How to Become a Librarian in India? A Comprehensive Guide

Acadlog
By Acadlog 16 Min Read
16 Min Read

Are you passionate about books and information? Do you enjoy helping others find what they need? Do you want to work in a dynamic and rewarding environment? If yes, then you might be interested in becoming a librarian.

A librarian is a professional who manages, organizes, and provides access to various types of information resources, such as books, journals, databases, websites, and multimedia. Librarians work in different settings, such as public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, special libraries, and digital libraries. Librarians also perform various tasks, such as cataloging, reference, collection development, user education, research support, and outreach.

Becoming a librarian can be a fulfilling and exciting career choice for anyone who loves learning and sharing knowledge. However, it also requires certain qualifications, skills, and experience. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to become a librarian in India and abroad. We will also discuss the courses, eligibility, entrance exams, top colleges, skills, benefits, and salary of librarians.

Step 1: Complete 10+2 from a recognized board with any stream

The first step to become a librarian is to complete your 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized board with any stream. However, some colleges may prefer candidates who have studied subjects related to library science, such as English, computer science, history, etc. The minimum marks or percentage required for admission to librarian courses may vary from college to college, but generally it ranges from 45% to 60%.

Step 2: Pursue a bachelor’s degree in library science or library and information science

The next step is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in library science or library and information science from a recognized university or institution. These are three-year courses that cover the basic principles, theories, methods, and techniques of library science. Some of the topics covered in these courses are:

  • Foundations of library and information science
  • Information sources and services
  • Library classification and cataloging
  • Library management and administration
  • Library automation and networking
  • Research methodology and statistics
  • Library laws and ethics
  • Digital libraries and information literacy

The eligibility criteria for these courses are:

  • Candidates must have passed 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognized board with any stream.
  • Candidates must have secured the minimum marks or percentage required by the respective college or university.
  • Candidates may have to appear for an entrance exam conducted by the respective college or university.

Some of the entrance exams for these courses are:

  • Delhi University Bachelor of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Banaras Hindu University Bachelor of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Aligarh Muslim University Bachelor of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University Bachelor of Library Science Entrance Exam

The duration of these courses is three years. The fee structure of these courses may vary from college to college, but generally it ranges from INR 5,000 to INR 50,000 per year.

Some of the top colleges or universities offering these courses in India are:

  • Delhi University
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Jadavpur University

Some of the top colleges or universities offering these courses abroad are:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University College London
  • University of Washington

The admission process for these courses may vary from college to college, but generally it involves:

  • Filling up the online or offline application form with the required details and documents.
  • Paying the application fee through online or offline mode.
  • Appearing for the entrance exam if applicable.
  • Qualifying the entrance exam with the required cut-off marks.
  • Participating in the counseling or interview process if applicable.
  • Securing a seat in the preferred college or university based on merit or reservation.

Some tips and resources for preparing for these exams are:

  • Reviewing the syllabus and exam pattern of the entrance exam.
  • Practicing previous year question papers and mock tests.
  • Reading books and journals related to library science.
  • Updating your general knowledge and current affairs.
  • Enhancing your communication and reasoning skills.

Step 3: Pursue a master’s degree in library science or library and information science (optional)

If you want to advance your career as a librarian or pursue higher studies or research in library science, you can opt for a master’s degree in library science or library and information science. These are two-year courses that provide in-depth knowledge and skills in various aspects of library science. Some of the topics covered in these courses are:

  • Advanced library classification and cataloging
  • Information storage and retrieval systems
  • Information analysis and consolidation
  • Information technology applications in libraries
  • Knowledge management and organization
  • Information services management and marketing
  • Information policy and ethics
  • Research methods and project work

The eligibility criteria for these courses are:

  • Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in library science or library and information science from a recognized university or institution.
  • Candidates must have secured the minimum marks or percentage required by the respective college or university.
  • Candidates may have to appear for an entrance exam conducted by the respective college or university.

Some of the entrance exams for these courses are:

  • Delhi University Master of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Banaras Hindu University Master of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Aligarh Muslim University Master of Library Science Entrance Exam
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University Master of Library Science Entrance Exam

The duration of these courses is two years. The fee structure of these courses may vary from college to college, but generally it ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 1,00,000 per year.

Some of the top colleges or universities offering these courses in India are:

  • Delhi University
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Jadavpur University

Some of the top colleges or universities offering these courses abroad are:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University College London
  • University of Washington

The admission process for these courses may vary from college to college, but generally it involves:

  • Filling up the online or offline application form with the required details and documents.
  • Paying the application fee through online or offline mode.
  • Appearing for the entrance exam if applicable.
  • Qualifying the entrance exam with the required cut-off marks.
  • Participating in the counseling or interview process if applicable.
  • Securing a seat in the preferred college or university based on merit or reservation.

