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Build Your Career

Pennsylvania Library Association Can Help - Build your career!

As a professional association, the Pennsylvania Library Association is committed to providing resources for libraries, librarians and anyone interested in a possible career in the library profession.

Through PaLA membership, you can get involved in the profession.We are also here to help you:

What does a librarian do?

Librarians are information specialist, who enjoy working with people.  Whether you are in a public library, school library, academic library, or a special library, librarians serve people.  If you enjoy solving mysteries, using technology, interacting the public, juggling several tasks at once, then Librarianship might be for you. 


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are an estimated 125,700 librarians in the United States.  Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. Perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. Set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.  (Occupational Employment Statistics, 2018.


There are a number of articles and blogs written by and about librarians.  Modern day librarians are constantly changing to best serve the needs of their community, school, university, or organization. 


"Librarians work in a variety of settings including museums, hospitals, businesses, public libraries, colleges, universities and schools. In their work, librarians research, instruct, and connect people to technology. Librarians build websites, digitize archives, and manage social media. Librarians work with people of all ages, connecting them to information, learning and the community." (American Library Association, 2019).  


The quote below is from ALA president Maureen Sullivan in the Washington Post, July 9, 2012

"Librarians find fulfillment in their work because they provide essential services for patrons of public, school, college, university and other libraries. The range of services they offer matter greatly to their communities: assistance finding jobs; free, reliable and organized access to books, the Internet and other sources of information and entertainment; research and reference assistance; and, programs for children, immigrants and other groups with specific needs, plus much more...

There are more than 135,000 librarians working in schools, public libraries and colleges and universities – plus thousands more in hospitals, law firms, government agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations. From the Chicago Symphony to Columbia University to Entertainment Weekly, there is a diverse range of career opportunities for these graduates. Librarianship remains a dynamic and rewarding career choice ranging from teaching information literacy skills to digitizing and archiving rare collections to selecting the winning Newbery Medal book for children."


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