Film and Video Librarians

Outlook

Employment Prospects

Employers

Although film and video librarians can find work in public or school libraries, the demand for this specialty is greatest in special libraries or those found in larger academic institutions. Reference librarians who work in small neighborhood libraries, or in media centers hosted within a school, may have film and video duties incorporated into their job responsibilities. Large metropolitan libraries often will have a separate film department with multiple staff. Universities, associations, or the government will also have an extensive film collection large enough to warrant employing a film and video librarian on a full- or part-time basis.

Starting Out

There are many ways to enter this field. Some teachers decide to become librarians after having a fulfilling career in education. Reference librarians with a strong interest in films may choose to specialize in film and video acquisitions. Employment as an assistant film and video librarian is a common starting point and a great way to learn about the job and gain work experience.

Visit association Web sites to investigate the educational and certification requirements of librarians, as they vary from state to state. The American Library Association offers a wealth of information on this subject, including a list of employment opportunities nationwide, available awards, as well as grant and scholarship information.

Advancement Prospects

There are many advancement opportunities available to film and video librarians. Librarians who work in smaller facilities may transfer to larger libraries where opportunities for job promotions and advancement are greater. It is also possible to move from one type of library to another. A librarian at a large public library may be responsible for a vast collection of biographies, documentaries, and instructional videos covering many different topics. A film and video librarian working for a corporation or nonprofit would only collect items dealing with that organization's interests or goals.

With sufficient work experience and education, those interested in administration may work as head of a film and video department, or even as a library director.

Tips for Entry

Attend conferences held by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and other professional associations in order to network, pursue continuing education, and learn more about the field.

Visit http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/careers/librarycareerssite/home for more information on library science careers.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings: http://joblist.ala.org and http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/hrdr/placementservice/currentconference.