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Library Director: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a library director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Libraries are much more than just places to borrow books to read. They offer computer labs, host community events and offer copy, microfiche and fax services. Library directors are the individuals in charge of overseeing these services, along with the day-to-day operations of the library. These professionals are typically required to hold a master's degree in library science and may also need to be certified, depending on state regulations.

Required Education Master's degree in library science
Other Requirements Certification requirements vary by state
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*7% for all librarians
Mean Salary (2013)* $57,550 for all librarians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Library Director Job Description

Library directors do much more than just check books in and out for customers. They oversee other employees and staff members and ensure that daily operations are running smoothly. The responsibilities of library directors depend on the size and type of library in which they work. A library director in a small library may be the only worker at times and is responsible all daily tasks, while directors in large or university libraries may have a fewer distinct duties, while delegating others to employees.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Employment opportunities for librarians should increase by seven percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The rise of electronic sources is likely to contribute to the relatively slow growth. Data from the BLS shows the average salary for librarians in 2013 was $57,550.

Library Director Duties

Library directors who work in large establishments or in high administrative positions may have the most responsibilities. They may be in charge of managing library services, overseeing staff, coordinating with patrons and working to improve library facilities. These directors may also deal with the public by setting up community events and acting in a public relations role. They may also prepare budgets and negotiate contracts for services and equipment. In small libraries, the duties of a library director may also include opening and closing the library, sorting mail, hiring employees, and implementing the library's programming and policies.

Requirements to Become a Library Director

Library directors typically need a master's degree in library science to work in public, academic and special libraries. Before they can enter into a library science master's degree program, they must have a bachelor's degree. For the best employment opportunities, individuals may wish to choose library science programs that are accredited by the American Library Association. Some programs can be found online.

Some states require librarians working in local libraries and public schools to be certified, although this varies by state. Some states also require librarians have either a Master of Library Science or a Master of Education degree with a library media emphasis. School librarians are also required to hold teacher certifications in more than half of U.S. states. Passing a comprehensive examination is also required in some states.

Though not required, librarians and library directors may also wish to become members of the American Library Association and the Library Leadership and Management Association. These two organizations offer valuable research and information for librarians.

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