5 Duties of the Modern School Librarian

School librarians perform a number of tasks every day, and as a student interested in enrolling in a library science program, you may want to look at the duties of a school librarian. These duties include working with both students and other faculty members, finding new materials for the library and ensuring that those using the facility understand how to use all materials and resources.

Acquiring New Materials and Resources

Acquiring new materials and resources is one of the key things a school librarian does. While private schools may have more funds available, public schools often have a very small budget, which limits the new materials that you can bring in each year. You need to know how to identify the needs of the students within that school, evaluate the materials available to you and determine which are best for the student body.

Helping Students and Faculty

School librarians are often responsible for helping students and faculty members who use the library. You will need to show students how to look up the sources they need for an assignment and how to find those materials inside the library. Librarians also help students locate information online that they can use in their classes. Faculty members may need assistance finding materials they can use when teaching classes and locating online content that they can send home with their students too.

Using and Teaching Technology

Though you might think that librarians still rely on the Dewy Decimal System and that they spend a lot of time putting books back in the stacks and organizing the library, librarians today use newer forms of technology on the job too. The responsibilities of a school librarian include knowing how to organize online materials, how to keep track of the databases that the school subscribes to and how to help students find materials through those sources. If your school offers online classes or classes taken via satellites, you may be responsible for helping students register and take those classes.

Recruiting New Employees

One of the other responsibilities of a school librarian is the recruitment of new workers. While the school itself will usually have the final say regarding who can work there, librarians can help the school board weed through applicants and find those who are most qualified. You may even interview some of those applicants and determine which ones should go further in the hiring process. Depending on the school where you work, you may take over the recruitment and hiring of volunteers. Volunteers can help put books away, clean up the library and do other simple tasks. Those volunteers can include parents who have extra time on their hands or students willing to work during their free periods or after school.

Evaluate Sources

According to the American Association of School Librarians, one of the other responsibilities of a school librarian is the evaluation of sources. When a student comes in and needs help putting together references for an upcoming paper, you need to know how to evaluate those sources and how to find the best materials for each student. Evaluating sources is especially important when looking at online content. While students may know that they cannot use Wikipedia, they may have a difficult time finding helpful and useful sources that their teachers will accept.

School librarians provide assistance to both students and faculty members who need help, but they are also responsible for maintaining the library and ordering new materials that work with the school’s budget. Some of the other duties of a school librarian include keeping up to date with new technology and helping students evaluate online and offline sources.