A librarian’s job goes beyond just issuing books.

Books are a colossal gateway that leads you to a world full of imagination, ideas and inspiration. It is books that make you curious, wander and wonder. Imagine if you were the royal guardian of these books. Does that excite you? Well, if you love reading books, then being a librarian is a career option for you and that too a fruitful one.

Ask anyone what a librarian does, and the answer will be: The librarian issues books, ensures their return and keeps tracks of due dates. Well, that’s just one aspect of what a librarian does.

Who can take it up?

The minimum qualification required to take up a course in Library Science is graduation, that is BLIS (Bachelor of Library and Information Science).

The duration of the course is one year after which you can go on to do a master’s degree. Being a librarian sounds easy, but it entails more than just keeping books or dusting them off. One needs to have a basic interest in books and good communication skills.

A librarian should be able to anticipate the reader’s needs. Following up on the trends relating to publishing, books, children’s reading pattern is an integral part of being a librarian.

Librarians are keepers of information. Hence, a huge bank of information will have to be maintained, organised, acquired and disseminated.

It is a slow but steady process, as you go from being a library assistant to a junior librarian to assistant librarian and eventually a director and head the library. Employment opportunities are available in foreign embassies, information centres, news agencies, universities and academic institutions, private organisations and special libraries.

Vani Mahesh, founder of Easy Lib, Bangalore, believes that you can be a librarian only if you are passionate about books. “It is something you’re going to be doing everyday,” she says. “You have to possess a natural love for books. You could be making or breaking into a child’s reading habits.”

Mahesh is of the opinion that India needs more libraries, and definitely more librarians. “Take a book shop for example.

Most of these bookshop keepers don’t even know the kinds of books they have, which is why I think we need more librarians.” The city is warming up to the idea of developing the skills of a librarian.

The Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in collaboration with Hippocampus conducted a Librarian Training Workshop in February in which teachers from over 20 schools participated.

The trainers, Eva Von Jordan and Julia Willhem, who were from the Frankfurt Public Library, Germany, taught the different aspects of librarianship.

T. Vijayalakshmi, head of the library and cultural centre, British Council believes that inspite of advancement in technologies, libraries are indispensable.

“They are powerhouses of knowledge in a format which is easily accessible to people,” she says.

“If libraries are crucial to house and disseminate knowledge, then librarians are necessary to provide the right guidance on their appropriate use. They will be able to direct a person to the right resource.”