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How to Write a Librarian Job Description Sample

A Librarian, or Bibliothecary, catalogues a library’s resources and issues them to customers. Common tasks they may perform include organizing books, assisting members of the public in finding resources, ordering inventory, and managing budgets.

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What does a Librarian do?

A Librarian catalogues and organizes books, articles, journals, films, audio files, and other resources so that they are easy for community members to locate. They also supervise the use of library resources, including computers and other equipment, by members of the public.

Librarians review publication schedules so they know when to order new titles. They keep records to monitor which resources are being used and hold promotional events to raise awareness of what libraries do for the local community.

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Librarian Job Description Examples:

Librarian duties and responsibilities

A Librarian ensures the smooth running of the library and the protection of its resources. They also help library users by providing reading tips or research support. Some other key responsibilities include:

  • Organizing and presenting book collections in an attractive way that makes titles easy to find
  • Processing requests from library users to borrow resources
  • Providing expert advice on where someone can find a book or piece of information
  • Liaising with other libraries or booksellers to get resources requested by a customer
  • Speaking at events to explain what the library has to offer
  • Ensuring that the library keeps accurate records to account for all the library’s resources

Librarian skills and qualifications

A Librarian should have excellent organizational skills to effectively manage many resources. They may also need specialist knowledge in a particular area, such as medicine, if they work in a library attached to a medical facility, for example. Other important skills for the position include:

  • Excellent research and archiving skills to facilitate the organization of library resources
  • Good interpersonal skills to provide helpful advice to library users
  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision
  • Attention to detail when updating records and noting information
  • Enthusiasm for literature and creativity

Librarian experience requirements

Depending on the setting they work in, a Librarian may be able to work immediately after completing their education in library sciences. In some specialist roles, such as a Law or Medical Librarian, you may prefer to hire someone with additional qualifications or professional experience in the field.

Librarian education and training requirements

A Librarian usually requires a Master’s Degree in Library Sciences. Related degrees in project management or research methods may also prove useful. If a Librarian is working in a school, you may want them to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and to be registered as a teacher. Librarians may also get further training during their careers, including specializing in technical support for computers in a library or specific research techniques.

Librarian salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, a Librarian in Canada earns on average $53,446 per year. Salaries for Librarians can vary depending on various factors, including the type of institution where they work, their experience, and the tasks they perform.

Job description samples for similar positions

If this Librarian job description sample isn’t quite what you’re looking for, some other job description samples include:

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Librarian job description FAQs

Do Librarians have different responsibilities in different industries?

The role of a Librarian can vary significantly depending on where they work. For example, a Librarian working in a school library may read books to children and support teaching staff. By contrast, a Research Librarian at a university may focus on offering advice to students and academics about identifying resources for their work. In a public library, a Librarian’s job may involve engaging more people in the community by running projects and offering services, such as free internet access.

Who does a Librarian report to?

Who a Librarian reports to depends on the type of institution they work for. In a school, the Librarian may report to the principal or deputy principal. In some public libraries, city or local authorities may oversee the work of the Librarian, although Librarians typically work quite independently. In some universities or research institutes, the Librarian may report to a senior member of the specific department they work in, such as a professional at a law school or medical school.

How can you make a Librarian job description stand out?

Since the duties of Librarians may vary considerably, use your job description to explain in some detail the work environment and responsibilities. Make clear any qualifications or experience required for the position. For example, a job description for a Librarian in a law school may note that the applicant should be familiar with legal research methods.

What's the difference between Librarians and Archivists?

One of the fundamental differences between Librarians and Archivists is who they work with and support. Librarians typically help local members of the community find and access library resources. Archivists, meanwhile, usually assist Historians, Researchers, and other professionals with their academic or scientific pursuits. Additionally, Archivists specialize in handling confidential records, historical documents, and valuable artifacts. Librarians, however, usually manage more readily available print and electronic materials, such as books that are still in print.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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