Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Librarians and Library Assistants (Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Librarians (Occupational Outlook Handbook)
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm

Library Techs and Assistants  (Occupational Outlook Handbook)
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/library-technicians-and-assistants.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with these resources:

  • What does a librarian actually do?
  • What kind of degree does one need to become a librarian?
  • What are the differences between school, public, and academic librarians?
  • How much do library assistants make?
  • What would a typical work schedule look like for a library assistant?

Librarian characters seem to be some of the most difficult to write without stereotypes creeping in.  Almost always a woman…either of worthy of the title of bombshell or frumpy with a super high I.Q.  Often we are portrayed as guardians of quiet spaces who spend most of our time reading books on the clock.  Yeah…not so much.

Also, not everyone who works in a library is a librarian.  I haven’t seen many library assistant characters in fiction, so adding one to your story might be a great way to try a new path.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook sites are good starts to building a librarian or library assistant character, but for more detail to get a good feel for the day-to-day realism you may want to check actual job descriptions.

https://mblc.state.ma.us/jobs/find_jobs/index.php   The site allows you to filter your results by type of library (academic, public, etc.) as well as education level since this particular site shows library assistant as well as librarian jobs.

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