Types of job

Working with information, knowledge and data in any setting is a lot more varied than you might think.

You've got to be a 'people person' as you'll be engaging with others and connecting them with the information they need. You will be solving problems and embracing new technology. You will need to have good communication skills and be methodical.

There is a huge variety of jobs you could do.

  • Academic librarian

    The academic librarian's role is to co-ordinate with academic staff to ensure that students and researchers have the material they need or access to it. Students and researchers also need to be able to conduct their own literature searches, so the academic librarian will teach information literacy skills. They will ensure that student and academic needs are supported as well as answering enquiries in a particular discipline.

  • Cataloguer

    Cataloguers use their professional skills to supply structured descriptions of all kinds of resources, including books, articles, maps and images.  Accurate and timely cataloguing in accordance with recognised metadata standards enables discovery of resources by users and underpins collection management. Cataloguing is a rapidly changing and increasingly technical field, so it is important to keep up to date with professional developments and technical innovation.

  • Information assistant

    Information assistants work in a variety of sectors including higher education, further education, health, law, commercial, scientific, school or public. The job title of information assistant usually applies to people who work in commercial industry or higher education. In other sectors such as school or public libraries they may be called library or learning resources assistants instead.

  • Information officer

    Information officers work in a variety of organisations including academic, commercial, government, health and law. There will be a strong emphasis on research skills and information sourcing and the ability to repackage information in ways that are accessible to the end user.

    Job titles can vary slightly and information officers might also be called amongst other things information managers, information advisors, information scientists or information specialists.

  • Knowledge manager

    Knowledge managers work for a wide variety of employers and could be based in a government, health, law or a commercial setting. Key responsibilities will include the development and management of complex information systems. Knowledge managers often have other management responsibilities which could including staff and budgets, the implementation of a KM policy or perhaps wider responsibility for the organisation's compliance with data protection.

  • Learning resources manager

    Learning resources managers work in a variety of educational settings including schools, further education colleges and more specialised institutions such as armed forces colleges. This role could include a wider responsibility for IT facilities and the management of staff and budgets as well as traditional service functions.

    Alternative job titles include learning centre manager and school librarian amongst others.

  • Library assistant

    Library assistants work in a variety of sectors including education, health, schools, law, public and commercial. The job title library assistant usually applies to people who work in school, college or public libraries. In other areas, such as industry or higher education they may be called information assistant or learning resources assistant instead.

  • Local studies librarian

    Local studies libraries preserve and make accessible the published local history of an area. They are part of the local authority’s library provision, but are often combined local archive services and museums. They preserve a wide range of materials including books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, microfilms, digital publications, photographs and other images, oral history interviews, sound recordings and many others.

  • Prison librarian

    Prison librarians are responsible for the day to day running of the prison library, providing a neutral and non-judgemental environment for prisoners, outside the formal education and learning provision within the prison. This role is about providing access to books and improving information and digital literacy skills. These are skills that have a significant impact upon the employment opportunities for prisoners on release especially their ability to apply for jobs online.

  • Public librarian

    The public library provides a cultural and community hub as well as a free source of information and reading material. Public librarians organise events, encourage reader development and support local businesses through collection development and IT provision. The traditional home of self-education and improvement, public libraries also coordinate with schools, colleges and universities to improve literacy, numeracy, IT and research skills.

  • School librarian

    School librarians work in both state and independent schools. A school librarian might also be referred to as a learning resources or learning centre manager.

    The school library or learning centre is where collections of books and journals are held along with access to the internet, audio-visual material and where students can enjoy self-directed learning.