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

The rise of archaeology as an academic field of study has caused a corresponding increase in the need for specialized library resources. As archaeological research evolves, so too does the need for an archaeology librarian to manage and curate an ever-growing range of materials. An archaeology librarian provides access to a variety of resources, from archaeological journals and reports, to rare books and photographs, to digital databases and archival materials.

They are also responsible for maintaining an up-to-date collection of current archaeological research, helping students and researchers find the resources they need for their research. By facilitating access to these resources, archaeology librarians play an important role in advancing archaeological scholarship and knowledge.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. The first step to becoming an archaeology librarian is to earn a bachelor's degree in library science or a related field. Depending on the university, students may also be able to pursue a degree in archaeology, anthropology, or history.
  2. Get Experience in the Field. Before pursuing a career as an archaeology librarian, it is important for individuals to gain experience in the field. This can include working as a volunteer at an archaeological dig, completing internships at a museum or library, or researching archaeological sites.
  3. Pursue Graduate Studies. To become an archaeology librarian, individuals should pursue graduate studies in library science or a related field. Many universities offer master's degree programs in library science with a specialization in archaeological librarianship.
  4. Become Certified. It is important for individuals to become certified as an archaeology librarian. This certification demonstrates proficiencies in areas such as cataloging and classification, preservation, and information management.
  5. Obtain a Position. Once individuals have earned their degree and become certified, they can begin applying for positions as an archaeology librarian. Job postings can be found on job boards, university websites, and other sources.

The success of an archaeology librarian relies heavily on their ability to be reliable and qualified. A reliable archaeology librarian must be knowledgeable in the field, able to easily access and interpret relevant information, and be capable of quickly responding to inquiries. Qualifications for an archaeology librarian typically include a Master's degree in Library Science, a degree in Archaeology, or a combination of both.

it is important for an archaeology librarian to have experience in conducting research, assembling resources, and providing information services. Being reliable and qualified also requires strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and an understanding of the ethical implications of working with archaeological materials. With these qualifications and traits, an archaeology librarian can be an invaluable asset to any archaeological research project.

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Job Description

  1. Research Archaeological Topics: Research, develop and maintain an up-to-date collection of books, articles, and other materials related to archaeology.
  2. Help Patrons: Assist patrons in locating information, answer questions and provide research advice regarding archaeological topics.
  3. Manage Database: Update and maintain an online catalog of archaeological resources available in the library.
  4. Prepare Materials: Prepare and organize materials for library exhibits, displays, and presentations.
  5. Catalog Resources: Classify, catalog and organize archaeological resources in accordance with accepted standards.
  6. Train Staff: Train library staff on proper collection management techniques for archaeological materials.
  7. Develop Policies: Develop policies and procedures related to the acquisition, storage, and preservation of archaeological materials.
  8. Update Resources: Monitor archaeological publications and websites to stay current on developments in the field.
  9. Provide Instruction: Provide instruction and guidance on the use of library resources related to archaeology.
  10. Outreach: Participate in outreach activities to generate interest in the library’s archaeological collections.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of library science and archival principles and practices.
  2. Knowledge of library cataloging systems and metadata standards.
  3. Ability to use library research tools, databases, and online resources.
  4. Knowledge of archaeological research methods and sources.
  5. Knowledge of archaeological databases, websites, and other online resources.
  6. Ability to assess the quality and accuracy of sources.
  7. Ability to use appropriate software applications to manage library collections and archives.
  8. Ability to communicate effectively with scholars, faculty, and other library users.
  9. Ability to develop library collections in the field of archaeology.
  10. Ability to create and maintain finding aids for archival collections.
  11. Ability to design and implement instruction programs for library users.
  12. Ability to develop library policies and procedures related to archaeology collections.
  13. Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
  14. Ability to stay current with new developments in the field of library science, archives, and archaeology.

Having an understanding of archaeological research is an essential skill for a successful Archaeology Librarian. Knowing how to analyze and evaluate primary sources, such as artifacts, documents, and other physical records, is key to understanding the past. an Archaeology Librarian must be able to critically assess secondary sources, such as literature reviews, journal articles, books, and other published works.

