Becoming a Library and Information Professional

by | Feb 16, 2023 | ALIA, ALIA Resume Review Service (ALIA RRS) and Job Help Site, Professional Development, Tips & resources

Today we explore ALIA’s Careers page to help answer some of your library questions.

On our LIS journey as students or graduates, we will ask these questions: 

  • How do you become a library and information professional?
  • Where do information professionals work?
  • What types of information professionals are there?
  • What tasks do information professionals perform?

One place to explore as a student or graduate is the Careers area of the ALIA website. That provides a Becoming a Library and Information Professional page in the Careers area of the ALIA website. 

Where do information professionals work?

Librarians and Information Professions are in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Records Management (GLAMR) organisations.

A small sample of these libraries include:

  • Public, School, State, and National 
  • Academic University and TAFE 
  • Parliament, the United Nations, Health, Law, Film and Music libraries.
  • Special Interest libraries in National and State Galleries and Museums.

In Melbourne, the MCG Library is an example of a Special Interest library with a collection on AFL, Cricket and the Olympic Games. 

What type of library professionals are there?

ALIA Careers page separates library professionals into four categories; Librarians and Information Specialists, Library Technicians, Teacher Librarians and Library Assistants.

Librarians and Information professionals:

Assisting people and organisations with technical skills to manage and retrieve information (ALIA, 2023).

Tasks can include:

Librarians & Information Specialists:

  • Managing a library branch
  •  Supervising or leading staff and volunteers
  •  Supporting project and technology systems and applications 
  •  Developing strategic plans
  •  Designing programs, services and projects for the community 
  •  Directing and applying customer services to meet the information needs of clients
  •  Marketing and promoting a library or information management service in person or online
  •  Providing expert advice on a technology, programs or reference support
  •  Providing a consultancy service to research a project or job help or readers advisory service

Teacher Librarians have four roles:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Management
  • Leadership & Collaboration
  • Community Engagement

Library Technicians

Library Technician tasks can include:

  • Maintaining library resources, records and systems by cataloguing and classification of items
  •  Assisting with loan requests and references queries
  •  Search for information via web-based and library database searches
  •  Processing inter-library loans
  •  Developing and promoting library programs
  •  Working with library management platforms and digital technology

Library Assistants

  • Work in teams
  •  Provide library maintenance duties re-shelving returned items
  •  Provide customer service by responding to enquirers
  •  Assist clients with learning to use library and information services
  •  Data entry and administration duties

Reference:

Australian Library and Information Association Ltd (2023) Becoming a Library and Information Professional

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