Any Children's Librarians Out There?

If so, please tell me how I can break into children's librarianship? After I graduated with my MLS, I was forced to take a position in the archives/records management field--the bank didn't care that there were no librarianship jobs around. I have been applying for children's librarian jobs for over a year and its been rejection after rejection. I know I don't have that much experience, but how am I supposed to gain more experience if no one will give me a chance? Any insights?

Thanks for listening.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 


I am not a children's librarian, but I work in the same library with one. I am also an early-career librarian (next month marks two years on the job), so I do sympathize.

If you have the kind of schedule that allows for any volunteering, you might try contacting children's librarians in your area and asking if you can help. I know that my colleague in our children's department always has so much going on for the kids that she could always use some good volunteers. Your MLS and your interest in children's librarianship ought to make you an attractive candidate for helping out (as long as you stay humble and don't try to take over).

Volunteer experience, of course, does not carry as much weight as job experience, but it sure beats nothing ... and could just end up leading to something better.

... {Mock Turtle} ...

Thanks for your comment. I actually contacted a popular library around me and went in to speak with the assistant director. The assistant director said the children's librarian would need to be spoken with. However, I have yet to hear back from anyone at the library--I have e-mailed the assistant director twice.

There are professionally rewarding childrens' librarians positions available. However if you find one that pays well it is far away, or if you can relocate it pays nothing. I do hope you find one soon.

Of course you are trying the websites such as LIS jobs. My state (which is too damn hot right now) has a site at (ignore the requires MLS column often the people that submit the jobs screw that up).

Bon Chance!

Thank you! I am not giving up but I am getting discouraged.

Take action. Show up in person at the library and try to catch the librarian in person. Don't expect her to play phone tag with you. You have to want the volunteer position enough to go after it; she doesn't need you as much as you need to get the volunteer position.
How many children's services classes did you take in library school? Be sure that your resume features them and any other activities you you have done where you worked with children. Camp councilor, doing craft programs, volunteer storyteller at church, anything like that.
Take any classes that you can for enrichment in the children's lit field. Build up your internet skills and computer abilities. In California, there is a company called InfoPeople that has all sorts of classes available. Their classes run about $75 for a day long session. See if you can get experience doing a storytime at a local bookstore; do reviews of children's books, anything to show your expertise and skill working with children. Volunteer to do a children's book column in the local newspaper or set up a blog online.
Being a children's librarian is very rewarding, but is also a lot of work. They set up programs and plan events, write publicity, catalog (or at least input) their new books, weed the collection, buy what is needed for the community, plan and present storytimes/craft programs, answer most of the regular reference desk questions that the adult librarians do, baby sit and supervise the internet usage, police the library for naughty patrons, etc. The wide experience that they get helps them move up the chain of command; also, many burn out after five to 10 years, so get into the public library system however you can, and work your way around from within the system.
good luck!

Subscribe to Comments for "Any Children's Librarians Out There?"