Thinking of Switching Careers From Teacher to Librarian!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Youngteacher226, May 15, 2011.

  1. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Hello all! I have been going through an inner battle over the last year and I think I know why. I have been feeling the urge to leave the classroom and use my expertise in Literacy. I am state certified in Literacy Instruction and have been thinking about looking into positions for Reading Coaches. I've also had an idea a few years ago to go into Library Science. I love books!! I love the library!! My school Librarian before she retired used to joke about me going back to school for Library Science because we would have these long talks about doing her job after she retired. Hmmmm??? Well.....I think the bug has bit me! I'm thinking about approaching my Principal tomorrow and inquiring about a Librarian position that is open for next school year. The only thing is I will have to re-enroll in school. :( Anyway, are there any Librarians out there that can give me an idea of what Librarians do? What is the salary for a Librarian like?? What is the job market like??
    Any info would help me ALOT!! Thanks! :)
     
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  3. husker_blitz

    husker_blitz Companion

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    I've been a librarian during college and later served on a library board.

    The work itself wasn't bad. If you are looking into more of a director role, I can't help much there. But book selection, book removal from circulation, shelving, book repair, working with patrons, knowing how to find really precise information.

    I imagine the technology has really passed me by in the 10-15 years since I worked there. I know I'm forgetting some stuff, but that was the jist of what I did.

    For a school, I imagine it's much the same type of work.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Librarians in my school are on the same salary scale as teachers.
     
  5. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    What part of NY are you in?

    Since school Library Media Specialists ARE teachers, we are on the same salary

    The only problem is depending on the district, you may have to give up your tenure and start at step 1 since the position is on a different tenure track. I would check with your HR dept or Union on that.

    The going back to school part will be expensive, but depending on where you live in NY, the extra credits will move you over a couple of columns and it may not be too bad.

    I was a classroom teacher (leave replacements) People would always complain about state testing and other things they had to do and the special area teachers didn't and the librarian that I worked with always said at lunch time how everyone had the same opportunities when going to school...she was right, so I enrolled for my 2nd masters to be a librarian, I figured I would take a few classes and even if I didn't like it, I would use the credits for a step increase...well I love my job!
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Hmmmm.....so you are thinking of going from a job that is hard to get to one that is harder? In our local elementary district there are hundreds of teachers and only 1 librarian. Even our high school doesnt have a credentialed librarian. Just a thought...
     
  7. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    There are hundreds of teachers....but tens of thousands of applicants
    1 Library Media Specialists.....but about 40 applicants
    *we have 22 classrooms and 1 librarian

    Of course this is regional, and Cali may be different.
     
  8. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Librarians used to be on the same salary as classroom teachers except we got rid of certified librarians and now they are paraprofessionals.

    Be careful and be prepared because there are many districts that are cutting certified librarians and moving to a classified position because of budget cuts.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It makes me furious that schools are removing certified librarians. If a school has been fortunate to have a legitimate, wonderful librarian, they would no sooner cut him or her than they would the principal. :(

    As to your questions, our LMS is paid on the same scale as teachers, and rightfully so. Well, not in our case as our librarian sucks, but ideally...

    As to the job description, it may help to look for these online to get a good idea of the range of responsibilities. Some librarians only buy, check, and shelve books. Those are not the quality librarians I speak of. A librarian should be a literacy leader, technology leader, a collaborative teacher, and a teacher-teacher...information literacy is more important now than it ever has been! There is much work to be accomplished in the library and in all the classrooms that the library serves.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Librarians in our area are played the same as teachers. Sadly, the districts around us are cutting the librarian staff significantly to save money and keep class sizes from going up too much. :(
     
  11. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    It is regional, and CA is different. I haven't seen a REAL certified librarian in an elementary school in over 3 years, and I believe even she was only part time. CA's just had deep budget cuts and layoffs for more years than many other states, and unfortunately librarians were one of the first things to go. Now most libraries at the elementary level are run by a classified employee. I have no clue about M.S. and H.S.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our teacher-librarian is on the same salary grid as we are. It is very rare to have a full-time librarian; most are doing some teaching out of the library as well (ours teaches Core French to a couple of classes).
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Our librarians are paid on the same scale as regular teachers in my district. Here they do a lot of techy stuff in addition to working with books. They inventory all the classroom technology (ELMOs, LCD projectors, etc.), give lessons and trainings on online databases, etc.

    I've looked into making the switch from classroom teacher to librarian. I am not burned out yet, but I can feel it coming....My school has seen a lot of changes over the past year or two and I'm sad to say that they haven't been positive changes. I'd love the opportunity to move out of the classroom but still be in a position to work with kids. Plus I love books! I'm going to do an online LMS program through a major university in the Southeast. I'm hoping to start that in August 2013 and be done within two years.

    My district is also cutting librarians and staffing school libraries with paras. For that reason I would think very carefully before making the switch from classroom teacher to librarian. My hope is that in 4-5+ years when I've got my masters in LMS, things with the budget will have settled some and I'll have a better idea about whether making the switch will be a smart move or not.
     
  14. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    The 'librarians' in the area that I live in are all paraprofessionals or once teacher assistants/aides. I haven't been in a school that has had an actual librarian since I was in 5th grade.
     
  15. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    My BF is a librarian. However, he is an academic librarian; he will work in community colleges and/or universities teaching classes and doing reference services. The pay ranges from around $30,000 to $45/50,000 starting in that environment (also depending on location). He has never considered K-12 or public librarianship, it doesn't interest him. There are jobs open in what he is going into, but they can be difficult to get. The process is long and drawn out… meaning you can apply for a position in March, not get a call back until May, wait 1 month for a phone interview, wait another month for a response if you get a face to face interview, wait a month or two for an on-campus interview and wait another month-three months or longer for an answer if you got the job or not. There are times when it goes quicker, but most of the time it's just a long, long annoying process.
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Our librarians are certified teachers who are paid on the same scale. I believe they do not have to go back to step 1 on the scale and that their years teaching experience is applied.

