How to Become a Librarian in Kansas

Libraries in Kansas are notKansas Librarian Education intended solely for usage by sighted people. The week of March 6, 2023 has been designated Kansas Talking Books Week. This week, libraries statewide will highlight Braille resources available to non-sighted library patrons. With the support of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Kansas libraries will make downloadable books, reading challenges, book clubs, and more available to eligible residents. The Kansas Talking Books Program, headquartered at Emporia State University, offers an on-site recording studio that allows staff and volunteers to record books and magazines and make them available for non-sighted readers. In order to qualify to use the materials in this program, residents of Kansas must have a qualifying print disability. This includes blindness, low vision, reading disability, and physical impairments. 

The State Library of Kansas maintains an online directory of various types of libraries throughout the state. These include public libraries, regents’ libraries, regional system libraries, law libraries, special libraries, private college libraries, community college libraries, health care libraries, and corporate libraries. A quick scan of this directory will show anyone who is interested in becoming a Kansas librarian that there is a myriad of choices available for employment, for those who have received the proper training and education.

What Does a Kansas Librarian Do?

As Kansas is home to many different kinds of libraries, job descriptions for the librarians who work at each one may differ. Some generally accepted duties of most Kansas librarians include, but are not limited to:

  • Responding to questions from library patrons about a variety of subjects
  • Assisting library patrons in the usage of library resources by phone, email, in person, and instant message interactions
  • Providing pleasant and effective customer service to library patrons
  • Provide cataloging services for the library
  • Maintaining library collections, weeding out materials as needed and recommending the addition of materials as needed
  • Maintain database support for the library
  • Updating library web pages
  • Developing research guides for library patrons to use
  • Present programs for library patrons and the wider community 

Librarian Education in Kansas?

If you want to become a Kansas librarian, you must earn either a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree from a college whose program holds American Library Association (ALA) accreditation. There is currently one program like this in Kansas, at Emporia State University. This school’s Master of Library Science program is presented to students fully online. Concentrations that students may select in this MLS program include:

  • Archives Studies
  • Health Information Professionals
  • Informatics
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Youth Services
  • Outreach and Community Engagement
  • School Library Media Licensure 

Kansas Librarian Certification

Kansas’ public librarians need not be certified. School librarians in Kansas need to possess an MLS and a teacher’s license, and must pass examinations in order to earn a Library Media Specialist endorsement on their license and be qualified to hold that position within K-12 schools.

Librarians Jobs in Kansas

Job seekers in Kansas may consult the JobList for national openings for librarians. The State Library of Kansas also lists available positions on its Employment page. Additionally, job seekers may find jobs through the Kansas Library Association’s Job Bank.

What are Librarians Salaries in Kansas

Kansas librarians average $28.03 per hour and $58,310 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 salary data. Librarians employed in the Lawrence area earn higher than average wages of $31.16 per hour and $64,810 per year. Those in the Topeka area also earn higher than the average Kansas librarian does, at $29.46 hourly and $61,270 yearly. Wichita librarians earn slightly more than the state average for librarians, at $28.43 per hour and $59,140 per year. 

Job Prospects for Kansas Librarians 

Jobs for Kansas librarians are usually plentiful statewide. The websites mentioned above will advertise available positions as they open. These librarian positions were open in Kansas in March 2023:

  • Legal Librarian – Spencer Fane, Kansas City, KS
    • Pay rate: $50,100 to $63,400 per year
    • Candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree
    • Candidates should have two to four years of professional work experience
    • Candidates with law firm work experience are preferred
  • Archivist – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Abilene, KS
    • Pay rate: $57,118 to $89,835 per year
    • Candidates need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in archival science
    • Candidates must have experience researching and reporting on archival records
  • Librarian I, Reference and Cataloging – Kansas State Library, Topeka, KS
    • Pay rate: $17.25 to $19.75 per hour
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited school
    • Candidates need experience with Windows and Office
    • Candidates with previous library working experience are preferred
    • Candidates with previous work experience in reference services, cataloging, customer service, technical services, and/or collection development are preferred
  • Children’s Librarian – Wamego Public Library, Wamego, KS
    • Pay rate: $13 to $15 per hour
    • Candidates need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
    • Candidates must have one to three years of work experience with children in an educational setting
    • Candidates with prior management experience are preferred
    • Candidates may need a valid driver’s license
    • Candidates must be able to type
  • Librarian – Liberal United School District, Liberal, KS
    • Pay rate: $35,700 to $45,200 per year
    • Candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
    • Candidates must have a valid Kansas Teaching Certificate, preferably with School Media Specialist endorsement
    • Candidates with and additional endorsement in ESOL are preferred
    • Candidates must have verification of student teaching experience or successful classroom teaching experience