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Job Descriptions

Page history last edited by Alaska State Library: Library Development 15 years, 11 months ago

Library Media Specialist Job Description


Educational Requirements

According to the American Association of School Librarians' position statement on preparation of school library media specialists:


School library media specialists have a broad undergraduate education with a liberal arts background and hold a master's degree or equivalent from a program that combines academic and professional preparation in library and information science, education, management, media, communications theory, and technology. The academic program of study includes some directed field experience in a library media program, coordinated by a faculty member in cooperation with an experienced library media specialist. Library media specialists meet state certification requirements for both the library media specialist and the professional educator classifications. While there may be many practicing library media specialists who have only an under-graduate degree and whose job performance is outstanding, the masters degree is considered the entry-level degree for the profession.


The graduate degree is earned at colleges and universities whose programs are accredited by appropriate bodies such as the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), or state education agencies. (9/92)


Duties and Responsibilities

The library media specialist has at least three different roles within the school – administrator, teacher, and informational consultant – and is a key member of the educational staff. The list provided here shows some of the major duties and responsibilities that differentiate this position from others in the district.



  • Establishes yearly and long-term goals for the library media program aligned with the district’s mission, goals and objectives.
  • Administers the library media program, developing policies and procedures to assure efficient operation and services.
  • Administers set up and maintenance of automated catalog and circulation system.
  • Selects, purchases and processes new materials to assure a current and balanced collection representing diverse points of view in accordance with the district materials selection policy.
  • Conducts an annual survey as a means of evaluating the library media program and its services and to provide a forum for faculty and student input and suggestions.
  • Prepares and administers the library budget.
  • In coordination with building/district administration, writes and applies for grants as appropriate to support library goals.
  • Classifies, catalogs, and circulates library materials and instructs students and staff in the use of the library system.
  • Expands access to information through use of online resources and conducting interlibrary loans.
  • Networks with other professionals through participation in local, state, and national organizations.
  • Participates in curriculum development on building and district levels.
  • Maintains circulation and collection records, providing regular reports as needed.
  • Trains and supervises paraprofessionals as well as adult and student volunteers.
  • Supervises the regular inventory of the library collection, weeds obsolete and worn materials on an ongoing basis, and maintains an up-to-date catalog of collection.
  • Works with school staff to develop a schedule for effective use of the library by groups (large and small) and individuals.
  • Works with parents, teachers, students, administrators, and community members to enhance learning.



  • Helps students develop attitudes, habits, and skills that will enable them to become lifelong readers and learners.
  • Collaborates with classroom teachers in designing, implementing, and evaluating instruction.
  • Teaches/models current, innovative methodology and incorporates the Alaska Content Standards for Library/Information Literacy in delivering instruction.
  • Provides group and individual instruction in information literacy skills, research strategies, and use of resources and equipment.
  • Actively promotes reading and library use through such activities as storytelling, booktalks, displays, publications, reading programs, and special events.
  • Provides reference and readers' advisory services to all students, including those with reading problems or special educational needs.
  • Develops bibliographies, displays, bulletin boards, etc. to support school themes, extend classroom learning, and to promote interest in reading.
  • Assumes a leadership role in promoting the principles of intellectual freedom by creating and sustaining an environment promoting free inquiry and exposing students to a broad range of ideas.
  • Updates instructional and library-related professional skills through attending conferences and participating in continuing education opportunities.


Informational Consultant

  • Functions as the information leader within the school.
  • Collaborates with instructional staff in preparing and delivering lessons that make effective use of information resources and incorporate the use of information literacy skills.
  • Provides staff development opportunities in the use of information resources in a variety of formats and integration of information literacy skills throughout the curriculum.
  • Informs students and staff of the arrival of new materials.
  • Gathers and disseminates professional development materials, especially those most closely aligned with building-level and district-wide goals.
  • Serves as the staff resource on library-related issues such as copyright and intellectual freedom.


Reporting Relationships

The building-level school library media specialist reports to the building principal, and a district-level library media specialist usually reports to the assistants to the superintendent.


Library Paraprofessional - Job Description

This list is intended to be illustrative rather than complete, and serves to show major duties and responsibilities that differentiates the position from others in the district.



  • The library paraprofessional is a person trained and skilled in the areas of technical services who in some cases is in charge of overseeing basic school library operations and in other cases provides assistance to the professional library media specialist.
  • The paraprofessional assists others in using the library catalog system, library computers and software, and audiovisual equipment.
  • An effective paraprofessional has the ability to work independently and cope with continual interruptions and shifting job priorities. He or she should have excellent computer and keyboarding skills. Interests, skills, and the affinity for working directly with young people is necessary. This is a position that involves a great deal of activity and requires strong public-relations skills.


Educational Requirements

The position requires a high diploma and, preferably, training in the fields of libraries, computers, reading, and audiovisual materials and equipment.


Duties and Responsilities

  1. Assists in maintaining an organized and up-to-date catalog and circulation system.
  2. Processes new materials, making them ready for checkout.
  3. Keeps the library media center organized, clean, neat, and welcoming to visitors.
  4. Prepares bulletin boards, displays, bibliographies, etc. on a regular basis.
  5. Helps students and faculty locate materials through the use of the automated catalog and electronic resources.
  6. Assists in finding and verifying bibliographic information.
  7. Monitors students while using the library.
  8. Prepares and disseminates overdue notices and collects replacement costs for lost/damaged items.
  9. Shelves materials and makes sure items are maintained in Dewey order.
  10. Obtains basic or “copy cataloging” information for newly acquired materials.
  11. Arranges for interlibrary loans and maintains appropriate interlibrary loan records and reports.
  12. Maintains and updates databases of purchase orders and video and periodical collections.
  13. Keeps statistical records on usage, circulation, etc.
  14. Notifies students when reserved books are available.
  15. Assists in preparing bibliographies.
  16. Assists with displays and other special projects.
  17. Supervises and executes automated inventory.
  18. Helps to maintain a friendly and helpful atmosphere for students and faculty.
  19. Performs any other related duties that may be assigned by the library information specialist.


Reporting Relations

The library paraprofessional is responsible, usually through the library information specialist, to the school principal.

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