How to Become a Librarian in Minnesota

Public libraries in MinnesotaMinnesota Librarian Education have teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to offer library users free weekly passes to state parks. (The usual daily fee per vehicle for entrance to a Minnesota state park is $7). The program, which started in June 2021, was designed to reach Minnesotans living within lower-income communities and increase their access to outdoor spaces. Public libraries within cities and counties having a median annual household income of $58,000 or less, or in which schools have over 40 percent of students enrolled in the federal free and reduced student lunch program, are included within this initiative. About 100 libraries statewide participate in the program.

The most-visited parks in Minnesota during the first year of this program were Itasca State Park in Park Rapids, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park in Preston, and Whitewater State Park in Altura, according to a representative of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. This program is slated to continue through June 2025.

This innovative program is just one example of the greater good that public libraries in Minnesota can serve. Working as a librarian in Minnesota is about more than just helping people check out books or find information. Librarians in Minnesota can also help people to see more parts of their state that they otherwise might not have the ability to do, and, thusly, to improve their lives. 

What Does a Minnesota Librarian Do?

Librarians in Minnesota may work in public, school, academic, special or other types of libraries. With the many settings in which librarians in Minnesota work, you might be surprised to find that there are some job duties that are fairly common to most Minnesota librarian jobs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing one-on-one instruction and assistance to library users
  • Instructing library users in information literacy and the usage of library technology
  • Providing customer service to all library users as well as to community members
  • Serving a diverse collection of library users of various backgrounds, respecting their cultures, values and viewpoints
  • Supplying information, resources and materials to library users
  • Planning and organizing library collections
  • Managing the public areas of the library and keeping them safe for library users and staff
  • Participating in public speaking opportunities within the community to promote the library’s programs and services 
  • Interpreting library policies, services and resources to library users and others
  • Maintaining library users’ information in a confidential manner

Minnesota Librarian Education Requirements

Minnesota librarians need to earn a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree from an institution with ALA (American Library Association) accreditation. Minnesota offers one accredited program, at St. Catherine University in St. Paul- its Master of Library and Information Science degree program. This online program offers students concentrations in eight areas:

  • Public library
  • Information science and digital library
  • Academic library
  • School library
  • Archives and special collections librarianship
  • Special library
  • Technical services librarianship
  • Youth services librarianship

What Certification is Necessary for Minnesota Librarians?

Although public librarian certification in Minnesota is optional, 60 contact hours of continuing education is recommended for state public librarians annually. School librarians in Minnesota must have a bachelor’s degree, a teacher’s license, and pass endorsement examinations for school media specialist certification. 

Librarian Jobs in Minnesota

There are many places where would-be librarians can find employment in Minnesota. The ALA publishes a JobList of available librarian jobs across the country.  Additionally, the Metronet Jobline advertises library jobs in the Twin Cities area, and the Minnesota Library Association maintains a Career Center in which users can search for library positions statewide.

Minnesota Librarian Salaries

Minnesota librarians make an hourly mean wage of $31.59 and an annual mean wage of $65,710, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021.  Librarians employed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington area librarians earn higher than average wages, at $33.80 hourly and $70,290 annually. Those employed in the Southeast nonmetro area earn $33.24 per hour and $69,150 per year. Other Minnesota librarians earn less than the average state wage, as you can see below:

Area Hourly Annually
Duluth $30.53 $63,500
St. Cloud $28.43 $59,140
Southwest nonmetro $26.21 $54,520
Rochester $24.84 $51,670
Northwest nonmetro $23.30 $48,470

Job Prospects for Minnesota Librarians 

When available, jobs for Minnesota librarians will be advertised at the websites named above. Some examples of recent job openings for Minnesota librarians include:

  • Library Director – Carver County, Chaska
    • Wages: $91,770 to $137,654 annually
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS and four years’ library management experience, or a BLS and seven years’ library management experience
    • Prefer candidates with two years of supervisory experience 
  • Collection Management Specialist – Mackin Book Company, Burnsville
    • Wages: $58,500 to $74,100 annually 
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS or Media Specialist certification
    • Candidates need three years of library experience
  • College Archivist – Macalester College, Saint Paul
    • Wages: $58,000 to $64,000 annually 
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS
    • Candidates should have experience with donor relations and community contact development
    • Candidates need experience with and training in current archival methods, practices, and theories, as well as in the proper handling of physical collections materials and preserving mixed collections
    • Candidates who have three years of archivist experience are preferred
  • Electronic Resources Librarian – Metro State University, Saint Paul
    • Wages: $42,600 to $53,900 annually
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS 
    • Candidates need experience in library service platforms/electronic resources management systems and collection analysis and associated tools
    • Candidates who have experience using SUSHI and COUNTER are preferred
  • Supervisory Librarian I – EPA– BlackFish Federal, Duluth
    • Wages: $45,400 to $57,500 annually
    • Candidates need an MLS or MLIS 
    • Candidates need two years of professional library experience
    • Candidates must be familiar with information technology in library services
    • Candidates must have mastered software including MS Office and Adobe Acrobat
    • Candidates with prior experience in an EPA contractor or government contractor/leadership role are preferred