Children's Librarians


Employment Prospects


Approximately 134,800 librarians (including children's librarians) are employed in the United States. Thirty-three percent of librarians work in elementary and secondary schools, and approximately 31 percent work for local public libraries. Others may work for private libraries.

Starting Out

Generally, librarians must complete all educational requirements before applying for a job. In some cases part-time work experience (or participation in an internship) while in graduate school may turn into a full-time position upon graduation. Some employers, too, may allow an especially promising applicant to begin learning on the job before the library degree is conferred.

To break into this career, turn to library association Web sites or publications for job listings and recruiters. Your college’s career services office can also provide job leads. The American Library Association (ALA) job Web site offers links to employment opportunities throughout the country. Many positions will also be advertised on sites such as

Advancement Prospects

Experienced children's librarians may advance by taking a position in a larger school district or in a larger library system. Others, with additional education, may become library directors or library educators.

Some children's librarians pursue careers in other fields. Children's author Beverly Cleary and First Lady Laura Bush are two examples of famous former children's librarians. Others may use their experience in the field to work as consultants to publishing companies.

Tips for Entry

Visit and for job listings.

Use social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings.

Read publications such as Library Journal, American Libraries, and Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers.

Once you earn your degree, conduct information interviews with children’s library directors and let it be known that you are looking for a job.