How To Become A Librarian In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how they can become a librarian in Australia with a bachelor's and master's degree.


Are you fond of books and have an inquisitive nature? Do you possess excellent communication and organisational skills? Then, a career as a librarian might be the ideal place to shine.


A librarian organises books, newspapers, magazines, photographs, maps, music, videos, computer games, manuscripts, and electronic records.


They help people locate personal, academic, or professional information in various settings, such as public schools and academic libraries.


This go-to guide covers all important things about the librarian profession. You will learn how to become a librarian in Australia, about the job profile, qualifications, courses, degrees, salary, career opportunities, job application steps, and more.



1. Who Is A Librarian?


  • Librarians are information service professionals assisting people select, finding, and retrieving information in public, school, private, and government-run libraries.

  • Librarians design, build and supervise in-store and online collections to deliver the best service. 

  • Librarians possess exceptional encyclopedic knowledge of literature and organisational skills that make libraries a rewarding establishments overflowing with an abundance of activities and information.

  • Librarians who work in larger librarians specialise in the acquisition, cataloguing, research, digital services, and kid’s related services. 

  • Librarians make efforts to make reading easily accessible and an educational pastime for people.

  • They preserve the valuable information resources in the library and make it a cultural institution and a learning and recreational centre.



2. Why Should You Choose A Librarian Profession In Australia?


Do you need clarification about whether or not to pursue a career as a librarian? 


Here are the top reasons that confirm that working as a librarian is inspiring, satisfying, and a fabulous career choice:


  • There is no end to learning new things and researching on the job.

  • It is a quiet profession far from the hectic corporate culture. It is an ideal place for wise and thoughtful people.

  • Librarianship is an ever-changing and renewing field. You meet different personalities and work with always-new resources and evolving technologies.

  • From kid’s libraries to specialist law/medical libraries, and independent researchers/knowledge managers, the profession gives you ample scope of specialisation.

  • You get to enjoy liberal time off of around a month’s worth every year.

  • The demand for librarians will stay for several years in the future. Thus, librarianship gives you peace of job security.

  • Good work conditions are another essential benefit of being a librarian. You work in a clean, pleasing, and comfortable setting around like-minded and fantastic co-workers.

  • You promote knowledge by helping people access a wide range of information, from ancient records to recent medical research. This way, you contribute to the progress of the individual and the state.

  • You develop beneficial skills such as organisation, information technology, precision, research, supervision, information management, staff management, customer service, and knowledge of media, law, and copyright.



3. What Are The Duties Of A Librarian In Australia?


A librarian is an information management professional who maintains systematised libraries and organises them per the Dewey Decimal classification system to enable quick information retrieval.


Here is a complete list of the daily duties of a librarian in Australia:


  • Research, classify, index, and administer information, resources, and collections in a library setting.

  • Guide and assist library members and the public with information literacy in locating learning sources and navigating library classification systems.

  • Generate policies and services and implement them in the library.

  • Implement community activities such as kid’s storytimes, and conduct reading clubs in the library.

  • Develop and maintain digital and in-house database collections in the library, 

  • Curating digital learning materials to assist library users,

  • Create a database of popular materials and a variety of resources to match the interests of people, 

  • Build and foster partnerships with faculty, learning providers, authors, publisher representatives, and community organisations. Occasionally plan a visit to them to learn about the latest works and publications.

  • Train and oversee library assistants and ensure the proper functioning of all library operations 

  • Select, classify and library and information resources

  • Conduct training or promotional events to help and involve library users.

  • Administer and promote library services using social media and websites

  • Choose the correct library infrastructure.

  • Administer inter-library loan systems, reader registrations, information networks, acquisitions and purchases, filing, and recovery tasks.



4. Personal Skills To Work As A Librarian In Australia


Specific personal attributes will put you in a good position if you aspire to become a librarian.


  • Disciplined, rational, and organised mindset 

  • Good attention to detail

  • Technically savvy 

  • Interest in cataloguing and curating programs

  • Leadership qualities

  • A welcoming and friendly demeanour

  • Like to offer support

  • Multitasking 

  • Technologically literate 

  • Impressive communication skills

  • Able to work with people of varying cultural and social backgrounds, and age groups 

  • Good problem-solving skills

  • Ability to work as a team or as a sole unit

  • Customer-centric approach

  • Efficient

  • Like doing indoor work

  • Patient

  • Quick thinker

  • Adaptable

  • Good at time management 

  • Can work independently and as part of a team



5. Steps To Become A Librarian In Australia


The area of specialisation you choose will help determine what qualifications and study options will be the most helpful for you. 


