Emerging Jobs in Libraries

A look at library jobs that are increasing in popularity.

American Libraries recently published an article showcasing five library jobs that are increasing in popularity. Solutions created ten years ago now have more extended support to community members, especially as our world continues to evolve. Libraries saw an unprecedented decline in employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. To enhance patron opportunities and expand library roles, valuable new career opportunities have emerged.

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User Experience Librarian

The definition of a User Experience (UX) Librarian is broad, flexible, and continually evolving. For some libraries, this could mean a person in charge of ensuring all resources are accessible. For others, the role could mean overseeing customer service. Some libraries are even changing “circulation departments” to “user experience departments.” At their core, UX librarians conduct research to make sure their library continually improves customer experiences.

Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Libraries are valuable resources, but they’re not perfect. Unfortunately, systemic racism and institutionalized discrimination restrict patrons from specific library opportunities.

A director of equity, diversity, and inclusion (sometimes including antiracism) strives to meet the needs of community members and dismantle these obstacles. Their role may include negotiations over controversial topics and collaborating with board members to make libraries more inclusive spaces. 

Sustainability Librarian

At first glance, the role of a sustainability librarian may seem straightforward. However, there’s more that goes into sustainability than people realize. Sustainability never comes with linear solutions, significantly when many barriers correlate with systemic racism and accessibility obstacles. In reality, sustainability librarians work alongside many other roles to ensure facilities make decisions that positively affect the environment and their communities.

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Data Visualization Librarian

Data Visualization Librarians are becoming increasingly popular in academic libraries. These librarians specialize in optimizing data visualization software for university students, faculty, and community patrons. They might also host classes or workshops to teach others how to utilize these resources at their convenience. They’re also researchers who continually learn about new technologies while collaborating with other researchers to share information with a broader audience.

Open Educational Resources Librarian

Another essential role for higher education has since become popular in K-12 schools. In summary, Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarians make educational materials affordable and accessible. They specialize in finding and storing materials like textbooks in their library’s facility. This role has proven vital for non-traditional students who may not otherwise have access to necessary school resources.