivers. I can effectively communicate
can use my judgment to solve issues presented from the patrons. Although I am not proficient in
Spanish, I am still able
to serve in a multi
cultural and socio
economical diverse community. I
am proficient in Armenian, which is the second popular language used in my community.

My many strengths include: creative ability of story time and activities, communication,
usage of

electronic resources, awareness of diverse community. I am able to bring children from
diverse ethnic backgrounds in one room. I create interaction between the children during story
time, which promotes books and the library. I am able to use the library

electronic resources to
assist with children and their parents to locate information. I am also aware of the diverse
community. I am sensitive to the various cultures and their customs.

I feel I can still improve on learning more about children’s liter
ature. Although I feel I
know an abundance of children’s literature, I must keep updated with new books and resources.
One of my short term and long term goals is to stay tune with the various new books in children
literature. I also need more education o
n public service theories and practices. I am fulfilling that
goal currently by enrolling in the Master of Library Science.
This will help me in the long term,

because I will have proficiency in theories to aide me in my practice as a librarian.

Another lo
term goal is to be part of The Tree House Tales. In order to achieve this goal, I must earn my
masters degree, then obtain a job as a children’s librarian. As I gain experience in the children’s
department, I must also built a high reputation to be prom
pted to Tree House Tale.

Currently, I have been building on more responsibilities in my employment as a library
assistance, which will help improve my current skills and enhance my shortcomings.
Additionally, I will prepare for the work in library science

through internships in the future and
advanced courses in library science.


I have observed the Children’s Room at the Glendale Central Public Library.

department’s collections were separated by different categories: grade, genre, fictio
subject, and foreign language. The following collection is fiction books that range from pre
through eighth grades.

The “JO’s” are
picture books

that are geared for toddlers to pre
k, “JE’s”
are early readers those who are starting to rea
d full sentences (perhaps 1

to 2


following collection is fiction books that range from pre
k to 8


Following “JI” which are
books for older readers those who are early readers with high
reading comprehension

along the “JC
’s” are early
chapter books

geared for 3


And the last of the fiction
section are the “J’s”.

J’s are fiction books focused on grade levels 4

Now for the fiction
collection the “JC” and “J” have separated their mysteries from the rest of the collection.

mystery books were shelved, alphabetically by the author’s last name before the collection.

However, the approach for the non
collection was different.

The non
fiction was
separated by subjects and all grades are interfiled.

For example, the 900’s cover the subject
history, the 700’s are sports/crafts, 500’s are science, etc.

In addition, international language, in

this partic
ular library, has multiple languages such as Armenian (large population), Korean,
French, Spanish, etc.

The non
fiction of a particular language is shelved together.

The collection also includes music CDs,
audio books

in different levels, magazines, an

Playaways are recent.

They are recordings of stories that look like iPods.

One must
plug it in their earphones and they are set to “hear” the book. However, this collection is very
small (est. 10

There is a variety of magazines.

entertainment magazines include:


Sports Illustrated

There are also educational magazines such as
National Geographic

for kids,
Cobble Stone
, and
Boy’s Life.

Glendale Public Library

provides multiple electronic resources

In order to gain
access, the user must be a member. The website needs a library card number in addition to a pin.

Once logged in, one can select different resources, such as online periodicals, JSTRO, etc.

electronic resource provides extensive i

The website also provides electronic
resources for each department separately. Resources for kids are credible references to children.

Glendale Public Library website

is a well
constructed website.

Most people can
navigate the website w
ith ease.

The droop down menu lists all the departments. The library page
provides the locations, hours, catalog, and online service on the
left hand side

The main page
also provides e
books/music/facebook, a link to children’s, teens, adults, literacy,

classes, etc.

The children’s page provides the calendar of events, book blogs created by
, and Library Assistants.

This is an excellent way for readers (especially parents) to
read the reviews.

There is a link to book lists (solely f
iction) for different grades. It also
provides a list for different genres and award winner books such as Caldecott and Newberry.

