Despite the current budget cutback, there are still jobs available in public libraries.


Useful websites


CILIP – the professional organisation for librarians, has a very useful webpage on the subject, including an opportunity to have vacancies emailed to you via LIS Job Net.

Sue Hill Recruitment – specialist employment agency.


What is looked for


If the job asks for a professional librarian, a librarianship qualification is expected.


Skills required vary but it is fair to say that being quiet is not looked for.  Being a public librarian is a highly extrovert and public-facing career choice.  If you don’t like repeatedly helping complete strangers then this career is not for you.  You will also be expected to have good computer skills (especially typing and search).  A broad knowledge of books is a bonus.  Being tidy and accurate is a key part of the job.


Experience is always useful, if not easy to obtain.  Ask for work experience at your local library.


Application tips


Spell check your applications.   Being able to spell is key to library jobs as you will need to type enquiry search terms into computers on a regular basis.

Research the public library authority.  Public Libraries News has a list by authority of all media mentions for the last two years so this should be easy for you to do.





  • #1 written by Martin Cove
    about 6 years ago

    It is never clear to me what a ‘librarianship qualification’ is exactly. I am now Chartered but do not have a library degree just lots of experience (which I wrote up in my portfolio). Does this make me qualified ? Some advertisements imply not – especially in the academic sector. Not surprisingly I feel strongly that employers should be more flexible now that CILIP recognises that experience and structured reflection can be substitutes for the standard academic route (and dare I say even superior to it alone !).

    • #2 written by Marion Huckle
      about 6 years ago

      Martin, you have highlighted an issue that is a hot topic for CILIP at the moment and is being addressed as part of the qualifications element of the Future Skills Project (see the CILIP web site for more details). It is clear that there is pretty widespread confusion and misunderstanding about CILIP’s qualifications and many employers do not recognise or value our qualifications. New career pathways and entry levels are emerging and people are coming into professional roles from very different routes: it is important that CILIP recognises and relects this through its qualifications.
      Members and non-members can get involved in this crucial work by completing the Qualifications Survey that can be accessed via the Future Skills page on the CILIP web site. The survey closes on 15th October and we hope all those who are interested in and concerned about this topic will participate. Thanks you.

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