Follow this 4-step process to learn how to become a librarian in Australia:



Step 1: Get Started


Choose a course that introduces you to the basics of information services—Complete Year 12 with a major in Information Technology and English subjects.



Step 2: Develop Your Skills


Complete a VET-level qualification like a Certificate IV in Library and Information Services will help you gain relevant skills and knowledge in library services.



Step 3: Get Professional Qualification


Employers in Australia look for professionally qualified applicants who have completed nationally accredited undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications in library and information studies. Generally, these courses are between one to two years full-time.


To know how to become a librarian assistant in Australia, you have to complete a Diploma of Library and Information Services (BSB52115). 


The course qualifies you to work as a Library Assistant or Library Technician in different library settings worldwide.



Step 4: Build Work Experience


Getting an entry-level position isn’t enough to make a successful career in the library. You must obtain good work experience by working at a public library, a local archive, or a university library.


As you gain more experience, you can specialise in management and administration, digital services, children’s services, reference work, or research.


To work as a Librarian, you need to complete an undergraduate librarian degree in Australia, i.e., Bachelor of Information Studies, or a postgraduate degree, i.e., Master of Information Management.



6. What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Librarian In Australia?


There are no formal entry-level requirements to pursue a librarian profession in Australia. However, getting a diploma course or certification in library and information-related subjects helps.


A Diploma of Library and Information Services is a nationally accredited course qualifying you to work for several libraries and information-related positions, such as library technician, library assistant, information services officer, and document delivery officer.


Below are accredited librarian courses listed that help develop practical working skills to work confidently and efficiently in the workplace.



Librarian Course in Victoria


Bachelor of Arts - Deakin University


Deakin is the only Australian university offering a graduate children’s literature diploma. 


The online librarian course in Australia helps students explore major literary categories while evaluating storytelling formats and methods and builds critical thinking skills.



Librarian Courses in South Australia


Graduate Certificate in Information Management – University of South Australia


The online librarian degree in Australia combines three programs graduate certificate, graduate diploma, and master’s course.


These courses help the student develop a basic to an advanced-level understanding of library collection and store administration and learn contemporary information management.


They also equip the student with a deep understanding of metadata, advertising, social media, online literacy, readers’ advisory, and scholarly communications.



Librarian Courses in Melbourne


Diploma of Library and Information Services - Swinburne Institute of Technology


This diploma course develops a solid base of requisite knowledge and skills to work in agencies, libraries, private institutions, and government organisations that deal with much information.


Experienced practitioners help students learn to research, collection management, and cataloguing skills, use social and digital media tools and achieve excellence in customer service.


Students who complete the course qualify for several job roles, including:


  • Library technician

  • Systems librarian

  • Digital services officer

  • Library assistant

  • Gallery technician

  • Museum technician

  • Special collections officer



Librarian Courses in NSW


Certificate IV in Library and Information Services - TAFE NSW


Librarian TAFE courses teach unique and varied skills in literature and customer service. It is an excellent starting point to make a rewarding career in a library.


The course comprises a combination of practical and theory coursework to teach:


  • Information literacy – Identification of fake news

  • Teamwork

  • WHS legislation

  • Customer service

  • Use of electronic devices in different library settings



Librarian Courses in QLD


TAFE in Queensland offers entry-level and high-level courses to help you qualify to work as a library technician.




Online Librarian Courses in Australia


Graduate Diploma of Information Studies - Charles Sturt University


Their Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate course in Information Studies teach basic knowledge and skills in the information and library sectors.


It prepares you to work in various conventional and non-conventional information organisations, such as libraries, corporate institutions, and communities.


These online librarian courses in Australia enable students to combine their studies with personal and professional demands. The course seamlessly connects students to lecturers and classmates through recent technologies and tools.



Master of Information Studies (with specialisations) - Charles Sturt University


This highly regarded course provides a comprehensive understanding of information management in a modern context. 


The course offers flexibility to students to select subjects from an array of specialisations such as:


  • Children’s Librarianship

  • Data Management

  • Information Architecture

  • Information Management

  • Leadership

  • Librarianship

  • Records and Archives Management



7. How Much Does A Librarian Earn In Australia?


Based on the past year’s data, librarian salaries in Australia range between $75k and $95k.