Some tips and resources for preparing for these exams are:

  • Reviewing the syllabus and exam pattern of the entrance exam.
  • Practicing previous year question papers and mock tests.
  • Reading books and journals related to library science.
  • Updating your general knowledge and current affairs.
  • Enhancing your communication and reasoning skills.

Step 4: Acquire relevant skills and expertise as a librarian

After completing your education, you need to acquire relevant skills and expertise as a librarian. These skills and qualities will help you to perform your duties effectively and efficiently. Some of the essential skills and qualities required to be a successful librarian are:

  • Communication skills: You need to communicate clearly and politely with your patrons, colleagues, and other stakeholders. You need to listen actively, ask questions, provide feedback, and convey information in a simple and understandable manner. You also need to write reports, proposals, emails, and other documents in a professional and grammatically correct way.
  • Organization skills: You need to organize, classify, catalog, and manage various types of information resources. You need to follow standard rules and systems for arranging and retrieving information. You also need to maintain records, inventories, budgets, schedules, and other documents related to library operations.
  • Research skills: You need to conduct research on various topics and subjects using different sources and methods. You need to evaluate, analyze, synthesize, and present information in a logical and coherent way. You also need to use appropriate tools and techniques for data collection, processing, visualization, and dissemination.
  • Technology skills: You need to use various types of technology applications in libraries, such as computers, software, databases, networks, scanners, printers, etc. You need to troubleshoot technical issues, update software, maintain hardware, and ensure security. You also need to learn new technologies and trends related to library science.
  • Customer service skills: You need to provide quality service to your patrons by understanding their needs, expectations, and preferences. You need to assist them in finding, accessing, using, and evaluating information resources. You also need to handle complaints, queries, feedbacks, and suggestions in a courteous and timely manner.

Some ways to develop and improve these skills are:

  • Taking online courses or workshops on various topics related to library science.
  • Joining professional associations or networks of librarians and participating in their events and activities.
  • Attending seminars, conferences, webinars, or podcasts on library science trends and issues.
  • Reading books, journals, blogs, newsletters, or magazines on library science developments and innovations.
  • Doing internships or volunteer work in libraries or related organizations.

Some of the professional certifications or memberships that can boost your credibility and network as a librarian are:

  • UGC-NET: The University Grants Commission conducts the National Eligibility Test for determining the eligibility of candidates for assistant professorship or junior research fellowship in Indian universities or colleges. The test covers various subjects including library science. Candidates who qualify this test can apply for teaching or research positions in library science departments or institutions.
  • ILA: The Indian Library Association is a national body that promotes library movement and development in India. It organizes various programs and activities for the professional development of librarians. It also publishes a journal called ILA Bulletin and a newsletter called ILA Newsletter. It also confers various awards and honors to librarians and library science professionals.
  • IASLIC: The Indian Association of Special Libraries and Information Centres is an association that caters to the needs and interests of special librarians and information professionals in India. It conducts various training programs, workshops, seminars, and conferences for the members. It also publishes a journal called IASLIC Bulletin and a newsletter called IASLIC Newsletter. It also grants various fellowships and scholarships to library science students and researchers.
  • ALA: The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It represents all types of libraries and librarians in the United States and internationally. It offers various resources, services, programs, and advocacy for the library profession. It also publishes several journals, magazines, books, and newsletters on library science topics. It also accredits library science programs in the United States and Canada. It also awards various prizes and honors to librarians and library science professionals.

Final Takeaway!

In this article, we have discussed how to become a librarian in India and abroad. We have covered the steps, courses, eligibility, entrance exams, top colleges, skills, benefits, and salary of librarians. We hope this article has helped you to understand the process and requirements of becoming a librarian.

Becoming a librarian can be a rewarding and fulfilling career option for anyone who loves books and information. Librarians play a vital role in providing access to knowledge and promoting lifelong learning. Librarians also have the opportunity to work in diverse and dynamic settings and interact with different types of people.

If you are interested in becoming a librarian, you should start preparing for it from an early stage. You should choose your subjects wisely, pursue relevant courses, acquire necessary skills, and gain practical experience. You should also keep yourself updated with the latest trends and developments in library science.

To inspire you further, here are some examples or testimonials of successful librarians who have made an impact in their field or society:

  • Melvil Dewey: He is known as the father of modern librarianship. He invented the Dewey Decimal Classification system and founded the American Library Association and the Library Journal. He also established the first library school in the world at Columbia University.
  • S.R. Ranganathan: He is known as the father of library science in India. He developed the five laws of library science and the colon classification system. He also founded the Indian Library Association and the Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library Science.
  • Nancy Pearl: She is known as America’s librarian. She is a bestselling author, book reviewer, radio host, and literary critic. She created the Book Lust series of books and podcasts that recommend books for different genres and themes. She also initiated the One Book, One City program that encourages communities to read and discuss a common book.

If you are ready to take the next step towards your librarian career goal, you can start by applying for the courses or programs that suit your interests and qualifications.

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