How to become a teacher librarian

Would you love to become a teacher? But your inner geek cries out to become a librarian immersed in books and publications? Well, we have the answer for you. Why not become a teacher librarian and combine teaching with librarianship? In the role of a teacher librarian, you play an important part, helping students to utilise the resources of the library during their studies. To do this, you work in primary and secondary schools. As a part of your daily tasks, you help to identify resources for students to enhance their studies. Besides, you support the teaching staff to improve student literacy. Putting on the hat of the educator, you work with the students to teach them about information technology. At the same time, you often get involved with organising distance education programmes.

Do you enjoy taking on a teaching role with children and young people? Do you love books in equal measure? Then, why not become a teacher librarian and play a crucial role teaching the children of Australia how to use their school library? Keep reading to discover what you should do to next, to make this interesting career a reality for you.

Step one: Choose a Course

You can become a teacher librarian from a teaching background or a librarian’s background. Most librarians and teacher will already have a bachelors degree. To this, you should add a relevant tertiary qualification, in Education or Library Studies. If you have no experience in teaching or as a librarian. Then you should study your bachelors first. Follow this up with a specific tertiary course to give you the specific knowledge you need for the role.

Step two: Register with your state authority

Once you have completed your education, before you can work as a teacher librarian you will need to register with your state authority. You can find more information on how to go about doing this, from the resources section below. Importantly, it is worthwhile checking all the requirements before you begin your studies. Then, you can make sure they authority recognise the course you plan to take. Besides, you should make sure you are aware of everything which will they need so you can register successfully when the time comes.

Step three: Apply for your first job

After completing your studies and registration you are ready to begin looking for your first job. Qualified teacher librarians are in demand at the moment and forecasts suggest this will continue. When preparing your resume and cover letter make sure you tailor the content for each application. Then, take the time to highlight your qualifications, registration, personal strengths, and any relevant experience you may have.

Step four: Gain experience

Congratulations, you have your first now. Now, you can focus on building up your experience, perfecting your skills, and growing your knowledge in your field. Doing this will stand you in good stead for a career progression in the future. 

Step five: Consider a specialisation

The work of a teacher librarian with its unique combination of teaching and information service skills. Prepare you nicely for many specialisations. Here are three to consider.


In this specialisation, you work with education and administration staff to make sure the whole school runs smoothly. Your organisational librarian skills will cross over well into this role. You should develop a broad understanding of how the school operates. This includes a good understanding of budget management, curriculum development, and staffing.

Vocational Education and Training Lecturer

With some further study, you could consider this specialisation. You will need a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to do this job. In this specialisation, you focus on informing other people about the industry. Your aim is to help inform people who are considering working in the field.

Library Manager

If you would like to consider moving out of the education sector then you could consider becoming a library manager. You should be particularly skilled at information management and retrieval.

What are the Duties of a Teacher Librarian?

As a teacher librarian, you will use a broad range of skills as you carry out your daily duties. Firstly, you will help students and staff learn how to use the information systems. This needs a friendly attitude and good communication. Secondly, you will spend some time as advocating for improvements to literacy and library services. Usually, in collaboration with the teaching staff, you influence the curriculum and policy development. In addition, you take responsibility for the practical administrative tasks of the library. This involves a range of tasks. For example, you manage the budget and staff or library processes such as resource acquisition.


  • Teaching effective research skills
  • Managing library resources
  • Purchasing new materials
  • Developing library policies and procedures with admin staff
  • Performing end of year stock take and periodic weeding
  • Familiarising teachers and students with library resources and study tools

Skills for Success

In this interesting career choice, you need to straddle two worlds and have a dual personally skill set. Those of a teacher and those related to information services. You need good communication skills, written and verbal, and you need to relate well to children and young people. Importantly, you should have super organisational skills. Furthermore, you should multitask and prioritise when under pressure. This means you will need to have a good understanding of the school curriculum. This is so you can source appropriate resources for the children using your library. Lastly, you must show skill in the essentials of information studies and library management.

Skills and attributes

  • Excellent organisational and time management skills 
  • Good communication skills for a wide range of age groups
  • An understanding of current research methods and available resources
  • Interested in helping others improve their literacy

What is Teacher Librarian Salary in Australia?

In Australia, teacher librarians earn a median wage of $62,541 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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