Occupation:Librarians and Archivists
Category:Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

About the job

Nature of work:

Librarians select, develop, organize, maintain, and promote collections or library materials and provide advisory services for users. They are employed in libraries or other establishments with library services throughout the public and private sectors.

Archivists manage information. They are responsible for processing, safe storage, and retrieval of books, pictures, maps, letters, records, films, videos, etc. Archivists are employed in archives, in the public and para-public sectors and in private sector organizations

Job duties:
Librarians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Recommend acquisition of books, periodicals and audio-visual, interactive media and other materials for inclusion in library collection.
  • Provide reference services.
  • Select, classify, catalogue and weed library materials.
  • Prepare bibliographies, indexes, reading lists, guides and other finding aids.
  • Develop systems to access library collections.
  • Perform manual, on-line and interactive media reference searches to assist users in accessing library materials and arrange for interlibrary loans.
  • Develop taxonomies using various information and data sources.
  • Provide specialized programs for children, seniors and other groups.
  • Conduct library information and orientation training programs and tours.
  • Perform related administrative duties and supervise library technicians, assistants and clerks.
Archivists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Develop policies and procedures for managing current and semi-current archives, in particular corporate cataloguing systems, records scheduling and disposal, and finding aids.
  • Design programs for managing, disseminating and storing archives of all types (documents, photographs, maps, audio-visual materials, manuscripts, etc.).
  • Plan the computerized management of archives and the management of electronic archives.
  • Appraise and acquire archival materials to build and develop an archival collection for research purposes.
  • Authenticate documents and records, and research the origins and significance of archival materials.
  • Organize noncurrent archives and develop cataloguing and retrieval systems to allow access to archival materials.
  • Assist people with their searches.
Sample job titles:
  • archivist
  • cybrarian
  • historical archivist
  • law librarian
  • librarian
  • medical librarian
  • multimedia archivist
  • multimedia librarian
  • photo archivist
  • research archivist

To work in this field, you need excellent administrative, research, organizational, writing, and planning skills, as well as intellectual curiosity. You should have supervisory skills and the ability to work with people of all ages, including other staff. A knowledge of computer systems, literature, and current information sources is also important. Being able to speak and write French would be an asset in some positions.

Job requirements:
  • A master's degree in library science is required for librarians.
  • A bachelor's degree with a minor in archival studies or a university degree with a certificate in archival studies is required for archivists while a master's degree may be required.
Other considerations:

Progression to library and archive management positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Librarians and Archivists most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work). Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 74% of Librarians and Archivists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $70,869. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Minimum: $15.04
Median: $22.89
Maximum: $35.71
Minimum: $15,816
Median: $60,587
Maximum: $95,727
All NS Occupations427,305Weak growth33,315Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $19.89
Maximum: $40.00
Minimum: $2,872
Median: $29,983
Maximum: $83,126
LibrariansCompared to: All NS Occupations
Percent employed full-time88%78%
Percent self-employed41%10%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentLibrariansCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton13%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley6%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeLibrariansCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
Median Agex38
GenderLibrariansCompared to: All NS Occupations
% Employed% Employed
EducationLibrariansCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/A$18,54810.2%$2,298
High school6.6%$28,66426.2%$7,127
Trades certificateN/A$30,2583.6%$13,575
College certificate or diploma3.7%$33,92120.3%$20,158
University certificate or diplomaN/A$36,3261.7%$20,801
Bachelor's degree13.2%$30,24427.5%$19,705
University advanced certificate or diploma1.5%$42,0541.5%$18,274
Master's degreeN/A$38,3358.0%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry1.5%x0.1%$11,741
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Council of Nova Scotia Archives
6016 University Avenue
Halifax, NS B3H 1W4
Tel: (902) 424-7093
Fax: (902) 424-0628
Nova Scotia Library Association
60 Alderney Drive
Halifax, NS B2Y 2N5
Tel: (902) 490-5710
Association of Canadian Archivists
PO Box 2596, Station D
Ottawa, ON K1P 5W6
Tel: (613) 234-6977
Fax: (613) 234-8500

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Classics and classical languages, literatures and linguistics - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the literary culture of the ancient Graeco-Roman world and the Greek and Latin languages and literatures and their development prior to the fall of the Roman Empire.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
Program Name:Information science/studies
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the theory, organization, and process of information collection, transmission, and utilization in traditional and electronic forms. These programs include courses in information classification and organization; information storage and processing; transmission, transfer, and signalling; communications and networking; systems planning and design; human interfacing and use analysis; database development; information policy analysis; and related aspects of hardware, software, economics, social factors, and capacity.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.