Library Directors


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take English, business, mathematics, computer science, and foreign language to prepare for this career. Also, taking courses that require the writing of reports will help you hone your research and writing skills. Being a voracious reader will also be very helpful. You should become a media center aide at your school library to get valuable working experience while at the same time familiarizing yourself with the library.

Postsecondary Training

Undergraduate training will vary depending on the type of library career you choose to pursue. Many library directors, especially those employed in a reference library, have a bachelor's degree in education (in addition to a master's degree in library science). If you plan to become a director of a special library, then it would be wise to earn an undergraduate degree in a related field. Directors of corporate libraries, for example, often have degrees in business. Those who manage a music library may have degrees in music.

All librarians, including library directors, must have a master's degree in library science (M.L.S.) or a master's degree in library and information science (M.L.I.S). Employers prefer to hire graduates of ALA-accredited programs. Visit the ALA's Web site,, to view a list of accredited schools. Programs last from one to two years. Typical classes might include Administrative Management of Library Information Centers, Human Resource Management in Libraries and Information Centers, Collection Development and Management, Information Technology in Library Management, and Management of Specialized Information Services. Larger libraries or university libraries require library directors to have a Ph.D. in library science or a related field.

Other Education or Training

Many library directors choose to continue their education by attending conferences, training seminars, webinars, and workshops. Continuing education classes keep library directors current with emerging trends in information services. These educational opportunities are provided by the American Library Association, Library Leadership and Management Association (an affiliate of the ALA), and many other professional associations.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The ALA offers the certified public library administrator designation to public librarians who have at least three years of supervisory experience. For more information, visit

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The American Library Association reports that library directors typically have 10 years of experience as a librarian with five years of managerial or administrative experience, although requirements vary significantly based on the size of the library and responsibilities of the job.

Library directors should have excellent organizational and financial management skills, be good communicators in order to be able to successfully interact with and manage employees, have a love of information, and be willing to continually learn about the field and new technologies.