Academic librarian

The academic librarian's role is to co-ordinate with academic staff to ensure that students and researchers have the material they need or access to it. Students and researchers also need to be able to conduct their own literature searches, so the academic librarian will teach information literacy skills. They will ensure that student and academic needs are supported as well as answering enquiries in a particular discipline.

Staff in the learning resource service or library will be responsible for maintaining a range of areas for study, negotiating access to electronic resources, may catalogue and classify material and may have responsibility for archives and other special collections.

Academic Librarians often have responsibility for the line management of staff. This could include a team of library assistants or, for more senior academic librarians, a team of librarians

Academic librarians might also have job titles as subject librarian, liaison librarian, information advisor or a learning support librarian amongst others.


  • An accredited library and information qualification is usually required
  • Chartered Membership of CILIP (MCLIP) is advantageous in demonstrating an ongoing engagement with the profession.

  • Subject and liaison librarians may require specialist subject knowledge; a degree in a relevant subject or fluency in a language as appropriate
  • A relevant teaching or training qualification is occasionally required
  • An IT or e-learning qualification is occasionally required


  • Ability to provide support to library users
  • Ability promote, support and evaluate information resources in all formats
  • High levels of digital literacy and strong IT skills
  • Ability to design and deliver information skills training via face-to-face sessions, written publications and e-learning materials
  • Ability to manage staff or projects
  • Collection management
  • Relevant professional experience in an academic library would be beneficial
  • Experience and knowledge of delivering library services for the relevant subject areas would be beneficial
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to create and maintain effective relationships with colleagues at all levels.
  • Ability to liaise effectively with academic staff and students to develop library services and support their needs
  • Organisational, planning and prioritisation skills, including the ability to work to deadlines and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Critical appraisal skills
  • Knowledge and awareness of the academic environment within Higher Education
  • A willingness to keep up to date with changes in the profession and technological advances

Related books and publications from Facet Publishing

Facet publishing sell a range of titles for library, information and knowledge professionals. These are all available at 20% discount to members.

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