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Library Cover Letter Examples

Librarian Cover Letter and Resume Examples

Are you applying for a librarian position? Review examples of a cover letter and resume for a librarian job, with tips for writing job application documents that will help you get the interview.

When you write your cover letter, it should include your most relevant experience and education. Take the time to match your qualifications to the job, so your credentials are as close a match as possible to what the employer is seeking in an ideal candidate.

Your resume should include your previous work experience, education, skills, and any certifications you may have received. In both the "profile" and "skills" sections of your resume, highlight your computer and research skills, as they are both extremely valuable skills to have in this position. 

See below for a sample librarian cover letter and an example of a resume that includes a profile section. Use these samples as a guide to help you get started.

Librarian Cover Letter Example

Date

Name
Title
Organization
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

I read with great interest your posting for a chief librarian at ABC Academy as listed on privateschooljobs.com.  I know that my years of experience as an academic librarian and my success developing forward-thinking library projects make me an ideal candidate for this position.

I have over ten years of experience working as an academic librarian.

In my years of experience, I have developed various techniques for best explaining and instilling research skills in students. I have even developed and taught a well-received research course for first-year college students, which would translate well into an upper-level high-school course.

You state in your listing that you want a chief librarian who can adapt the library to today’s technology-driven culture.

I am very comfortable with implementing e-technology in a library setting. I even helped develop a streamlined library website at 123 Community College, which allowed students to more easily access the college’s online resources. I would love the opportunity to develop similar tools for ABC Academy’s library.

I am confident that my extensive experience makes me a strong candidate for chief librarian at ABC Academy. I have enclosed my resume and other required materials for your review. I look forward to speaking with you further about what I may offer your school. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Best,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Librarian Resume Example

Firstname Lastname
Home 555-555-5555
f.lastname@email.com
123 Oakwood Ave
Oak Park, IL, 60302

Profile
Librarian with nearly ten years of secondary and university experience. Specialized in developing research tools and courses to strengthen students’ research abilities. Skilled in translating library services and policies into tangible, comprehensible resources for students. Award-winning abilities in display development and implementation.

Experience

Reference Librarian, 123 Community College, Oak Park, IL                                  
July 20XX – present

  • Initiated and co-developed new online catalog to promote efficient student and faculty research
  • Develop instructional materials on research methods in various formats (web, multimedia, print)
  • Write and publish library blog and maintain social media pages
  • Develop and teach research course for students across majors; received college award for the best new course of 20XX.

Assistant Librarian, Oak Park High School, Oak Park, IL                            
August 20XX – June 20XX

  • Developed and co-taught course on research methods for freshmen
  • Consulted with colleagues and teachers to develop and construct monthly displays on various academic topics, such as playwrights, African American history, and the Revolutionary War
  • Spearheaded project streamlining former magazine subscriptions and selecting new subscriptions that best fit the current needs of the teachers and students, saving the library $1,0000 annually.
  • Catalogued hundreds of new acquisitions, maintaining accurate data on materials

Library Graduate Intern, XYZ University Theology Library, Chicago, IL        
Sept. 20XX – July 20XX

  • Developed skills in reference, periodical, and special collections through supervised rotations
  • Oversaw daily patron services and assisted patrons with research questions
  • Created four displays that emphasized the diversity of the library’s collections, receiving an award for excellence in research for one display.

Education

Master of Library Science, XYZ University, Chicago, IL
May 20XX
GPA: 3.9

Bachelor of Arts, ABC College, Chicago, IL
May 20XX
Major: English

Skills

  • Computer Applications: Mac, PC, Word, Excel, GoogleDocs, RefWorks, SPSS
  • Web Publishing: HTML, Dreamweaver, WordPress, Wikis
  • Instructional Tools: Blackboard, Turnitin, D2L

How to Email Your Resume and Cover Letter

If you're sending your resume and cover letter via email, list your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message:

Subject: Librarian Position - Your Name

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with the salutation.

After being on the interviewing side of things last year, it was nice to be on the hiring side this year. I recently reviewed cover letters and resumes for a search and screen committee at my academic library. At times, I wanted to do a “cover letter intervention” (perhaps, a new reality TV show?)!

This spring, I blogged about cover letters, resumes, and interviews. Also, Jenica Rogers on her Attempting Elegance blog had a must-read post on The Torment of Terrible Cover Letters. I would also encourage anyone applying for librarian positions to look at Stephen X. Flynn’s Open Cover Letters website for ideas.

Throughout the process of reading cover letters and resumes, here is the most disconcerting thing I observed:

You write well. I can tell you are intelligent. You may even have an advanced degree beyond the MLS. But your cover letter does not address the points highlighted in the job ad. Therefore, you will not make the cut.

It’s a simple as that. For all the advice out there on tailoring your cover letter, there are plenty of applicants that do not. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Tailor your cover letter!

Cover letter & resume advice:

  • If applying via email, do not write your cover letter in the body of the email. Use attachments. Or more to the point: you should follow the directions stated in the job ad.
  • Am I the only one that doesn’t like cover letters in bullet point format? I need to asses your communication skills through your cover letter. To me, a bullet point cover letter is a cop-out. I want paragraphs!
  • In regards to paragraphs: Your cover letter should not be just one short paragraph.
  • Don’t rattle off your job duties in your cover letter. That’s what the resume is for. Instead, use the cover letter to provide examples and anecdotes that relate to the position that you are applying for:

Case in point: if you’re applying for a  children’s librarian position, your resume might list doing “story times” as one of your responsibilities. However, you could use the cover letter to highlight some sort of innovative program you did with story time. Or if you are an academic instruction librarian, your resume might list “assessment” as one of your activities. You could then use the resume to spotlight a special assessment technique you implemented with students.

  • Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by writing: “I don’t have experience in…” Instead, turn it around and explain how you have transferable or related experience.
  • Appearance: pick a standard font. I would stay away from Courier–it looks like a typewriter–and it’s 2011, folks!
  • It’s OK if the cover letter goes onto a second page (which is sometimes a no-no in the business world). I prefer this over an 9-point font cover letter with half-inch margins! But if you go over 2 pages, I tend to wonder if you have problems “getting to the point.” 🙂
  • Make sure your cover letter and resume looks “clean” in overall appearance – I’ve seen some that look like they have been scanned in and saved electronically. They can be difficult to read.
  • I know you are wonderful, amazing, etc… But I always appreciate a cover letter that addresses my library and its needs/mission. Do your homework. Look over the library website and any parent website (university, school, local government, etc…).
  • Use common sense: Do not write, “I have experience with personal computers.” You are a librarian; having experience with personal computers is UNDERSTOOD!
  • Use “action” words on your resume (e.g., designed, implemented, initiated, managed). Google it! You’re a librarian.
  • Remember: There’s a fine line between promoting your abilities and overstating your qualifications. Be careful! Overstating your qualifications will become apparent in a subsequent interview.

So what do we do with all of these cover letters and resumes? At my place of work–a state institution (and I’m sure it’s the same with most private institutions, too), we have a strict set of protocols to follow. We use an Application Review Form that lists all of the criteria that were included in the job posting. The search and screen committee then rates each cover letter/resume based on EACH of the criterion using a scale: below average – average – above average – can’t assess.

The applicants who rank the highest are the ones that make it to the next stage of the interview process. This is why it’s so vital to use your cover letter and resume to address the various points highlighted in a job ad. So what other cover letter and resume advice would you suggest? Let me know!

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Standard | Posted in Academic Libraries, Job Hunting, Librarians, Library School | Tagged academic library, career, cover letter, hiring, job, job hunting, librarians, library, MLS, resume, search committee |