#77 Qualifications


Many of the discussions on librarian mailing lists centre round salaries, qualifications and the connection between the two. There is no doubt that you will tend to get on better if you are fully qualified and chartered. This does not, of course, mean that you will necessarily be doing a better job.

It all really depends on what you want to get out of the job. If you are happy with the salary, and are not desperately career minded, school librarianship can be immensely rewarding and good fun at the same time. If you regard the job as a stepping stone to another area of librarianship, you would be advised to qualify and charter as soon as possible. If you’re one of those people who want to be on 50k by the time you’re 40, you won’t be reading this and you won’t have considered being a school librarian.

I’ve met individuals who have never considered gaining full qualifications, but who are excellent and successful librarians due to their people skills and intuitive and innate professionalism. I’ve also met ‘professional’ librarians who are hopelessly, hopelessly lost and who will probably never even recognise that fact.

If you feel it’s worth working for the paper that says you’re a professional, it can be useful professionally and satisfying personally. On the other hand, you can work successfully and professionally without certificates.

CILIP Framework




CILIP are often accused of non-representation in the school library community. They take £17 off my pay every month, and I still can’t figure out why, other than the fact that I can continue to call myself ‘chartered’. My wife pays £30 a year for the same privilege as a teacher. Something doesn’t add up. I’m sure CILIP would disagree with my assessment, so their end of the stick can be found here.

However, they do have a couple of useful spots on their website, and they offer decent training events if you can afford to travel to London.

LISJobnet is certainly useful if you’re considering a move. Their specialist interest groups vary between the bland (2 shoddy leaflets a year) to the sublime (real support). I won’t name names to avoid litigation, or snippy emails.

Chartership, of course, is the main reason people join. More information here.

That’s as positive as I can get about CILIP. They used to do a useful salary guide for school librarians which seems to have disappeared. If anyone can point me to it, I’d be grateful.

Found it!

CILIP School Librarian Salary Guide