Library Careers

Library Careers

Last week I participated in a Career Fair at the Gering High School for grades eight through twelve. The whole commons area was filled with booths- everything from the Nebraska Department of Roads to the Riverside Discovery Center. Amy Seiler from the Gering Parks Department was encouraging kids to apply for lifeguard and mowing jobs. WNCC and Chadron State College were encouraging kids to think beyond summer jobs and furthering their education. The Police, Fire and Sheriff's Departments brought gear to help kids picture themselves in the public safety field.

The older students wandered through the booths, but the eighth graders had talking points. They asked about what education was necessary for a career in the library field, what the process was to apply for a library job. They also asked what I liked least and most about working in a library.

At Gering Public Library we often hire students. We call this position a "page." They return books to the shelves and make sure the books are in the correct order on the shelf. Many of our pages use their artistic talents to create bulletin boards and displays. The after school and weekend hours work well with students' schedules. Qualified individuals will be in 10th grade or older. Pages start out at minimum wage.

Most library users think of anyone in a library as a librarian, but that may not be their job title. Many libraries, including ours, have positions for adults with a high school education or 2-4 years of college. These are usually library assistants or aids, sometimes also librarians. Job positions that are called "Librarian" in larger cities often require a Master's Degree in Library and Information Studies (MLIS). Many Director positions require a MLIS or a Master's Degree in a similar field.

I have found people often come to work at the library as a second career. I have worked with people with degrees in agriculture, nursing, theology, teaching and home economics. I even worked with a former parole officer. More important than having a Bachelor's Degree in Library Science, is having life experience. Larger cities hire social workers and marketing specialists in their libraries.

I think most library employees enjoy learning new and interesting things throughout the day. It's difficult not to learn things every day. Often library employees like the variety of people who come to the library. Sooner or later everyone uses the library.

It was good to see so many kids thinking about the future, and exciting to see how many career choices you can find in our area. At the library, we have books to help you study for all sorts of careers. We have study guides for the Postal Exam, for the Commercial Driver's License (CDL), Real Estate Exams, and firefighter and police tests as well. We also have study guides for the GED, the SAT and ACT as well as the GRE. No matter where you are going in life, we can help you study for it.

Gering Public Library's booth had a large image of Wonder Woman on my display and two graphic novels to attract the kids' attention. I also had good candy to give away. Librarians don't fight crime or drive semis, but we work to make it possible and affordable for people to qualify for these jobs.