Who is a Librarian/ Information Scientist?
A librarian/ information scientist is a professional trained in Library and Information Science or closely related field. Library science can be defined as the study of preservation, collection, cataloguing and making documents and other books within libraries available to users. Information science on the other hand is the study of information collection, storage and retrieval of information especially scientific or technical information using technology (computer based systems).
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Librarians and Information scientists manage and develop an organisation’s information resources to make it easily accessible to information users. In their work, these professionals ensure that information needed by clients or staffs is readily available and accessible for their use. Information resources provided by these professionals can include; books and paper-based records, computerised databases or shared online services among other related resources.
Other closely related titles
What is the work environment?
Librarians and information scientists work mostly within libraries and other information centres among other environments.
What are some career opportunities?
Librarians and information specialists can find jobs in government and other institutions/ departments dealing with information handling and storage such as, banking institutions, insurance firms, media companies, industrial organizations, healthcare organizations, professional bodies, secondary schools, colleges and universities among other areas.
These professionals can also use their creativity and start their own information based enterprises.
How to become a librarian/ information scientist
High school subject selection
To pursue a career as a librarian/ information scientist, a good performance in the following cluster subjects is required.
- Subject 1: ENG/KIS,
- Subject 2: MAT A / MAT B
- Subject 3:any GROUP II or any GROUP III,
- Subject 4:a GROUP II or a GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V
In addition, candidates must score at least C (Plain) in MAT A / MAT B, (Source; JAB/ Kuccps).
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with an overall, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above, you can pursue this career directly in the university; (University route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career option, you can still pursue it through a different pathway; the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET route). Under this route, you can pursue a relevant diploma course that can help or enable you to further your education within this field after a successful completion of the diploma course.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route?
- Bachelor of Library and Information Science
- Bachelor of Science in Information Science
- Bachelor of Science in Information Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Records Management and Information Technology
- Or similar/ related course(s)
An approved diploma in a relevant discipline
Some important skills to have
- Effective communication skills
- Computer literacy skills
- Good research skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Excellent organization skills
- Customer service skills
- Desire to keep up to date with technology
- Among other skills
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for such as degrees, diplomas, certificates among others. For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.