When most people think of librarians, they picture people who work in a public library. Special librarians, however, often work for the government or private businesses. With the constant advancement of technology, the need for professionals who can organize and filter all the information accessible today has grown. Special librarians are able to separate data to find the most useful information for their employer. They focus on information that only pertains to their area of expertise and their employer's needs.
Traditional librarians don't need a specific academic background. They typically work in a Library with a variety of texts and are responsible for organizing and maintaining different resources, but they don't need to know them in detail. Special librarians, on the other hand, are required to have a strong academic background in a specific area. They must be experts in their chosen field, and their opinion is highly regarded by their employer.
When hiring special librarians, most employers look for a master's degree in Library science with concentration in a specific field. Because they are typically required to have advanced degrees, special librarians are paid considerably more than traditional librarians. The most desirable candidates have a Master's degree in Library science with a Bachelor's degree in their area of expertise. The education level special librarians need to have depends on their employer. Some positions only require a high school diploma and relevant work experience, but they are rare. The wide variety of special librarian jobs have extensive educational requirements, especially positions in government institutions and high-profile museums.
Special librarians act as information brokers and consultants for their employer. They are responsible for providing accurate information quickly and efficiently. When the employer needs in-depth information on any subject, they turn to the special librarian to provide it. There is so much data available at people's fingertips that they need employees who can filter it for them to give them the facts they need. Whenever they have a question about a particular subject, employers consult the special librarian. Because this information usually needs to be provided quickly, special librarians often work on a deadline. Unlike traditional librarians, they often work under pressure and need to know how to deal with strict time constraints.
There are many career opportunities for special librarians in a variety of industries. Many companies in the public and private sector have a special Library where employees work on collecting and maintaining specific data. Special librarians are typically required to have advanced educational degrees since they are expected to provide up-to-date accurate information in their area of expertise. Because employers turn to them whenever they need information on any given subject, special librarians play a very important role in every industry.