So You Want to be a Librarian? A Guide For Those Considering an MLS, Current Students & Job Seekers

This WayI get a lot of email asking for advice either on getting an MLS, the job search or the skills needed. So I’ve pulled together a list of the best of the best advice for potential MLS students, current students and job seekers. In cases where the titles are not self explanatory I’ve grabbed a sentence or two from the post to give context

The Degree

The Job Search

General Professional Advice


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59 thoughts on “So You Want to be a Librarian? A Guide For Those Considering an MLS, Current Students & Job Seekers

  1. Hi Bobbi! Excellent list you have compiled! I would like to add a blog post from my classmate Adelle about how to manage library school while working (since most of us were working while going to class). The link to her post is here: I also included a reply post on my blog elaborating on some of her points:

    Thank you very much for providing access to these resources.


  2. Hi Bobbi. This is the list I have been looking for. I am mid-MLIS and am trying to find my way through the degree and into the field. I am working on a “Hacking the MLIS” sort of document (in the spirit of and totally ripping off Hacking The Academy), and wondered if it’d be alright if I included this post/list in my research. I plan/hope to publish it online in the same way that the Alt-Ac Profhacker folks did with the Academy doc. I think there are enough people writing about the degree that there should be some collaborative, accessible document that will outlast all our various blog posts. Interested?


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  8. Hey Bobbi, great list! Thanks for pulling it all together! For what it’s worth, I wrote a book with the very same title: So You Want To Be A Librarian. It gives a general overview of the field, different positions, and grad school.


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  12. Dear Bobbi

    I’m a high school student, currently living outside the States, but I’m extremely interested in becoming a librarian, and the more I read about it the more I like the sound of the job. However, I’m really worried about the fact that I’m a practising Muslim girl, wearing a hijab (headscarf). I read somewhere that as a library student you should try to stand out and this will be easy, but do you think that this will stop people employing me?

    Please reply,



    • Dear Bayan,

      It sounds like a difficult question to reply because of the little available. Are there women wearing hijab working at libraries and other institutions where you live? If so, you should ask them. Or are you planning to move to the US and your question was related to the job market there? If it’s the second, again, it’s a difficult question – many organization have as a policy to hire people from minorities, but I wouldn’t guarantee anything.

      It seems to me that you may want to continue your research by asking people you know, but then again, it’s just my idea.



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  18. do the 36 credit hours needed to get a masters in library and information science include the basic courses like college algebra and such? or do I not have to take those because I’ll be going into a graduate program?
    (highschool junior)


  19. It looks like there was some great information links on this page at one time, but I tried 4 links, starting at the top and they are all broken.


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