Library Media Specialist

Industry:
Education
Last Updated:
September 12, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Library Media Specialist is a professional who works in the education sector, and their main responsibility is to facilitate both teaching the use of library resources and conducting research. In schools or other institutions with libraries, the Specialist is responsible for organizing, classifying, and cataloging the collections, as well as providing assistance in locating specific books, journals, and multimedia resources. They also develop programs to encourage enthusiasm and reading habits among students and staff. The Library Media Specialist job description includes training students and educators to use technology effectively, including online databases and reference materials. They help institute a reading culture within the school or institution, and are often essential components of curriculum development. These Specialists also keep up with the latest educational trends and technological advancements related to their field. Overall, the Library Media Specialist is an important contributor to the academic achievement and success of students and educators alike.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help students find and select books and other library resources
  • Teach students how to use library databases and search engines
  • Collaborate with teachers to develop lessons and research assignments
  • Maintain and organize the library's book and technology collections
  • Plan and lead library programs and events, such as book clubs and author visits
  • Assist with curriculum development and instructional materials selection
  • Provide instruction on digital citizenship and online safety to students
  • Provide professional development to teachers on library and information literacy topics
  • Stay current on trends and best practices in library and information science.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Library Media Specialist in the Education industry, you will need to have two things: education and experience. First, you need a Bachelor's degree in Education, Library Science or Information Science. You could also get a degree in English, or another related field. After that, you need to get a teaching certificate and a license to work in your state. 

Secondly, you need to have experience in the field - working in a library, having a teaching job, or something similar. You could also get experience by volunteering or doing an internship in a library. 

Overall, you need a combination of education and experience to become a Library Media Specialist. With these two things, you'll be able to help students locate information and use technology in the library.

Salary Range

Library Media Specialist salary ranges vary depending on location, experience, and skillset. In the United States, the median salary for a Library Media Specialist is around $56,000 per year. However, this salary can range anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000, depending on factors like years of experience, location, and job responsibilities. 

In Canada, the salary range for a Library Media Specialist is slightly lower, with a median salary of around CAD $49,500 per year. While in Australia, the median salary is around AUD $77,000 per year. 

It's important to note that some school districts may offer additional compensation, such as benefits or bonuses, for Library Media Specialists. 

Sources:

  • Payscale.com
  • Salaryexpert.com
  • Glassdoor.com

Career Outlook

If you're considering a career as a Library Media Specialist in the Education industry, you're in luck! The field is growing and is expected to continue to do so over the next five years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Library Media Specialists is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. 

This growth is due in part to increasing demand for digital media and expanding access to technology in schools. As a Library Media Specialist, you'll play a crucial role in helping students develop information literacy skills and become proficient users of technology. You'll also work with teachers to integrate technology and digital resources into the curriculum.

In conclusion, if you're interested in a career as a Library Media Specialist, there's no better time to pursue it. The field is growing and offers a rewarding and essential role in helping students succeed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Library Media Specialist do?

A: A Library Media Specialist helps students and teachers find and use information effectively. They manage the library, select and organize materials, and teach students research skills.

Q: Do Library Media Specialists just work in school libraries?

A: Yes, but they may also work in other educational environments, such as universities, museums, or other educational institutions.

Q: What kind of education do I need to become a Library Media Specialist?

A: You typically need a master’s degree in library science or a related field, as well as a teacher certification in some states.

Q: How much does a Library Media Specialist make?

A: Salaries vary depending on location, years of experience and other factors. The median salary for a library media specialist in the US is around $60,000.

Q: What skills are needed to be a successful Library Media Specialist?

A: Strong communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills are important. They should also have knowledge of technology and social media, research methods, and a passion for reading and learning.


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