Library Media Specialist for Higher Education

Industry:
Education
Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Library Media Specialist for Higher Education job description involves supporting students and faculty members in their research and learning pursuits. These experts ensure that the library's digital resources, such as electronic books and databases, are easily accessible and functional. In addition, they manage the physical collection of books, journals, and other materials found in the library. They also train library users on how to use and navigate online resources effectively.

Library Media Specialists for Higher Education continually evaluate and assess the library's collection and the effectiveness of their user education programs. They also collaborate with faculty members to develop instructional materials that align with academic requirements, such as course-specific research guides and tutorials.

To be successful in this profession, one needs a deep understanding of educational technology, instructional design, and information literacy. A master's degree in Library Science or a related field is typically required for this position.

Overall, a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education plays an essential role in supporting academic achievement and research excellence in higher education.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • A Library Media Specialist for Higher Education helps students and faculty find the information they need for research and learning.
  • They teach students how to use library resources like databases, catalogs, and citation guides.
  • They help faculty find resources for teaching and research, and collaborate with them to create course-specific research guides.
  • They order and manage the library's collection of books, journals, and other materials.
  • They communicate with vendors and other libraries to obtain the best possible resources for the library.
  • They maintain the library's website and online resources, ensuring that they are up-to-date, functional, and easy to use.
  • They provide library instruction sessions for classes and groups, both in-person and online.
  • They promote the library and its services to students, faculty, and the wider community through events, promotions, and outreach.
  • They participate in professional development to stay up-to-date on trends and best practices in academic libraries.

Experience and Education Requirements

To work as a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education, you need a bachelor's degree in library science, education, or a related field. You also need teaching certification, which requires completing a specific coursework program and passing certification tests. Some employers may prefer candidates who hold a master's degree in library science, education, or a related field. Relevant work experience in the library or education field is also necessary, which can include experience as a librarian, teacher, or media specialist. You should have excellent communication and collaboration skills, as well as the ability to work independently and manage multiple projects.

Salary Range

Library Media Specialists for Higher Education play a critical role in maintaining libraries and leading research initiatives in academic institutions. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for this job profile in the United States is $62,170 per year, with an hourly rate of $29.89. However, the salary range for this role can vary between $43,930 and $91,620 depending on the experience and location of the candidate. In Canada, the average salary for a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education is around CA$71,746 per year. While in the UK, an information officer (equivalent to a Library Media Specialist) can earn between £23,000 and £35,000 annually. 

Sources:

  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm#tab-5
  • PayScale (Canada): https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=LibraryMediaSpecialist/Salary
  • Prospects (UK): https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/information-officer-library-and-knowledge-services#salary

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Library Media Specialists for Higher Education appears to be steady over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of library technicians and assistants is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about the average for all occupations. Additionally, the demand for higher education librarians is expected to continue. Libraries in colleges and universities are increasing their digital collections, which requires librarians with technology skills.

As higher education institutions continue to focus on digital learning, Library Media Specialists will play a critical role in managing online resources and facilitating access to digital content. The specialists will also be responsible for designing innovative platforms to enable students to have access to a wide range of print and electronic resources. With the current data, it is safe to say that this profession will continue to thrive over the next five years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education?

A: A Library Media Specialist for Higher Education is a professional who works in a higher education institution, usually a college or university, and is responsible for providing quality library and media services.

Q: What are the primary duties of a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education?

A: The primary duties of a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education include managing and updating the library collection, assisting and instructing students and faculty with library resources, organizing events, and creating instructional materials.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education?

A: To become a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education, you typically need a master's degree in library and information science, or a related field, and relevant experience in a library setting.

Q: What skills are required to excel in the job of a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education?

A: The skills required to excel in the job of a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education include strong communication and organizational skills, a solid understanding of library software and databases, and familiarity with various media equipment and software.

Q: What is the salary range for a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education?

A: The salary range for a Library Media Specialist for Higher Education varies depending on the institution, location, and years of experience, but typically ranges from $47,000 to $75,000 per year.


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