What do librarians do?

All, Thought this would be interesting information for the college community.

This list <<below>> is adapted from a list found here:https://laurensmith.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/what-do-public-librarians-and-library-staff-do/

Interacting With Library Users:

  1. Suggesting a book for anyone from an 8 year old boy who never reads to a 70 year old woman who has read everything;
  2. Being unfazed by complex inquiries which could be of a sensitive nature;
  3. Understanding how to help people with computers who have zero confidence/experience and believe they can’t use them;
  4. Dealing with difficult visitors;
  5. Dealing sensitively with people who have mental health problems or learning disabilities and may be challenging to help properly;
  6. Keeping user information confidential;
  7. Understanding the issues around safeguarding children and the elderly;
  8. Providing a safe, friendly space that welcomes everyone;
  9. Helping people with little or no English to use the library service by translating, using translation services or taking special care and attention to ensure people understand information;
  10. Sensitively working with people who are distressed and may have mental health issues to find out their information needs and make phone calls on their behalf if appropriate.

Helping People Find Information

  1. Information literacy i.e. teaching people how to research, study and helping people develop lifelong learning skills essential for an informed citizenship;
  2. Understanding what users need and how they go about finding it (and working out where the problems are);
  3. Teaching people how to search effectively;
  4. Helping people organize information effectively;
  5. Helping people assess which information is reliable (( a lot of information on the internet is not reliable and can misinform people));
  6. Showing people how to find information about legal issues;
  7. Helping businesses find business information;
  8. Helping people research their family history or local history;
  9. Unearthing the needed information from the mounded heaps of print and electronic, free and subscription services, efficiently and accurately;
  10. Ensuring that less easy-to-find materials are available for particular groups –  LGBT, people with/ disabilities etc;
  11. Being able to interpret research requests – working out what people want when they’re not sure how to explain
  12. Providing pointers on free and paid resources;
  13. Knowing how to do proper subject searches and suggest unthought of sources of information;
  14. Signposting to a huge range of services &say what they can offer:
  15. Providing specialist information
  16. Helping people if the library doesn’t have what they need;
  17. Understanding the need for access and negotiating access to information that may be blocked
  18. Subscribing to information sources to help people make informed choices before purchasing goods and services.

Helping People With Research

  1. Teaching people how to research effectively;
  2. Current awareness services, all types of research;
  3. Personal training sessions on resources;
  4. Filtering materials for relevance.

Supporting People to Use Technology

  1. Teaching people to use the internet;
  2. Helping people set up email accounts;
  3. Showing people how to use online job boards;
  4. Showing people how to use online government services;
  5. Teaching people to use online resources e.g. e-books, e-journals;
  6. Giving people login details for library computers and helping them when they have problems/forget passwords etc.;
  7. Providing technical support on systems and tools (i.e. loading ebooks on to an ereader);
  8. Helping people use the photocopier/printer/fax machine;
  9. Showing people how to integrate emerging technologies into their daily lives;
  10. Explaining how wifi works;
  11. Helping people structure and write CVs using word processing software and online forms;
  12. Providing Library Instruction classes.

Organizing and Running Events and Activities

  1. Visiting authors and poets;
  2. Helping with homework and school projects;
  3. Doing the risk assessments needed to make sure everyone is safe and secure at events;

Managing the Library

  1. Understanding how libraries work together, dealing with inter-library loans
  2. Making sure that data protection rules are being adhered to;
  3. Reporting on library use and user needs;
  4. Using statistics to identify trends and assess levels of use;
  5. Managing electronic resources;
  6. Paying invoices;
  7. Making sure that the library is getting value for money via professional management, organization and promotion of resources;
  8. Promoting and marketing the libraries, including using social media to promote the library service;
  9. Attending training and events to make sure that the library service is keeping up with developments;
  10. Dealing with legislation including reproduction and attendant copyright law: photocopying/scanning for personal use
  11. Maintaining and building technical solutions for users’ needs;
  12. Maintaining a safe, interesting quiet environment;
  13. Being a premises controller: heating breaks down, roof leaks etc;
  14. Managing budgets and staffing, liaising with those who provide the funds;
  15. Doing market research to identify and understand customer groups, in order to serve them better. (Includes doing surveys, focus groups, and larger studies.)
  16. Writing strategic plans, marketing plans, communication plans;
  17. Keeping current on new technologies so you can choose the ones to buy, implement, and maintain;
  18. Interacting with other professionals around the globe to share best practices, implement innovations, and move the industry forward;
  19. Building and maintaining websites, blogs, and social media presence to promote the service;
  20. Reading professional articles to publicize the work of the library and library staff so that other libraries can develop too;
  21. Participating in local, regional, and national associations in order to continuously learn and teach peers;
  22. Decorating the library – displays, posters and book stands
  23. Rearranging furniture and shelf stacks.

Managing the Library’s Resources

  1. Ordering database and journal subscriptions;
  2. Promoting/displaying/ weeding/ordering stock;
  3. Making sure the books and other items in the library are ones that users want/need/will benefit from;
  4. Reader and community development – encouraging people to read more widely and helping communities build knowledge and skills – matching resources to people’s needs;
  5. Describing/cataloguing/arranging physical or digital material in useful ways so that people can find it;
  6. Chasing and collecting books back and enforcing fines;
  7. Matching stock held with local community group(s) needs;
  8. Dealing with stock management / complaints etc. in accordance with intellectual freedom.

Handling Archives and Special Collections

  1. Digitization and digital preservation, making sure information will be accessible in future;
  2. Storing and conserving media (including old/rare books);
  3. Making sure the collections are stored safely and are not damaged.