The librarian must also have the ability to synthesize the data from both primary and secondary sources in order to create a comprehensive picture of the past. the librarian must possess strong communication skills in order to effectively share their research findings with others. Finally, being well-versed in the use of computers and other digital tools is essential for an Archaeology Librarian to be able to work efficiently in today’s digital world.

All of these skills are necessary for an Archaeology Librarian to be successful in their position.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have working with archaeological materials?
  • How familiar are you with the different library systems and databases used for archival research?
  • What strategies have you used to organize and preserve archaeological resources?
  • How have you collaborated with other departments in the library to facilitate access to archaeological materials?
  • Describe your experience in developing and delivering public programs related to archaeology.
  • What challenges have you faced when providing access to archaeological materials for researchers?
  • How have you used digital technologies to improve access to archaeological materials?
  • What methods have you employed to ensure the security of archaeological collections?
  • How have you incorporated professional standards into the management of archaeological collections?
  • Describe how you would train and supervise student assistants in managing archaeological collections.

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Zotero. A free, open source citation management tool for organizing research sources. (eg: Create bibliographies and citations in a variety of formats. )
  2. EndNote. A commercial software package for organizing and sharing research information. (eg: Automatically format in-text citations and bibliographies. )
  3. RefWorks. A cloud-based reference management and bibliography creation tool. (eg: Generate full citations and bibliographies using a variety of citation styles. )
  4. Mendeley. A web-based software for managing references and PDFs. (eg: Easily add annotations to documents and share with colleagues. )
  5. DeepDyve. An online library of scholarly articles and books. (eg: Access a wide range of research materials from across the web. )
  6. Archaeology Databases. Dedicated databases for archaeological research. (eg: Access information on archaeological sites, excavations, and artifacts. )
  7. ArchaeoML. A markup language for describing archaeological data. (eg: Create detailed descriptions of archaeological artifacts. )
  8. GIS Software. Software for creating and analyzing spatial data. (eg: Create maps to visualize data and generate reports. )

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. Society for American Archaeology
  2. Archaeological Institute of America
  3. National Parks Service Archeology Program
  4. American Anthropological Association
  5. Society for Historical Archaeology
  6. International Council on Monuments and Sites
  7. World Archaeological Congress
  8. International Association for Obsidian Studies
  9. Paleopathology Association
  10. American Academy of Forensic Sciences

We also have Illustrator/Draftsman, Remote Sensing Specialist, and Archaeobotanist jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Archaeomagnetism. A branch of archaeology that uses the Earth’s magnetic field to date archaeological sites and artifacts.
  2. Archaeozoology. The study of animal remains from archaeological sites to understand ancient diets and environments.
  3. Paleoethnobotany. The study of plant remains from archaeological sites to understand ancient diets and environments.
  4. Lithic Analysis. The study of stone tools to understand how ancient cultures made and used them.
  5. Ceramic Analysis. The study of pottery artifacts to understand the production, use, and trade of pottery in ancient cultures.
  6. Historical Archaeology. The study of material culture from written records and archaeological sites to understand the history of a certain place or culture.
  7. Stratigraphy. The study of the layers of soil and sediment in an archaeological site to date artifacts and understand the structure of the site.
  8. Geoarchaeology. The study of the physical environment of archaeological sites to understand how natural processes affected the formation of an archaeological site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is an Archaeology Librarian? A1: An Archaeology Librarian is a librarian specializing in providing library services and resources related to archaeology. Q2: How can an Archaeology Librarian help researchers? A2: An Archaeology Librarian can help researchers by providing access to databases, books, articles, and other resources related to archaeological topics. Q3: What types of materials does an Archaeology Librarian typically manage? A3: An Archaeology Librarian typically manages books, journals, databases, manuscripts, digital images, and other resources related to archaeology. Q4: What qualifications does an Archaeology Librarian need? A4: An Archaeology Librarian typically needs at least a Master's degree in Library Science or a related field with a concentration in archaeology. Q5: What type of environment does an Archaeology Librarian typically work in? A5: An Archaeology Librarian typically works in a library setting such as a college library, museum library, or research library.

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