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Film and Video Librarian Job Description, Career as a Film and Video Librarian, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Master’s degree

Average Salary $52,000 per year

Job Outlook Good

Basic Job Description

Film and video librarians classify, organize and maintain a library of movies, photographic slides and tapes of various types of films and videos. They work similar to a librarian who works with books in the sense that they keep a record of all the files available and which ones are currently on shelves or out being rented by customers. Film and video librarians also restock and shelve products once they have been returned. They often have a computerized system that will help customers find what they are looking for and check its availability. Film and video librarians often work in a regular public library but work strictly in the department that works with motion pictures and tapes rather than books.

Education and Training Requirements

The education requirements for any type of librarian vary according to where the person plans to work. In most states, a Master’s degree in library science is required for anyone to work as a librarian. Employers prefer for librarians to attend a graduate program at a university that is accredited by the American Library Association.

Someone who wants to obtain a graduate degree in library science must already have a Bachelor’s degree. Students can have any degree in order to get into the program. Many obtain a Bachelor’s in history or English. Those who want to work as a film and video librarian might focus their undergraduate program on film studies or something else that will help them develop an understanding of the history of film and movies.

Those who want to work as a film and video librarian will usually work in a library while attending school. There are plenty of positions available in libraries, both paid and unpaid, that will give a student an excellent understanding of how the environment works. Some students may work as receptionists or customer service workers who check items in and out from customers and help them find what they need. Others may work with students who are attending after school programs at the library and assist with these programs. Any job in a library is an excellent way for an aspiring film and video librarian to understand what the job entails.

Getting the Job

Film and video librarians need to have excellent communication skills. They need to be able to talk to customers and help them find what they need. Film and video librarians also need an excellent understanding of the film industry to help customers find something that suits their needs or tastes. Students will often come in looking for something that will help them with a film project, and librarians will need to be able to find out what their project entails and then find a book that will help them.

Film and video librarians must also have an excellent sense of organization. They have to understand and follow a guide that keeps each item in the library in its place and easy to access. Many libraries use the Dewey decimal system to keep items organized, so librarians must understand how it works and how to keep it up to date with the thousands of items they may have to keep organized.

Most importantly, a film and video librarian must be passionate about the film industry and want to share their love for it with others. They will be well educated on a variety of films, videos, and genres and will be able to help any customer find anything they are looking for.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

After a film and video librarian spends a significant amount of time working in their department, they may be able to advance to an administrative position or to head of the department or entire library. Many libraries are also working to keep up with technological advancements and incorporate them into their systems and routines. Libraries are often looking for employees who can keep up with these advancements and help them incorporate them into their system.

Employment outlook for film and video librarians is expected to grow at an average pace. Librarians in all departments are generally part of the baby boomer generation, so they will soon be retiring and looking for replacements. However, in recent years there has been a climb in the amount of people who are getting an education in library science, so there is expected to be an increased amount of competition in the field.

Working Conditions and Environment

Film and video librarians spend a lot of time at their computer doing paperwork and keeping records up to date. Librarians also work with customers to help them find resources they need for school projects or personal interest. This can be a fun and rewarding part of their career, but some library patrons may wind up working with someone who is on a strict deadline and needs a lot of information in a short period of time. Librarians will need to be able to work with stressed students and operate the system so they can quickly find what they need.

Film and video librarians usually work a full-time position and have the same schedule each week. They will occasionally work evenings or weekends if there are programs going on or if the library has extended hours on certain days. Librarians rarely work over time, and are usually employed through the state so they have all federal holidays off work.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a film and video librarian is about $52,000 per year. Librarians who work in smaller cities will make significantly less than those who work in a large public library. Film and video librarians who are head of the department in a large library can make up to $80,000 per year at the height of their career.

Film and video librarians are often employed through the state government, so they receive excellent benefits such as health insurance, vacation and sick leave allowance, and job security. Those who work in a city with an increasing population have the best job security, as there is less likely to be any cutbacks.

Where to Go for More Information

American Library Association
50 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
(800) 545-2433

International Federation of Film archives
1 Rue Defacqz
B-1000 Brussells Belgium

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts