school librarian vs academic vs. public

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teacher2008 in Orlando, Florida

120 months ago

I really feel I would like to be a librarian. I think I could enjoy my work in public, school, or academic libraries. But would like to hear a little more about the differences.

I've heard school librarian salaries are comparable to teacher's salaries. But the pro is that they get the summers off as well.

I like the idea of public libraries, simply because of the diversity of materials and community involvement.

I like research, so academic libraries would appeal to me as well.

Are the salaries comparable?

I'm not sure where I would fit in as my education is in business, but my most recent career experience has been in schools and planning city events.

Then, I'm even nervous that so many previous occupations won't land me the library job because it will seem I have not been committed to one focus.

Thanks for your help!


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Kathy in Green Bay, Wisconsin

107 months ago

I'm surprised you didn't get any comments in 13 months, so I thought I would let you know my thoughts....

School librarians are great! You work with teachers in reinforcing their lessons..... So, if you want to work in a pre-K - elementary school, you might be doing a short storytime on colors... or telling time! Maybe Paul Revere.... How to use the library, how to use the encyclopedias (online and print!)
If you're in a highschool setting, you might be doing book talks on Mythology and Folklore, or finding information about jobs and careers. You will find out there are a lot of the teachers who just want to dump the students on you and take off.... there's more to it than just checking books out.

BUT you will still need to have a teaching license with the LIBRARY/MEDIA certification... and sure your contract says summers off - don't count on it! Your mail still comes in and the books will come in and need processing or shelving (if you have a budget - which currently many are being cut in favor of computer things). Many schools do not give you prep times, require you (or someone) be there an hour before and after school starts - maybe one evening too (usually no compensation for the extra time). You might be split between 2 or even 3 schools. And you might also be the Detention corner.....but if the kids like you, they will respond! They will talk to you, come for advice, sob on your shoulder when things don't go well with their significant other. You might even be asked to chaperon a class visit, or school dance, or write in their yearbook and give them a reference for their first job!

Sad to say, the pay isn't always on the same scale as the teachers - even if you all have a teaching license.... and probably equates to minimum wage! But there are some things money can't buy....

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