What are the Most Important Skills a Librarian Should Have?


You would probably remember your school librarian as someone who had that stern demeanor and would give you that terrifying look when you got too noisy. Looking past that stereotype now, one would sometimes wonder: what else does a librarian do and what librarian skills are needed for the job?

What Do Librarians Do? 

Before figuring out what the most important librarian skills are, you should first understand what a librarian does. The role that a librarian plays would depend on the size of the library you will be working for, as well as its main purpose. Is this a public library? Is it a private one? Will it be in a university? Some roles will be very specific to the library you will be working for. However, a lot of roles will also be generic across all kinds. Here are some of the tasks a librarian does:

  • Cataloging and classifying books
  • Organizing everything to make the environment more user-friendly
  • Addressing questions and helping library users find what they need
  • Updating the selection
  • Organizing specialized services that cater to preschoolers, minority groups, etc.
  • Engaging in any other activity that would promote library services

The hours would depend on the need. Although this is more often than not a 9 to 5 job, there may be cases when librarians would have to adjust their schedule for special circumstances. There are also instances when librarians move from one site to another or would have to work offsite in case of other events.

Most Important Librarian Skills What are the Most Important Skills a Librarian Should Have?

Because of the responsibilities that librarians have, there is a specific set of librarian skills that they need to display to show that they truly are capable of doing the job well. Here are a few:

  • Technological skills are very relevant to holding a job as a librarian. Especially with the modern systems that most libraries now use, librarians have to be able to keep up with the times and be able to master the tools of the trade.
  • Customer service skills are very important simply because librarians are often in the frontline, assisting different kinds of people in the library. They should be able to relate fairly well with library users of all ages and backgrounds, and should have the ability to answer user queries efficiently and effectively.
  • Communication skills are a must because a librarian has to be able to interact effectively with the users they encounter everyday. This goes hand in hand with a librarian’s customer service role. Librarians should be able to explain to people how their system works, and at times, would have to give advice on research techniques as well.
  • Organizational skills are probably among the most important simply because this holds together the main role of a librarian. A librarian should have the ability to categorize and classify the books within their system effectively.


Interested in being a librarian? Create a checklist and see if you have these librarian skills or would have to improve on a thing or two to qualify as one.

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