What skills do you need to be a librarian

As with any career and profession, a librarian will need to possess certain qualities and personality traits. These traits will not only help with you with you daily tasks, they will also enhance your career overall. While there are many people who love to read, that is not the only passion or skill needed to be a successful librarian. Continue reading to find out what are some important qualities you should have as a librarian.
• You must be skilled with computers. The days of the card catalogue are long gone. Many libraries now use computers to classify and file their resources and create databases that are easy to access in a quick period of time. Not only will you need to use a computer to assist patrons in the research, you will also need to use a computer to perform certain administrative duties such as emailing, entering data, or processing information.
• Interpersonal skills. You may work with books the majority of the time, but you will also need to have excellent interpersonal skills. There will be times where you will have to work with other librarians as a team to get projects done. Other times you will need to work with the public or with researchers as they work on projects.
• Customer service. It’s always best to be as professional as possible when it comes to anyone you encounter. It is extremely important that you stay professional when you interact with the public, patrons (current and potential), and of course your co-workers and employers. Always maintain a cordial and courteous manner even when those you are interacting with are not giving you the same respect. It’s better to be polite and try to come up with a solution rather than combative where it can lead to grounds of termination.
• Problem solving skills. There will be times where you will need to think quickly to find a solution to a problem. You cannot second guess your decisions in these important situations. You will also at times need to identify a problem, determine where to find the information and answers and then draw conclusions from the information you’ve discovered during your research.
• Taking initiative. With the constant flow of new books, documents, and information you need to stay on top of updating your databases. You cannot wait until things pile up and you are overwhelmed with data processing. Taking initiative doesn’t just mean with updating information, it also means taking initiative in varying circumstances that can affect your job.
• Communication skills. It is extremely important to be able to explain and express your ideas and thoughts to patrons, users, and employers. You will at times need to explain to the public how to search for resources on their own in terms that they can easily understand. At times you will have to repeat yourself to those who are not as quick to learn so not only being able to get your information across you also need to have patience as well. With both patience and communication skills it will make your job a lot easier.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm#tab-4

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