Academic Librarian Responsibilities
An academic librarian plays a vital role in the life of school and college students reflecting the quality standards and core values of the academic institution. Academic librarian responsibilities include acquiring, selecting, developing the library collections to suit the user's demands, keeping abreast with various publications, research, guiding the students and instilling in them love for learning.
Key Responsibilities of an Academic Librarian
Academic librarian is an expertise functioning like a leader, supervising a team comprising the staff members of the library and the student assistants. He ensures that students and staff members make effective use of the available resources. He inspires the students to develop a passion for reading, research and motivates them to be critical thinkers. Here is a list of the key responsibilities that are handled by an academic librarian:
- Learning and Teaching Functions:
- To foster a climate that welcomes and respects the students' demands
- To provide a diverse range of resources that are helpful in research, personal study or individual investigation
- To motivate reading by arranging book fairs, exhibitions
- To make the latest curriculum available to the students and update the existing resources
- To collaborate with the teachers to plan, implement and design instructional units by integrating the academic curriculum and the library
- To ensure that the students have equitable opportunities while assessing the resources
- To develop, plan, and implement plans that inculcates a reading habit in each student
- Resource Availability
- To continuously monitor and assess the requirements of the students and teachers and arrange for their subsequent demand
- To analyze the collection and discard the unwanted material
- To keep a track and maintain a list of the material needed
- To keep good contacts with the book vendors and publication houses
- To assess the needs and subscribe the material by taking aid of the electronic resources or by issuing orders online
- To keep an update on latest technologies by ensuring proper installation of software, Internet to integrate the curriculum into the technology
- To arrange, sort, classify the resources according to category like research, technology, literature, etc.
- To provide an open access to students upon presentation of library cards
- To schedule plans that will motivate the students to access the resources even after college hours or on the weekends
- Arrangement of Different Activities
- To supervise, recruit and train the staff members
- To develop and implement plans that will help in achieving the goals and objectives
- To prioritize the budget by assessing the needs, reviewing the current status of library and recommend plans for improvement
- To develop a vision for library and communicate it to the teachers, volunteers and assistants
Some of the essential skills to ensure high success rate are:
- A passion for reading, love for books
- Good researching skills, ability to identify and assess the needs
- Excellent time management and organizational skills
- Excellent communication skills to develop healthy professional relationship with the vendors, publications
- Expertise in a particular subject area, extensive knowledge on diverse range of subjects
- Should be able to manage large volumes of books, database in the computers by demonstrating strong skills in IT
A master's degree in library science is the most preferred qualification. However, a bachelor's degree in liberal arts with an accreditation from American Library Association will also prove to be of great help.
The working hours typically are from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Extended working hours will be essential when the library needs to be kept open during book fairs, exhibitions or for some special purpose.
The yearly wages fall in the range of $35,000 to $65,000. They vary depending on the experience, location, and academic background that an individual has.
The career prospects are bright for those specializing in particular field and have ample scope for advancement. There is dearth of librarians and there are ample vacancies available in research institutes, public libraries, universities and in specialized sectors of government and corporate offices.
The library is adopting new changes with the advent of the information technology. Thus, apart from the basic duties, there is a transition in the role and nature of academic librarian responsibilities.