What is wonderful about this website is upon review of any list, you like you can click on the

cover of the book and it will

automatically take you to the page that shows whether the book is
available at that location.

The Glendale libraries offer homework help to students from Kindergarten to eight
grades. The homework helpers are pages employed at library.

The Glendale Pub
lic Library
provides outreach programs.

Librarians and library assistants visit different places such as
Glendale Community College
, Garfield Adult College, Glendale elementary schools to raise
awareness about library services. Library services include
ory time

and library cards.

We also have special services.

Children’s department presents story time in Armenian
and Spanish.

The two languages are highly populated in Glendale and there was a need for this

The Children
’s services
mission s

is to provide free and equal access to
materials, information and services to meet children’s personal, educational and recreational
needs and interests. Children’s Services encourages independent learning and strive to inspire an
appreciation of

reading and literature. Special emphasis is placed on involving new readers and
acknowledging that families are an integral part of the learning experience. The children’s
services staff goes out of its way to offer courteous, professional service in a po
sitive, supportive
environment” (Lyda Truick). Furthermore, the Glendale Public Library serves diverse
populations. There are a high percentage of Armenians and Spanish people that utilize the
Since there is a high number of Armenians and Spaniard
s visiting the library, the library
increases their services in these languages.

Since the public library is part of the City, the library budgets reflect on the city budget.

In 2008, the Glendale libraries budge hit hard cutting almost more than half the hours.

addition, since then it has continued to decrease.

Due to the extrem
budget cuts
, most of the

collections are not shelved as quickly.

In addition, the budget cut caused vacant position to be

The layout of the facility is properly planned for a library of its size, but a few changes
can be made to better th
e rearranging of the collection.

The “J’s” should be switched with the
fiction because the shelves do not flow well. There are fictions shelves in
between the two
fictions shelves. In addition, the signage should be rethought.

Although, the sect
ions have
labels the shelves should have numbers themselves.

The Children’s Room has wonderful toys
that are always available to play; miniature shopping carts, legos, and mini plastic pots/pans.
This was a recent project to enhance the quality of family

time spent in the library. Pre
children usually play with these toys.

However, it seems like older kids enjoy if as well.

school area has a build in wooden tree that has a slanted table surrounding the trunk.

addition, to this feature, th
ey have yellow/blue wooden animal chairs.

The rest of the room has
small tables that stand at 3feet tall with a matching small size chairs.

The children’s staff is all women and they have extensive experience with children.

staff ranges from 23 yea
rs of age to 60. They work well with one another to provide assistance.

The Librarians all have a degree in Master of
Library School

and others BA.

The general operations of this Library are a hierarchical.

The Children’s room staff
includes full
e librarians, full and part time library assistants, and part
time pages.

Glendale Central Public Library is located in
Glendale, CA

The address is
222 E Harvard St.

Glendale, CA 91205. There website is

When you walk into the Children’s Room, you feel that warm welcome.

environment is very child and family friendly.

The quantities of the children’s collection are
fairly large in all areas.

Indeed, some area
s like the audio books for the pre schoolers need

additions added.

Also, the quality of these audio books needs to be updated to CD’s.

Most of
these audio books are cassettes and the new technology CD players.

The GPL provides
numerous programs from sto
ry times, playtime,
, and train time.

The services the library
provides are excellent, and they offer many services that are useful.


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(2010). Retrieved October 11, 2010, from American Library



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Bruno, T. (2009). It isn’t just me: A story of four recent library science graduates on the prowl

for their first librarian job.
Indiana Libraries

28(2), 20

from http:content.


7FSrqu4S7OWxWX S&


GTV 6. (2010).
Three House Tales.
[Television series episode]. United States: Glendale Studio.

Katz, Linda S. (2002).
The image and role of the librarian.
Haworth Information Press.

(2010). Tales from the treehouse. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from Glendale Public Library:


Reeves, R., & Hahn, T. (2010).

Job advertisements for recent graduates: Advising, curriculum,

and job
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Journal of Education for Library and information Science

V. 51 No. 2 (Spring 2010) P. 103
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