Job Titles and Responsibilities

Regardless of what sort of position you are applying for in a public library, there are several key skills that are valuable for all public librarians. These include:

  • leadership and management ability
  • strong communication 
  • excellent customer service skills, including the ability to provide tech help and plan programs
  • ability to work in a team environment
  • good technical skills and ability to teach those skills
  • knowledge of the issues facing the community that you wish to work in

A broad understanding of all aspects of librarianship from reference work to technical services is also useful.

Please see the career pathways section on public librarianship for more information on general skills to develop and courses that will prepare you to work in a public library setting.

In addition, take a look at this great list compiled by a UK librarian that explains what public librarians do, this list of skills from Library Journal, and this interview with a NYPL librarian.

Next: Typical Positions and Roles