Academic librarians have completed an undergraduate degree program and may also have advanced degrees and training in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, academic librarians have also completed the requirements for the master's degree in library and information sciences from an accredited library school. Generally speaking, the masters degree in library and information sciences, is considered the required credential in order to serve in an academic environment both in the United States and Canada. For more information regarding degree programs at various library schools, go to the "Library Schools" tab at this site or request a mentor.In the meantime, enjoy the profiles of some of UC-San Diego's finest professionals as they share how they arrived at their current assignment and how they chose academic librarianship.
Decision Support Analyst
Geisel Library, UC-San Diego
"I earned my BA in History and hoped for a career in Museum Studies. However, after an internship at the Smithsonian and fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, both of which I greatly enjoyed, I thought the more realistic approach, given the limited pool of available museum jobs, was to move toward librarianship. I chose the very well regarded program (residential, rather than online) at the University of Illinois (Go Illini!). My graduate assistantship in the Social Sciences Library there was my first job in a library and it helped seal my path to academic librarianship. Since then, I've worked in both public and private universities, and moved from Reference Librarian to Head of Reference to leadership in Access Services. I encourage anyone considering a library career to learn as much as possible about the library environment (through work and/or education) before deciding on an area in which to work. Thereafter, never be afraid to accept new challenges that will expand your professional skills. Keep an eye out for opportunities, prepare yourself for them, and take advantage of them when they arise."
Electronic Services Librarian
UCSD Biomedical Library
"My father is a research biologist and I was raised to be curious and interested in research. However, unlike my dad, I don't have the single-minded dedication to spend months or years on a single line of scientific inquiry. While working on my BSc in Biology at McGill University, we had a presentation on searching by the Biology librarian. I decided I wanted her job! After graduating, I worked for a year in the library to get a better sense of what librarians do, and then I went to library school at the University of Toronto. I worked for four years as a hospital librarian before coming to UCSD. I enjoyed being part of the health care team a lot, but I decided to switch to academic libraries so that I could have more colleagues and be closer to researchers."
"Working on the reference desk is perfect for me: I get to be curious about a dozen new things every day. My area of specialization is in technology - I coordinate the Biomedical Library's website and manage our local computer support and our Information Commons computing facility. I've been able to explore new technologies and how they can help our staff and users be more productive and effective, in an environment that truly supports trying new things. I've been in the "same job" for eleven years now, but my work has changed tremendously over the years and I know that working in an academic life sciences library was the right career choice for me."