How to Become a Librarian in India: The Complete Career Guide

Do you want to become a librarian? If yes, this article will be of help to you. This article has been crafted keeping the needs of Indian Librarianship aspirants in mind. This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about librarianship. Graduates as well as 12th standard passed students may make use of this guide and set career goals!


Before heading to the meat of the matter – how to become a librarian – let us check out some basic details about library science courses and librarianship. In the next section, you’ll find answers to questions like- “Who is a librarian?”, “What are his/her tasks?”, “Which are the popular library science courses available in India?” etc.


Librarianship: An Introduction

A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library, providing access to sources of information (books, newspapers, magazines and electronic sources) and sometimes social or technical programming. Librarians are trained professionals who are knowledgeable about areas like library and information science.


In simple terms, librarians look after and manage a library. A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing.

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Most of us have been to a library at some point in our lives. In India, schools, colleges and educational institutes usually have good libraries. Apart from that, there also exist many public as well as private libraries all across the country.


A library doesn’t just collect only books. Modern libraries also collect other forms of sources of information such as- CDs, DVDs, E Books, Audiobooks, Newspapers, Magazines, Documents and Databases. Traditional printed books have given way to electronic sources of information. That’s why modern library science courses also give importance to electronic information sources and information science.


Earlier, I mentioned how librarians look after and manage a library. Let us take a closer look at the tasks performed by librarians. Librarianship is not just about lending/renting books and maintaining its record! Lending/circulation is just a part of it!


Following are the main tasks performed by a librarian. These tasks ensure smooth functioning of a library –

  • Cataloging – Cataloging means organizing information resources so that patrons can easily find and get what they need. Cataloging involves gathering, assembling and indexing information sources.
  • Administrative Duties – Administrative duties performed by a librarian includes staff management, stationery management, budget management, supplies management and overall library management.
  • Promotional Activities – Such activities include promoting the use of library resources and organizing events like reading camps, outreach programs and community events.
  • Assisting readers/users – Librarians are supposed to assist library users. They answer users’ questions, assist and guide them.


To thrive in this profession, one must possess librarianship skills and knowledge. One must also hold a valid Degree to become a librarian. You’ll find more details about courses and eligibility criteria in the next section –


List of Librarian courses, eligibility & details

Bachelor of Library and Information Science (B.L.I.Sc.) or Bachelor of Library Science (B.Lib.) are the two most popular courses, which will help you earn the title of ‘librarian’. Both of these courses are PG courses. You must be a graduate in order to be considered eligible to pursue any of these courses.


Apart from the above mentioned courses, there also exist Diploma as well as Certificate library Science courses in India. For those interested in higher studies, Master’s, M.Phil. and PhD programs are also present.


This table will give you a general idea about library and information science courses available in India –

Bachelor’s Degree Librarian Courses: Bachelor of Library Science & Bachelor of Library and Information Science
PG (Advanced) Librarian Courses: Master of Library Science, Master of Library and Information Science, M.Phil. Library and Information Science & PhD in Library and Information Science
Librarian Diploma Courses: Diploma in Library Science & Diploma in Library and Information Science
Librarian Certificate Courses: Certificate in Library Science & Certificate in Library and Information Science


B.L.I.Sc. and B.Lib. are widely accepted and popular courses. To become a librarian, you must pursue any one of the above mentioned courses. The course duration is 1 year.


How to Become a Librarian: Step-By-Step Guide


1 Satisfy eligibility criteria

B.L.I.Sc. and B.Lib. are widely accepted library science courses in India. For good career prospects in this profession, it is recommended to pursue any one of the above mentioned courses.


One must be a graduate to pursue the above mentioned courses. If you satisfy this requirement, you may proceed to the next step.


2 Secure admission

Reputed institutes follow merit based admission process. Deserving candidates are allotted seats based on their performance in entrance test or selection process.


3 Complete the academic program

Academic program is 1 year long. After completing the academic program successfully, candidates will be awarded B.L.I.Sc. or B.Lib. Degree.


4 Apply for job or go for higher studies

The Degree will be enough to secure librarian’s job at educational institutes, public libraries and other relevant organizations. If you want to go for higher studies, courses like M.L.I.Sc., M.Phil. and PhD are available in front of you.


Job profiles available in front of librarians include –

  • Chief Librarian/Librarian
  • Assistant Librarian
  • Library Attendant
  • Records Manager
  • Junior Librarian
  • Archivist
  • Law Librarian
  • Consultant


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Arun Kallarackal
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