Academic Libraries


Working in Academic Libraries

According to the American Library Association, there are 3,094 academic libraries in the United States, of which 2,238 are associated with four-year and above institutions and 856 with less-than-four-year colleges (for example, community colleges, vocational colleges, and similar types of schools.). Academic libraries employ approximately 26,600 professional librarians. In addition, many of the proprietary schools (also known as vocational or technical schools or career colleges) and for-profit colleges provide library resources and services to their students.

To learn more about academic libraries, explore the following pages for an overview of the types of academic libraries, the various roles you can fill, salaries and promotion requirements, and tips to help you land your dream job.


Types of Academic Libraries

Academic libraries are an important part of higher education institutions and usually serve two complementary purposes: to support the curriculum and to support faculty and student research.


Job Titles and Responsibilities

Regardless of what sort of position you are applying for, there are several skills and experiences that are valuable for all academic librarians.


Sample Job Postings

Keep in mind that job titles are fluid, positions often merge with those with similar responsibilities, and all academic librarians need management skills, as they will be expected to manage projects, departments, and community relationships.


Status, Promotion and Salary

If you are interested in a career in Academic Librarianship, you may have heard the phrases, tenure track and faculty status. What does that mean in the context of employment and how does it affect salaries and professional opportunities?