Here are the state-wise earnings of a librarian in Australia:


  • New South Wales (NSW): between $75k and $95k 

  • Victoria (VIC): between $70k and $100k 

  • Western Australia (WA): between $70k and $80k 

  • Queensland (QLD): between $70k and $90k



8. Employment Opportunities Available For a Librarian in Australia


Librarians work in a variety of indoor settings, such as:


  • Public libraries

  • Government departments

  • Archives, schools

  • School libraries

  • Museums

  • Technical colleges

  • Specialist libraries, including legal, corporate, and medical libraries

  • Tertiary institutions

  • Research centres

  • Consulting organisations

  • Business and industrial organisations


Experienced librarians specialising in procurement, cataloguing, research, digital services, or children’s services work in large libraries.



Based on Employment Statistics of Librarians in Australia:


  • 39% of employed librarians work part-time, and 61% work full-time.

  • The average work duration for a full-time librarian in Australia is 39 hours a week

  • Based on their experience, and skills, the average librarian’s salary in Australia is $80,000 every year



Regarding future job prospects, a reasonably good demand is expected for librarians throughout Australia, particularly in the Australian Capital Territory and worldwide.


Education, information media businesses, and public administration will be the primary sectors that will hire librarians in the upcoming years.


As most of the work is “on-site”, the possibilities of remote work or work from home are low.



9. Pros And Cons Of Being A Librarian In Australia


Librarianship is a versatile career option for people who like to learn new things and assist people in getting what they want. 


Look at the appealing and challenging aspects of being a librarian in Australia.



The Pros


  • You find a wonderful blend of responsibility, autonomy, and contentment. The duty to work independently and present the correct information to the person at the right time is very fulfilling.

  • Researching and developing an information database to support professionals within and outside the business is rewarding. 

  • Nothing brings more satisfaction than when you assist students in helping them locate the desired learning resource. The feeling when they tell you how much it helped them in preparation is indescribable in words.

  • Liberal vacation

  • No need to travel. Purely on-site job

  • Like-minded co-workers

  • High job security

  • Work-life balance

  • Good working conditions

  • No deadlines 

  • A great diversity of work 

  • Opportunity to meet and know different personalities on the job



The Challenges


  • Low pay

  • Low appreciation and feeling less significant than others

  • The job demands good people skills, flexibility, and creativity.

  • You must constantly learn and use new cataloguing tools and implement cataloguing standards for record creation. Staying updated with new technological developments can get tricky.

  • Staying relevant in the present age, a tech-driven world, is a real challenge for librarians with a non-digital background. The job requires readiness to embrace technology and keep up with the latest evolving online world. 

  • Only some people are friendly. Skilfully handling authoritarian personalities is a challenge.




FAQs On Becoming A Librarian In Australia



How To Become A Library Technician in Australia?


You need to complete a Library and Information Services diploma from a school/university accredited by the Australian Library and Information Association. 


A diploma course’s average duration is approximately 20 hours a week for a year.



How Can You Become A Librarian Without A Degree In Australia?


  • Get some work experience in a local public library or a university library. It will help you learn essential practical skills in this field.

  • Alternatively, you can become a volunteer in any public library or community. This way, not just do you gain valuable experience but also build networks and connections that, in turn, improve your chances of employment.

  • Undergo short courses and training workshops in the areas of library and information systems. It will help you build a good foundation in these areas and develop your skills.



Do You Need A Law Degree To Be A Librarian In Australia?


No. A law degree is not required to work as a librarian in Australia. However, having a basic understanding of legal systems is an added advantage.



How Do I Become A Teacher-Librarian In Australia?


You must have a good amount of teaching experience or background in library services. 


Taking a Bachelor’s level qualification in information services or education will help.



What Are The Areas of Specialisation For A Librarian In Australia?


Based on personal interests and desired career paths, an experienced librarian can choose any of the below areas of specialisation.



  • Archivists: They are responsible for the acquisition, storage, and upkeep of essential documents such as financial statements, old records for a museum, etc.


  • Library Assistant: They work closely with librarians and assist them in ensuring the smooth operation of a library.


  • Teacher Librarian: Librarians who specialise in this role work in schools to help students develop research skills and effectively use library resources.


  • Information Manager: This type of librarian is engaged in research, public relations, desktop publishing, technical writing, design and management of databases, and market research.


  • Librarian: Librarians design, build and supervise physical and digital collections, including books, e-books, newspapers, maps, computer games, educational/entertainment music or videos, and more.



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