How to Be Adult Services Librarian - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The role of a Adult Services Librarian is to provide library services that support the informational, educational, and recreational needs of adults. This includes selecting materials, developing programs, and providing reference services specifically tailored to meet the needs of adult patrons. By doing so, it can promote lifelong learning and cultivate an appreciation for books and reading. As a result, it can help community members to develop the skills necessary to become actively engaged in their local community, increase civic engagement, and foster a more informed public.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. The first step to becoming an adult services librarian is to earn a bachelor's degree in library science or a related field. Most library science programs include courses in research, cataloging, information science, and library management.
  2. Obtain a Master's Degree. Many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in library science or information science. Most library science programs offer courses in adult services, such as reference services, programming, public speaking, and collection development.
  3. Get Certified. Obtaining a certification in library science can make you more attractive to potential employers. The American Library Association offers several certifications, including one specifically for adult services librarians.
  4. Gain Experience. Because adult services librarians often work with the public, employers prefer candidates with some experience working in customer service or public service roles. Volunteering at your local library is a great way to gain experience and make connections within the field.
  5. Apply for Jobs. Once you have your degree, certification, and experience, you are ready to start applying for jobs as an adult services librarian. Most libraries have a career page on their website where you can search for open positions. You can also look for job postings on library associations' websites and job boards.

The lack of sufficient adult services librarians can have a negative effect on the library’s patrons. When there are not enough librarians to provide assistance and support with research, it can cause patrons to become frustrated and less likely to utilize the library’s resources. This can lead to a decrease in library usage and a decrease in library funding as patrons turn to other sources.

Furthermore, without an adult services librarian, patrons may not be aware of the library’s special collections and services, such as book clubs and computer tutorials. Without the right knowledge, resources, and guidance, patrons miss out on the full potential of their local library. To ensure that patrons have access to the best library services, it is important to have an adequate number of adult services librarians.

You may want to check Circulation Librarian, Library Marketing Manager, and Interlibrary Loan Librarian for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Develop, coordinate, and deliver library programs, services, and events for adults, including computer instruction classes, book clubs, and research assistance.
  2. Select, order, and maintain adult print and digital materials and resources to meet the needs of patrons.
  3. Provide reference and readers’ advisory services for adults.
  4. Evaluate and respond to patron requests and complaints.
  5. Create and maintain library displays, newsletters, and other promotional materials pertaining to adult library services.
  6. Maintain and update library adult services webpages and social media accounts.
  7. Participate in and attend library-sponsored events, conferences, and workshops.
  8. Provide information about library services and policies to patrons.
  9. Assist in developing library policies relating to adult services.
  10. Prepare budget requests and reports related to adult services.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Ability to provide reference services and assistance to library patrons of all ages
  2. Knowledge of library services, resources, and technologies
  3. Ability to develop and deliver library programming and services for adults
  4. Knowledge of current trends in adult services
  5. Ability to create and maintain collections for adults
  6. Knowledge of copyright laws and other applicable laws related to adult services
  7. Ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with community organizations
  8. Knowledge of best practices for working with adult library patrons
  9. Ability to use technology to develop and deliver library services for adults
  10. Ability to manage budgets, staff, and volunteers for adult services

Being an Adult Services Librarian requires a wide array of skills in order to effectively serve the needs of library patrons. One of the most essential skills to possess as an Adult Services Librarian is strong communication and interpersonal skills. With these skills, librarians can interact with patrons in a helpful and professional manner, ensuring that the library is providing a positive experience for all library users.

having the ability to listen actively and understand patron needs is essential for Adult Services Librarians, as well as having the technical skills necessary to use the library’s online resources and catalogs. Finally, problem-solving skills are also an important part of being an Adult Services Librarian, as they must be able to quickly and efficiently troubleshoot any issues that may arise. All of these skills are necessary for Adult Services Librarians to provide the best library experience possible for patrons.

Library Facility Manager, Cataloging Technician, and Preservation Specialist are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in working with adult patrons?
  • How would you handle a patron with a difficult or challenging request?
  • What methods do you use to stay current on new material and services related to adult services?
  • How do you ensure that library services meet the needs of the adult population?
  • How would you foster an environment of collaboration among your colleagues in adult services?
  • Describe a time when you identified a need in adult services and implemented a solution.
  • What strategies do you use to promote library services to adult patrons?
  • Describe your experience in developing and delivering adult programming.
  • How do you ensure library materials are up-to-date and relevant to the adult population?
  • What methods do you use to evaluate the effectiveness of adult services?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Reference Management Software. software that helps librarians organize, manage, and cite references from various sources. (eg: EndNote)
  2. Library Management System. software that helps to track library resources, manage circulation, and automate processes. (eg: Koha)
  3. Online Catalog. a searchable database of library resources. (eg: LibraryThing)
  4. Library Website. a website that provides information about the library's services and resources. (eg: LibGuides)
  5. Digital Asset Management System. software that helps manage digital assets such as images, videos, and audio files. (eg: Adobe Creative Cloud)
  6. Chatbot Software. software that provides automated customer service via chat or text message. (eg: ChatFuel)
  7. E-Book Platforms. software that provides access to e-books and other digital content. (eg: OverDrive)
  8. Learning Management System. software that allows librarians to create, deliver, and track learning materials for library patrons. (eg: Schoology)
  9. Online Tutoring Software. software that provides online tutoring services to library patrons. (eg: Tutor. com)
  10. Event Management Software. software that helps librarians plan, organize, and promote library events. (eg: Eventbrite)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Library Association (ALA)
  2. Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
  3. Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
  4. Public Library Association (PLA)
  5. Special Libraries Association (SLA)
  6. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
  7. Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)
  8. Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)
  9. Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
  10. Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

We also have Technical Services Librarian, Library Fundraiser, and Cataloging Librarian jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Collection Development. The process of selecting and acquiring library materials.
  2. Outreach Services. Programs and services offered by a library to the community outside of its walls.
  3. Reference Services. Assistance provided to patrons in locating and using information resources.
  4. Reader’s Advisory Services. Assistance provided to patrons in selecting books and other materials for recreational reading.
  5. Technology/Computer Training. Assistance provided to patrons in using technology and library-related computer applications.
  6. Storytime Programs. Programs designed to introduce children to books and reading.
  7. Programming. Events, classes, or lectures related to library services and resources.
  8. Information Literacy. The ability to find, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically.
  9. Cataloging. The process of organizing library materials so they can be identified and located.
  10. Bibliographic Instruction. A type of instruction that teaches patrons how to search for and use library materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is an Adult Services Librarian? A1: An Adult Services Librarian is a professional librarian responsible for providing library services to adults, such as research assistance, reference services, and programming. Q2: What qualifications are needed to become an Adult Services Librarian? A2: The qualifications typically required to become an Adult Services Librarian include a master’s degree in library science or a related field, knowledge of library collections and services, and excellent communication and customer service skills. Q3: What duties does an Adult Services Librarian typically perform? A3: An Adult Services Librarian typically performs duties such as helping patrons with research and reference questions, organizing library collections, developing and delivering educational programming, and creating library displays. Q4: What types of organizations employ Adult Services Librarians? A4: Adult Services Librarians are typically employed by public libraries, university libraries, and other organizations that provide library services to adults. Q5: How much does an Adult Services Librarian typically earn? A5: According to PayScale, the average salary for an Adult Services Librarian is $50,088 per year.

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