Librarian licensure represents a patchwork of career requirements for school and public librarians. Licensure in any field can bring with it both good and bad things for a community. Along with gatekeeping processes, comes higher costs for employment. In the case of school and public librarians, costs of employment for school districts, cities and states can be a burden on the whole system. Yet, most would agree the costs do not outweigh the benefits.
What is a librarian? Fundamentally, a librarian connects people with information for their professional, personal, or research objectives. The explosion of data-driven analytics in the 21st century has opened new employment opportunities for librarians. The skills and training of a modern librarian are now sought in fields spanning medicine, law, government, and academics.
School librarians work in K-12 schools teaching students to access information and resources. They may also assist faculty in the development of lesson plans by sourcing instructional material. Many public schools now call their librarians “media specialists.”
Public librarians serve the patrons of a public library. They locate print and digital media for checkout or research and plan events like book fairs and story time sessions for children.