Public librarian

The public library provides a cultural and community hub as well as a free source of information and reading material. Public librarians organise events, encourage reader development and support local businesses through collection development and IT provision. The traditional home of self-education and improvement, public libraries also coordinate with schools, colleges and universities to improve literacy, numeracy, IT and research skills. They are often the only source of IT provision for many members of the community, and as such provide informal training and support for essential government, benefit and housing interactions.

The job title public librarian covers a wide range of professional roles based in local libraries. Some generic public librarian roles  cover all customers and an overview of all services; other job titles could include team librarian or customer service librarian. Other roles may be narrowed to a particular area of service delivery or customer group e.g. children’s librarian, local studies librarian, reference librarian, reader development librarian or community engagement librarian.


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

  • An IT qualification such as ECDL or equivalent is often required


  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with all members of the community
  • Excellent customer care skills
  • Good IT skills
  • Ability to teach information literacy skills
  • Ability to deliver library services to the public, demonstrating good practice especially in relation to disadvantaged groups
  • An enthusiasm for reading for pleasure  as well as an ability to provide reader development activity
  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with internal and external partners
  • Awareness of current national and regional issues within the library and information sector
  • Ability to work with others to identify needs, and to develop and deliver services
  • Ability to manage projects and deliver them on time
  • Ability to plan services, meet targets and constantly improve performance
  • Commitment to continuing professional development

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