How to Become a Librarian in New Jersey - 2024 Guide

by Staff

Updated: May 11th, 2024

Why New Jersey Needs You: A Guide to Becoming a Librarian in the Garden State

New Jersey’s librarians are the unsung heroes of our communities. They play a vital role in fostering a love of reading, promoting information literacy, and ensuring everyone has access to knowledge. Here’s a glimpse into why librarians are crucial in New Jersey, the perks of this career path, and the steps to becoming one.

Why Librarians Matter in New Jersey

  • Championing Literacy: New Jersey recently became the first state to mandate information literacy education (NJASL). Librarians are instrumental in this initiative, teaching research skills and helping students navigate the ever-growing ocean of information.
  • Combating Censorship: With rising book challenges (NJea), librarians are on the front lines defending intellectual freedom and ensuring access to diverse viewpoints.
  • Digital Equity Champions: Libraries bridge the digital divide by providing free internet access, computer literacy programs, and helping residents navigate online resources, especially crucial for healthcare access programs like NJHealthConnect.

Why Become a Librarian in New Jersey?

  • Make a Difference: Directly impact lives by fostering a love of learning and empowering individuals through information access.
  • Strong Job Market: New Jersey faces a shortage of qualified librarians, particularly in school settings (to grow 2.3% from 2018 to 2028 (BLS Employment Projections)).
  • Diverse Work Settings: Choose from public libraries, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and legal institutions.

Becoming a Librarian in New Jersey

The specific requirements vary depending on the library type:

  • Education: A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) is required for most librarian positions.
  • Certification: New Jersey requires school librarians to hold a library media specialist certificate in addition to their MLIS (see New Jersey school librarian certification requirements). There’s no separate certification for public librarians, but an MLIS is preferred (see New Jersey public librarian certification requirements).
  • Experience: While not always mandatory, experience through internships or volunteer work strengthens your resume.

Additional Considerations:

  • Special Librarians (Law, Medical, etc.): Often require an additional subject-specific master’s degree on top of the MLIS.

Becoming a librarian in New Jersey offers a fulfilling career path where you can make a lasting impact. By guiding and empowering others through the world of information, you’ll be a key contributor to the Garden State’s vibrant learning communities.