I agree with the previous post - being a school librarian is great! I've had chances to go back to the classroom, which I really miss, but I've turned them down because I would miss the media center more!
As far as the differences among the various types of librarians . . .
A school librarian/media specialist is a teacher first. (I could be wrong, but I think most states require a teacher librarian to hold a teaching certificate for at least a year before becoming certified as a teacher librarian/media specialist.) We are responsible for teaching kids how to be good consumers of information. We work closely with teachers to ensure that our collection "fits" with the curriculum. Technology is a big part of the job, as well - as is combating the attitude of "Why use a book when I can find it on the internet?" (And that comes from the teachers as well as the students.) We also "push" books and reading to all kids - and adults - in the building. We have to be "up" on testing and using data to drive decision-making. We help in creating a culture of reading and learning in our schools. It's not just about the books - it's about the kids!
A public librarian generally doesn't have the "teaching" duties that a school librarian has. They still do some "teaching," but in a much different way. They deal more closely with their board, their facilities, and the community at large. Their budgets are also different from a school librarian's. The training and coursework a public librarian would take is different from what a school librarian would take. (obviously, there would be some overlap . . . but there are courses a public librarian needs that a school librarian doesn't.)
A university librarian . . . hmmm - others in this forum are much more knowledgeable. When I was getting my Master's degree in Library and Information Science, we were told that all of the university librarians were required to hold at least two masters' degrees. I don't know if that was particular to where I went, or if that is a standard in the field.
If you have the time, visit a school library - maybe even more than one. I've worked with elementary, middle, and high schoolers, and there are differences in the duties depending on the school's population. Then talk with a public librarian. Most people who are passionate about what they do love to share that interest with others! The people you talk with can let you know more about the training required for that state/area. They will also know about grants and incentives that are available for people wanting into the profession. I know that my state of Iowa is offering some pretty good grants to get more people into the school library field.
posted 3 years ago. ( permalink )