How to Become a Librarian in Delaware

Delaware Librarian Education

In 2020, the Delaware Journal of Public Health devoted an issue to the ways in which public libraries contribute to the health and well-being of Delaware communities. In addition to promoting literacy for all ages, Delaware public libraries recently became Naloxone Points of Distribution (POD), helped promote participation in the 2020 census, have provided information on social services available in the state, and are preparing to take on the role of second responders should a disaster strike. Additionally, Delaware’s libraries work hand-in-hand with the state’s pediatricians to provide access to books and early literacy information for Delaware’s children. 

The Delaware Library Association (DLA) is an all-volunteer organization that advocates for librarians, increasing public awareness of the importance of librarians and libraries. It provides education, promotes literacy and facilitates equal access to all resources. The DLA also provides a variety of scholarships for those who wish to study to become a librarian. Opportunities for librarian careers in Delaware include public librarian, school librarian, and a variety of special librarian positions, such as medical research librarian, archivist, data curation expert, and academic librarian, just to name a few.

Many supportive resources exist for librarians in Delaware. The First State seems to be a great place in which librarians can work. To discover how you can become a Delaware librarian, please keep reading.

What Does a Delaware Librarian Do?

Public librarians in Delaware have vastly different jobs these days than librarians of old. While some patrons still physically visit libraries, many prefer to access library materials online. The Delaware Library Consortium (DLC) allows Delaware residents to access information through a single online database. Membership in the DLC includes 33 public libraries, 6 academic libraries, 16 school libraries, and 15 special libraries. Patrons who log onto the DLC can access information from any of these participating libraries, from the comfort of their own homes. 

Delaware is home to 35 public libraries:  15 in New Castle County, 6 in Kent County, and 14 in Sussex County. Public librarians working throughout the state’s three counties help patrons in-person and online. They also understand their crucial role in providing all of Delaware’s residents equal access to information they need in order to form sound opinions and make informed decisions about their government. 

Delaware’s librarians are essential to encouraging and enhancing literacy among residents of all ages. They value educational achievement and promote lifelong learning. The materials and support that librarians and their programs provide to Delaware residents help each of them to reach their full potential. 

Delaware libraries even provide an online “ask a librarian” feature. Here, patrons may email librarians with any question they may have, and receive an answer via email within two business days. Librarians will also accept book purchase and interlibrary loan requests via this form.

What Education is Necessary to Become a Librarian in Delaware?

Delaware librarians need an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree in order to qualify for most, if not all, librarian jobs.  This includes public librarian, school librarian, and special librarians. Many employers will also accept the traditional Master of Library Science (MLS) degree. There are currently (2022) no ALA-accredited MLS or MLIS programs in Delaware. You may attend a program in any state. Also, there are many accredited MLS and MLIS programs online

MLS or MLIS programs will require that you have a bachelor’s degree before being granted admission to their program. This may be a Bachelor of Library Science (BLS), Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS), or a relevant bachelor’s degree. 

What Certification is Necessary for Delaware Librarians?

Delaware does not require its librarians to be state-certified, nor do they need to complete any continuing education to maintain their jobs. Only school librarians in Delaware must be certified. Prospective school librarians in Delaware need an MLS/MLIS degree, or a graduate degree in any area if they complete an approved school media program. They must also have one year of teaching experience and pass the PPAT and edTPA tests administered by Educational Testing Services and Pearson. Finally, they must pass a background check before being awarded school librarian certification.

Where Do Librarians Work in Delaware?

Delaware’s public librarians work within the 35 public libraries statewide. School librarians may work within the state’s 220 public schools and charter schools, as well as its numerous private schools. Specialty librarian positions also exist in museums, corporations, and information service companies. 

What Do Librarians Earn in Delaware?

Delaware librarians earn an hourly mean wage of $34.49 and annual mean wage of $71,750 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021). Librarians operating from the state capital of Dover earn $29.56 per hour mean wage and a $61,480 yearly mean wage.

Job Prospects for Delaware Librarians 

There are multiple kinds of jobs for librarians in Delaware who are educated, trained and have experience. Some examples include:

  • Librarian – Library Systems & Services, LLC, New Castle
    • Salary: $50,979 to $53,600 per year 
    • Must have MLS, MLIS or Masters in Archives and Records Management
    • Must have two years of experience working in federal records management or at an information center
  • Technical Services Librarian – Widener University, Wilmington (hybrid remote position)
    • Salary: $58,400 to $73,900 per year
    • Must have MLS or MLIS degree
    • Must have experience or education in library technical services and systems
    • Prefer candidates with law library experience and education
  • Librarian and Coordinator, Acquisitions Services – University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, Newark
    • Salary: $53,200 to $67,300 per year
    • Must have MLS or MLIS degree
    • Prefer candidates with supervisory experience
  • Cataloging and Collection Development Librarian – Delaware State University, Dover
    • Salary: not given
    • Must have MLS or MLIS degree
    • Must have three years of experience in academic library technical services, and two to three years of experience in supervising
    • Must have cataloging, collection development and acquisitions experience
    • Prefer candidates with a second master’s degree and Banner experience 
  • Interlibrary Loan and Reference Services Librarian – Delaware State University, Dover
    • Salary: not given
    • Must have MLIS or MLS degree
    • Must have three years of experience working in an academic library 
    • Prefer candidates with a second master’s degree in a related area