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How do I find a job as a school librarian?

I'm a resident of Syria and have already completed my bachelor's in library and information. I also have 6 years of experience working in libraries. Finding a job has been incredibly difficult because of the constant conflict/war in my country.

Thank you comment icon Some great guidance already. Are you considering remote positions? I think there are some libraries that hire remote Reference Librarians to answer questions. What a wonderful career and it's such an advantage that you got a related degree. You're gonna have a wonderful career! Lisa Towles

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Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Souad!

Securing a position as a school librarian might seem daunting, particularly in nations like Syria, where conflict or war is prevalent. However, your bachelor's degree in library and information, coupled with your six years of experience in library work, has equipped you with a robust foundation for this career path. This detailed guide will delve into diverse strategies and resources to assist you in your quest to become a school librarian.

1. Networking and Professional Associations: Networking is a critical tool for any job seeker. Establish connections with professionals in the library and education sectors to broaden your network, thereby enhancing your chances of discovering job opportunities. Participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars related to librarianship or education to encounter potential employers or colleagues who can offer insightful advice and recommendations.

Consider joining professional associations like the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) or the American Library Association (ALA). These associations provide job boards, networking events, and resources tailored for librarians. They also present opportunities for professional development and continuing education, which can bolster your skills and increase your appeal to potential employers.

2. Online Job Portals and Websites: Make use of online job portals and websites specializing in education or library-related roles. Some notable platforms include:

SchoolSpring: An online job board dedicated to education-related roles, allowing you to search for school librarian jobs globally, including remote or international opportunities.
Library Job Postings on ALA: The American Library Association’s website features a job board specifically for library positions. You can filter the search results by location, job type, and other criteria.
International School Services (ISS): An organization that links educators with international schools worldwide. They have a dedicated section for library positions on their website.
Ensure your resume/CV is current and tailored to emphasize your relevant skills and experiences. Craft an engaging cover letter that highlights your enthusiasm for librarianship and your potential contributions to the school community.

3. Volunteer or Internship Opportunities: Consider volunteering or interning at libraries, schools, or educational institutions to gain more experience and broaden your professional network. While these roles may not be paid, they offer valuable practical experience and showcase your dedication to the field. Volunteering can also open doors to potential job opportunities or recommendations from supervisors who have seen your skills in action.

Contact local schools, universities, or community centers to inquire about any available volunteer or internship roles. Even if there are no immediate openings, expressing your interest and eagerness to contribute can leave a positive impression and increase your chances of being considered when a position becomes available.

4. Online Presence and Professional Development: Establishing an online presence can help you showcase your expertise and connect with potential employers. Create a professional profile on platforms like LinkedIn, highlighting your education, experience, and skills. Join relevant groups and participate in discussions to further expand your network.

Consider creating a personal website or blog where you can share your insights, projects, and recommendations related to librarianship. This can act as a portfolio of your work and demonstrate your commitment to the profession.

Continuing professional development is crucial in librarianship. Stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices by attending webinars, online courses, or workshops offered by reputable organizations like IASL or ALA. These opportunities not only enhance your knowledge but also demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning.

5. Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Look for job opportunities with government agencies or NGOs that focus on education and literacy initiatives. These organizations often need librarians to support their programs or establish libraries in underserved communities. Research organizations that operate in Syria or neighboring countries and contact them directly to inquire about any available positions.

Remember, the job market in conflict-affected areas can be particularly challenging. However, determination, networking, and utilizing various resources can enhance your chances of securing a job as a school librarian.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names:

International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) - www.iasl-online.org
American Library Association (ALA) - www.ala.org
SchoolSpring - www.schoolspring.com

May God Bless You Abundantly,
James Constantine.
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Asad’s Answer

Hey Souad! I think becoming a school librarian depends on where you end up. I'm unsure how to help if you're seeking a position in Syria, but if you've resettled in North America, then typically school librarians have gone through teaching school, or have the minimum requirement of being an educator (whether it's elementary, middle, or high school). My wife worked in her school library for the last few months of the last school year but she is a fully qualified teacher here in Ontario Canada, which requires her to have a masters degree in education or teaching. I hope this helps! I'd recommend searching your local area's requirements.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Souad
Thank you comment icon Hello Asad, thanks for answering my question really. I left my job for many reasons and I have degree bachelor science libraries and information long time and had experience also. 6 years as librarian school. Left my job before 10 years ago. I wanna get new chances far of this place not healthy really here. Thanks again for kindness 😊😊 Souad
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r c’s Answer

Hello Souad, I agree with Asad's answer. Your search for a school librarian position depends on where you want to relocate. Different countries have different requirements for working in school librarianship. You might want to start with the International Association of School Librarianship: https://iasl-online.org/WOW-Public-Access . In each country's profile are additional links to more information. I hope this helps get you started!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Souad
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