Why Do Librarians Need a Degree: Unveiling the Importance


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Librarians typically need a degree for several reasons, including specialized knowledge in information management, cataloging, reference services, and technology skills. A degree helps librarians provide efficient services, make informed decisions about collection development, and uphold professional standards in the field of librarianship, among other responsibilities.

In the digital age, where information is just a click away, the role of librarians has evolved significantly. Modern librarians are not just keepers of books but also curators of digital resources, information guides, and technology experts. To perform these multifaceted responsibilities effectively, they need a solid educational foundation. In this article, we’ll answer the burning question: “Why do librarians need a degree?” Let’s embark on this enlightening journey.

The Role of Accreditation

Accreditation is a crucial factor in understanding why librarians need a degree. Institutions offering library science programs must adhere to rigorous standards set by accrediting bodies. This ensures that graduates are well-prepared to meet the demands of the profession. When hiring librarians, employers often seek candidates from accredited programs, highlighting the importance of formal education.

Why do you need a degree to be a librarian?

Why Do Librarians Need a Degree

1. Specialized Knowledge

Librarians are responsible for managing and organizing a wide range of information resources, from books and journals to digital media and databases. A degree in library science or a related field equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to do this effectively.

2. Information Management

Librarians need to understand how to catalog, classify, and index materials so that they can be easily located by library users. This requires a solid foundation in library science principles.

3. Reference Services

Librarians often assist patrons in finding information, conducting research, and navigating the library’s resources. A degree helps them develop the expertise needed to provide accurate and efficient reference services.

4. Collection Development

Librarians are responsible for selecting and acquiring new materials for the library’s collection. This involves assessing the needs of the community and making informed decisions about what to purchase. A degree helps them understand collection development strategies.

5. Technology Skills

Modern libraries rely heavily on technology for cataloging, digital archiving, and providing online access to resources. Librarians need to be tech-savvy and often receive training in information technology as part of their degree program.

Librarians deal with issues related to intellectual property, copyright, and privacy. A degree program typically covers the legal and ethical aspects of information management.

7. Management and Administration

For librarians in leadership roles, such as library directors or department heads, a degree helps them acquire the management and administrative skills necessary to oversee library operations, budgets, and staff.

8. Professional Standards

Many libraries require their staff to hold accredited library degrees as a way to ensure that librarians meet professional standards and can provide high-quality services to library users.

9. Career Advancement

Having a degree in library science can open up opportunities for career advancement within the library field. It may be a requirement for certain positions or can make an individual more competitive in the job market.

10. Library Accreditation

Some libraries, especially academic and research libraries, need to maintain accreditation. Having qualified librarians with degrees is often a requirement for accreditation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) With Answers About Why Do Librarians Need a Degree

What is the main purpose of a librarian?

The main purpose of a librarian is to facilitate access to information resources and promote literacy and learning. Librarians help users find and use books, digital media, research materials, and other resources, and they often provide assistance with research, reference, and educational programs.

Who runs a library?

Libraries are typically run by library directors or administrators who oversee the library’s operations, including budgeting, staffing, and collection development. The day-to-day tasks are carried out by librarians and library staff who manage and maintain the library’s resources and services.

How many years is a master’s degree?

A master’s degree program typically takes 1 to 2 years to complete, depending on the specific program and the country in which it is pursued. In many cases, a master’s degree program can be completed in one academic year (usually two semesters) if pursued full-time.

How much does a librarian get paid in the UK?

The salary of a librarian in the UK can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of library (public, academic, special). The average salary for a librarian in the UK ranges from £24,000 to £40,000 per year. Salaries can be higher for experienced librarians or those in managerial roles


In conclusion, the question, “Why do librarians need a degree?” is grounded in the ever-evolving nature of the librarian’s role. A degree not only equips librarians with the skills and knowledge needed to excel but also ensures that they can adapt to the changing information landscape. The importance of formal education in librarianship cannot be overstated, as it guarantees quality service and expertise to patrons worldwide.

Remember, libraries are more than just books; they are the gateways to knowledge, and librarians, armed with their degrees, are the trusted guides through these portals.