How to Become a Librarian in Vermont

Vermont Librarian Education

Vermont, a state with a population of 645,570 in 2021, per the U.S. Census Bureau, has 185 public libraries statewide. Supporting Vermont’s public library system, as well as its academic libraries, falls under the purview of the State Librarian and Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Libraries.  The department provides support to improve library services, maintain access to materials, and help with structures and systems, including Vermont’s interlibrary loan system and librarian certification program. 

As of 2022, Vermont’s Department of Libraries has a budget of $3.2 million. The state librarian must also pursue grants to allow the state’s libraries to have enough funding to provide the best services to patrons statewide. Vermont’s individual public libraries are based in towns and not in a branch network like those of other states. Some of the libraries are nonprofit, while others are owned by the towns in which they are located. Some are in small spaces while others are in historical buildings.

Librarians have formidable jobs when it comes to dealing with the needs of the public and the constraints of their budgets. Smaller libraries often find it more of a challenge to provide for their communities. The state librarian advises librarians statewide to connect with other librarians who have been through challenging situations, as these situations arise. To find out ways in which you can become a Vermont librarian, read on. 

What Does a Vermont Librarian Do?

Professional librarians in Vermont may work in a vast number of different settings. Typically, they must all deal with the public, with media resources of some sort, and with some form of governing body or leadership unit. Duties that are common to most Vermont librarians include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting in the implementation of the library’s daily work plan, dictated by the library director
  • Making sure that the daily operations of circulation and reference services ensure that library staff give patrons the highest quality of service
  • Maintaining a welcoming and helpful library atmosphere 
  • Creating opportunities for new and enhanced library programs for all ages
  • Collaborating with library staff and community partners in developing programs that meet the needs of the community 
  • Planning, executing, and evaluating programs for all ages
  • Keeping updated on professional issues, trends, and attitudes within the library profession and the local community
  • Maintaining a broad knowledge of print, electronic and community resources
  • Providing excellent reference and reader’s advisory services, technology help, and circulation and inter-library loan services to library patrons 
  • Promoting the library and its materials, events, and services via press releases, social media, public speaking, and other forms of communication (both orally and written)

What Education is Necessary to Become a Librarian in Vermont?

A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or Master of Library Science (MLS) degree earned at an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited college or university program is the gold standard of education for librarians in Vermont. As of 2022, no such programs are hosted at schools in Vermont; however, you may select to study at any ALA-accredited program in any state or online to fulfill this requirement.

Vermont school librarians must have a bachelor’s degree, teaching license, and have completed 18 credits in library and information science. The certification process for school librarians in Vermont will be detailed next.

What Certification is Necessary for Vermont Librarians?

The Vermont Department of Libraries offers a Certificate of Public Librarianship, which is intended for those with no formal library training who direct small Vermont public libraries, but is available for any library staff, volunteers or trustees who are interested. To participate in the certification program, a person must live in Vermont or be associated with a Vermont library. Certification is achieved through completion of 150 credits of courses and workshops. The four core courses required as part of the certification program are:

  • Basic public library administration
  • Cataloging
  • Collection development
  • Information services/reference

Interested persons should complete the online Application for Certificate of Public Librarianship. Once certified, you do not have to renew that certification. You are encouraged, however, to continue taking additional classes and workshops.

Vermont’s school librarians must have a teaching license, a bachelor’s degree, and have completed 18 credits in library science as well as a practicum in order to be certified to work in Vermont’s schools. At this time, testing is not required to receive a library and media endorsement.

Where Do Librarians Work in Vermont?

The Vermont Library Association posts jobs online as they are available statewide and in nearby states. You may also see Vermont librarian positions within the  ALA Joblist, as well as on classified job websites online.

What Do Librarians Earn in Vermont?

Vermont professional librarians make an average of $27.38 per hour and $56,950 per year, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021). Those in the Burlington and South Burlington area earn more, at $28.61 hourly and $59,510 yearly. Librarians working in the Northern nonmetropolitan part of the state earn $27.39 per hour and $56,960 per year. Librarians in the Southern nonmetropolitan area of the state earn $26.49 per hour and $55,100 annually.

Job Prospects for Vermont Librarians 

The following positions for librarians were available in Vermont as of December 2022:

  • K-8 Librarian – White River Valley Supervisory Union, Royalton
    • Pay: $47,200-$59,700 per year
    • Must hold a Vermont teacher’s license with the proper endorsement
  • Electronic Resources and Systems Management Librarian – Castleton University, Castleton
    • Pay: $51,500-$65,200 per year
    • Must have a MLIS or MLS earned at an institution accredited by the ALA
    • Must have one to three years of public service and/or technical library experience 
    • Must be knowledgeable about integrated library systems, database management, content management systems, multimedia training tools, and common operating systems
  • Outreach /Programming Librarian – Brandon Free Public Library, Brandon
    • Pay: $18 per hour
    • Must have computer experience including working with modern integrated library automation systems
  • Collection Services Librarian – Bennington College, Bennington
    • Pay: $48,000-$60,700 per year
    • Must have a MLIS or MLS earned at an institution accredited by the ALA
    • Must have experience with original cataloging using library standards
    • Must have experience with library acquisitions, cataloging, discovery systems, and electronic resource management
    • Employer prefers to hire candidates with supervisory skills
  • User Experience & Design Librarian – Middlebury College, Middlebury
    • Pay: $58,900-$66,300 per year
    • Must have a MLIS or MLS earned at an institution accredited by the ALA
    • Two years of experience working in an academic library preferred
    • Must have experience with web design and user experience analysis
    • Must have experience with teaching workshops or courses