Training as an academic librarian

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Two groups of people talking to each other with book in handImage: Paavo_Blåfield

What is the library internship?

The training to become an academic librarian of the higher library service takes place in Hesse within the framework of a library internship.
Kassel University Library is one of the training libraries within the Hessian library network where the practical training can be completed. The training lasts two years.

The theoretical training takes place parallel to the practical training in the form of the postgraduate distance learning program in library and information science with fixed attendance portions at the Institute for Library and Information Science at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

For all Hessian trainee librarians, practical courses are held both centrally and decentrally at the libraries of the Hessian library network.

The training is completed with the Master of Arts (Library and Information Science) and the Hessian career examination for the higher service.

Due to the close integration of theory and practice, as a trainee you will pass through the various departments of the Kassel University Library. In addition, you will be taught specialist knowledge both on site by library staff and through distance learning in Berlin. While in the first year of training you will gain an insight into the work processes in the individual departments, in the second year of training you can set individual focal points, e.g. in the specialist department, in research-related services or in state library tasks. These can also be deepened as part of the master's thesis.

As a trainee librarian, you will also gain special insights into the organizational processes as well as the content-related and structural development processes within the library and the university.

The selection of student teachers and trainee teachers is made by the Kassel University Library, to which the application should be sent directly. The advertisements are published at the beginning of every second year. The application deadline is March 31, and the hiring date is October 1 of each year.

For the library traineeship, you should have completed a university degree (Master's, Magister, Diplom, Staatsexamen) in a suitable subject. In addition, you must meet the requirements for appointment as a civil servant  on revocation (including maximum age 40 years, EU citizenship). Media skills, service orientation and organizational skills as well as IT knowledge are also desirable.

The legal basis for training in Hesse is the training and examination regulations for the higher academic service in academic libraries in the state of Hesse.

The working hours are 41 hours per week. The employees of the University Library participate in flexitime, so that the individual working time can be flexibly arranged within the framework of the flexitime regulations.

The remuneration is based on the Hessian salary for candidates in the higher civil service (HBesG AW A13).

The field of activity of academic librarians includes both scientific and organizational tasks:

As a subject librarian, you are responsible for the selection, subject indexing and communication of specialist literature in a wide range of academic subjects and are thus an important link between research and the library. You will also be responsible for teaching information literacy to researchers and students. The area of research-related services is a growing field of activity for academic librarians.

As an academic librarian, you will also take on management tasks, develop new concepts and services, and carry out projects.

For more information on training and career entry, visit the website of the Association of German Librarians (VDB).

A trainee librarian should enjoy providing and continuously developing services. Since digital services are playing an increasing role in libraries, a certain level of media competence and IT affinity should also be present.

Julia, trainee teacher at the University of Kassel in interview

What do you deal with during your training?

During my traineeship, I deal with the library's services and the associated processes in the individual library departments, among other things. The practical knowledge is reinforced by theoretical knowledge, which is taught both at the training locations and in distance learning. In the future, my work will focus on working in the specialist department and in research-related services. In the second year of training, I can deepen my individual interests and also write my master's thesis within this framework.

Portrait photo
Julia in conversation

Why did you choose education and this one in particular?

After working as a research assistant, I was looking for career prospects that would allow me to support science and research on a structural level. In the process, I became aware of the advertisement for the library traineeship. I like the fact that the structured structure allows me to acquire comprehensive library knowledge, but at the same time there is always enough freedom to try out what I have learned in practice and to get a taste of projects.

What else would you like to pass on to others?                                               

In science, career opportunities outside the traditional research career are rarely an issue. However, libraries need staff with an affinity for science, especially in the higher service, who are in close contact with the departments and can align and develop the services to the needs of the scientific staff. In the higher library service in particular, there is a great deal of freedom to help shape services and contribute one's own ideas.

Apply now for a training as a library assistant at the University of Kassel

More information about the library traineeship

Ask yourself beforehand if you ...

  • would like to support researchers and teachers on a structural level.
  • you enjoy developing new ideas.
  • you like a service-oriented way of working.

or whether you ...

  • would prefer to work as a scientist.
  • prefer to work on your own.
  • are not interested in further studies and theoretical training.