    Our librarians aren't getting cut, but the aides that work in those libraries are unfortunately. A couple of teachers in the building I worked at had just received their certification so more than likely one of them will get the position that is open due to a retirement.
     
  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Wow!! Everything you guys are saying is interesting! I inquired a little bit more today, and I will keep the same pay scale as the teachers, but the great thing is...when I go back to school for LMS, I will have acquired another Masters, and in turn, go up another couple steps on the salary scale. So in all actuality, I will go up in pay.
    I have taken into account the pay cuts going on in regards to Librarian positions. I will of course have some more research I will have to do, but I still feel like I want to go ahead and go for it. Right now, my school has been searching & searching for a new Librarian since my Librarian retired at the end of last school year. They have not had any luck so far. I'm thinking about convincing my Principal of allowing me in that position as I go back to school. Not saying this will happen, but at least I can plant a seed in her head in case the position is still not filled next school year.
    I went to our Library today and stayed there for approx. 45-60 minutes trying to get a feel for the quietness of the room and watching what the Library sub was doing. I asked myself again, "Can you see yourself doing this all day?" I think I can. I just enjoyed being around the books and watching the kids check books out with that excited look on their faces. I am very informed on children's literature (ex. picture books & easier chapter books) and I know alot of children's authors. But, I am not that informed on Middle School books & authors. I will have to spend some time reading some of those higher level books being that my school goes up to 8 th grade.

    I did not speak to my Principal today about this, due to the fact we were trained on our NYS state test scoring and will actually score the tests tomorrow. She was pretty busy. I'm hoping I can have a moment with her tomorrow. Please keep the info coming....I am learning a great deal reading all of your posts.
     
  18. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I'm surprised they had trouble filling the position. It would be great if you could get it, by state standards, since LMS are not state madandated for elementary-as long as you have elementary cert, you don't need library certification...though most districts desire it.
    I wonder if that would be different since your school goes up to 8th grade.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    By the way, I know of no school personally that doesn't have a certified librarian. They have cut the clerk in some schools, but not the librarian. I realize many districts have removed the position, but many haven't...
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I know nothing about the salary ro what the job entails,b but what's the educational requirement these days? Do they all still need a Masters in Library Sci?
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my district, yes.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think if it is something you feel will make you happy, and is something that you can afford, then you should pursue it. You are aware that these are hard, economic times, and that it might be difficult to find a position. If the position at your own school is available, then that might be ideal. Good luck in your endeavors.
     
  23. sewlo

    sewlo Rookie

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    I think the fact that you have classroom experience gives you an edge up. I graduated from library school in June 2010 and have yet to find a real librarian position. I had no experience other than my student teaching and many schools liked me, but didn't hire me based on that.

    I'm hoping my work this year in a local school computer lab will give me the experience they're looking for. Just know that in the competition for school library jobs is fierce. It seems like you might have an in at your school (which I'm kind of surprised has had trouble filling the position) so it may not be as difficult. I'm in Indiana and we're talking about 100 or more applicants for each position.

    I don't think my library education is a waste (as I believe education is never a waste) but I would think long and hard about spending the money right now.

    Also, just know that a school library is never just about checking out books and keeping things quiet. In fact, I have never been in a well-run school library that WAS quiet. Teaching student literacy and information skills is a huge part of your job. The administrative part is nothing compared to the time and energy you'll put into teaching lessons and collaboration.
     
  24. Born2beTeacher

    Born2beTeacher Rookie

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    Don't want to be discouraging:sorry:, but I should warn you that in a number of school districts, schools are really downsizing their libraries (in some cases removing them altogether) to offset budget cuts. So, librarian jobs are becoming more scarce (at least where I live and in other parts of Canada- I would assume that the same is happening in the United States), and a number of teacher-librarians and library tech's jobs are currently hanging in the balance.
    Depending on where you live, you might want to look into your school board's budget plans, because unfortunately many libraries and related jobs are winding up on the chopping block.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I would also say that many districts around here do not have certified Librarians. They are listed as aides or parapros.
     
  26. sewlo

    sewlo Rookie

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    Exactly. This is the case in MANY districts. You'll have the option of going back to being a classroom teacher (if there is a position available) but so many schools are cutting librarians or making 1 librarian oversee multiple schools. The job outlook isn't great.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yes, in my district and all surrounding districts that I know of. It's what I have my Master's in. Awesome program, by the way. :)
     
  28. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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  29. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I agree with the job outlook. I student taught in 9 different schools and none had a "real" librarian. They were volunteers or paras. We have an actual media specialist now, but she is only part time for a school of over 400 students.
     
  30. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    What state are you in where you say there are no "real" librarians? Just curious if its all Cali...since that article rates California even worse than Puerto Rico when it comes to Librarian to student ratio by state.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Ohio.
     
  32. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    At my old district they cut all but 1 librarian. The person at my school had to go into a classroom or lose her job. She went into a classroom and hates it. In my current district, the librarian floats between the MS and HS. All other buildings have library aides.
     
  33. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Wow, I could not imagine a MS or HS with out a Library Media Specialist! They play such an important role! In NY it is state mandated that there is one, many MS and HS around here have more than one bc the mandate is 1 per x amount of students(not sure of the number). At the elementary level, sadly, it is not state mandated, fortunately most districts see the importance of a LMS.
     
  34. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I never knew that!...I don't think. You never mentioned it here before have you? :)
     

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