How To Become a School Librarian in California

Student relationship

Love books? Love interacting with children? Have a knack for information organization? Then you might be a perfect candidate for a school librarian.

A school librarian performs many duties that require skills in multitasking and extensive knowledge of the library resources and information which they contain. More than that, a school librarian has to be familiar with how the databases of the library are organized and how the software works, so knowledge of information technology is also a must. Necessarily, a school librarian must also have good people skills, because interaction daily with all sorts of students is a given. If you think you have all these skills and you want to become a school librarian in California, here's how.

You have to have a master's degree in Library Science because most employers in California require that the program you get is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The San Jose State University is an example of an ALA-accredited institution. Some colleges and universities offer internships during the last year of study. Take advantage of this internship so you will gain a lot of experience.

A school librarian in California must also have a California Teacher Librarian Services Credential. See the website of the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing to find out the exact requirements in getting credentialed as a California Teacher Librarian. A bachelor's degree and a teaching credential are prerequisites to this. You might also have to undergo additional training programs.

An exam measuring your basic skills will also be required, such as the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), which will measure your writing skills, reading comprehension and mathematical aptitude. Review well before you take this exam, so you'll have a good chance of passing it.

Join the California Library Association for networking and to keep abreast of current developments in the field.

Look for a job by visiting the different schools in your desired area of work in California. You can also check the websites of the California Library Association and the California School Library Association. Job opportunities are posted on these websites. You can also check the classified ads section of California newspapers for openings.

You can apply through the Internet but submitting your application in person might give a better impression. Dress appropriately when you submit your application and during the interview, if you're granted one.

You might not get into the school library of your choice right away, or there may not be openings in any school libraries at all. Don't lose hope if this happens. You can apply in the meantime to other kinds of libraries, like a public library. You will still be practicing your profession as a librarian and you can use the experience as leverage when you apply for a school librarianship position.

If there is no available job anywhere in California, you'll have to consider getting a job outside the state first, provided you're also qualified to be a librarian there. Just keep yourself informed of any job openings in California.


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