We all know that librarians are responsible for managing, organizing, categorizing, and preserving books. But, did you know that there are over 46,808 librarians in American academic libraries? Read on to know more interesting facts about librarians.
1. History of Librarians
Before the internet was invented, libraries were the primary source of knowledge. The first library was established in the 7th century BCE in Nineveh, Middle East
- The library was set up by Ashurbanipal, an Assyrian king
- He is considered the first librarian who introduced librarianship as a role or profession
- Another one of the earliest libraries was the library at Alexandria, Egypt, which had over 700,000 documents
- Most of these early libraries were handled by scholars and priests due to their knowledge.
2. Responsibilities of a Librarian You Must Know
You’ll be surprised to know that 68.7% of librarians are women with an average age of 48 years! But, irrespective of age or gender, they have multiple day-to-day operations.
- Provide book suggestions and customer service to library users
- Manage a team of assistant librarian and their activities
- Develop a budget to maintain, replace and purchase new books or educational resources for the library
- Create an inventory of existing books and study materials along with maintaining the library database
- Order new books and academic materials for students and other library members
3. Types of Librarians
Did you know that in 1885, Thomas Edison designed library hand to maintain uniformity in library catalogs? Along with catalog management, librarians have various specialties.
- They work in public libraries in a state or city
- They organize the books, maintain the database, and recommend new reading material
- Public librarians are also responsible for creating community programs
- These librarians primarily work in universities and colleges
- They help students and teachers to access necessary study materials for research
- Storing old artifacts and books might also be their responsibility
- These professionals work in libraries where the books are of a particular genre or industry
- The libraries might be situated in universities, museums, or government institutes
- Specialty librarians might work in an IT company or a law firm, having specific books
4. Librarians Can Be Great Writers
Famous writers like Lewis Carroll, Jacob Grimm, Beverly Cleary, and Joanna Cole were all librarians in their early years.
- As librarians have access to loads of books as they get more opportunities to read
- Exploring books, reading materials and documents improve their grasp of the language
- Interacting with library members can also give them ideas to write fiction
- They often discuss their ideas for a book with colleagues or students
5. Librarianship Can Be a Lucrative Career Option
You’ll be amazed that a librarian working for the CIA earns between $66,077 and $135,308! Librarianship is still in demand as an exciting career option.
- Career options include administrative services librarian, children’s librarian, medical librarian, music librarian, etc.
- The median salary of librarians is around $57,680
- The average pay per hour for professional librarians is approximately $27.73
- The salary package may differ depending upon their experience and skills
- You can also check out associated career paths like library technician, library assistant and library science educator
6. Librarians Serve Millions Daily
Librarians in the USA receive almost 1.3 billion every year. The number of registered borrowers is over 174.23 million!
- Approximately 53.57% of the American population visit libraries to borrow books
- This number is more than the annual movie theatre visitors, which is above 1.2 billion
- On average people visit the library more than three times
- This significantly increased the operating expenses of libraries
- 89.18% of these expenses were invested in staff and recruitment
- That’s why governments are keen on establishing more libraries
7. Librarianship Requires a Specific Skillset
At present, there are more than 85,923 librarians employed in the USA. Additionally, there are over 140,000 jobs available, provided the candidate has the appropriate qualifications.
- A 4-year bachelor’s degree in library science or subjects like English, Sociology and History
- A Master’s degree in library information studies for library science is recommended
- Certification and licensing according to the selected librarianship career path, like academic librarianship
- Relevant work experience in universities, colleges or schools
- Excellent organizational, cataloging and management skills
- Effective multitasking and communication skills
8. Librarians Offer Free Music
What if you could listen to and download free music while borrowing books? Many public libraries offer more than 15 million songs through Freegal.
- Ask your librarian for Freegal, a music downloading platform
- Check out more than 40,000 labels and download songs for free, which you can keep
- Play the MP3 files on your iPhone, tablet, smartphone, iTunes or other devices conveniently
- Librarians in the Los Angeles Public Library, New York Public Library, Houston Public Library, and others will help you with this
- You just need a valid library card to enjoy this free service
9. You Can Get Passport Assistance from Librarians
Another one of the fascinating facts about librarians is they offer passport assistance. The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and Office of Passport Services allows libraries to do it.
- You can avail of passport services by showing your valid library card to the librarian
- Public libraries such as Trails West Branch Library, Dover Public Library and Westport Branch Library offer these services
- You can get a first-time passport, passport replacement, renewal and associated services
- Some libraries ask for a check to pay the passport fees
- Talk to the librarian about the documents you need to submit
10. Librarians Can Earn a Lot through Late Fees
In 2019, New York, Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries collected over $3 million in late fees!
- The San Jose Public Library, in 2016, reported that members owe them almost $6.8 million in late charges!
- Some libraries are planning to reduce the late fee amount to fetch members