Chief Librarian

Oversee a library's operations, budgets, and staff.
picture of Chief Librarian

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $84,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Chief Librarians do?

Hey Chief! That impressive title could refer to the Fire Chief, the Indian Chief, or the Chief Sustainability Officer. But when someone is educated and passionate about literature, he could earn the title of Chief Librarian. With that on his nameplate, he helps run the show at the local library using his love of the written word.

Do you think you’d fit into the Chief Librarian hat? As a Chief Librarian, you spend all day sharing your book love with patrons. That might include helping them figure out how to use the electronic database to find books, or rattling off the Dewey Decimal System number for any topic they inquire about. And by the way, modern libraries also require you to know about technology, like movies, streamable content, computer games, and books on disc.

In addition to assisting customers, you serve as the Library Director ’s right hand. That means you communicate ideas and problems with her. Together, you come up with programs that help bring the community into the library. For example, you might schedule a story time, have special guests perform, or sponsor a book club.

Your Chief Librarian job also has you spending time in budget meetings and sharing ideas about expenditures. In addition, you organize the (hopefully) huge number of volunteers who help sort, code, and shelve books. With you at the helm, patrons, taxpayers, and your boss are all happy at the end of the day.


Should I be a Chief Librarian?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Chief Librarian

    Most Chief Librarians have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aabj9a&chl=||associate%27s+%282%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2813%25%29|master%27s+%2884%25%29|doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,84
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