Q: What’s the difference between Academic Librarians and Special Librarians working in any organization or any company?

Q: I want to know the difference between Academic Librarians  and Special Librarians working in any organization or any Company.

TA:  If you consult the ALA-created website, Careers in Librarianship (http://www.ala.org/ala/educationcareers/careers/librarycareerssite/typesoflibraries.cfm), you’ll see that they define academic libraries as libraries that “serve colleges and universities, their students, staff and faculty.”  For a more information on a career in academic libraries, you should consult the Association of College and Research Libraries’ recruitment brochure: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/recruiting/recruiting.pdf.

Special libraries are defined as libraries “in a specialized environment of interest, such as corporations, hospitals, the military, museums, private businesses, and the government. Special libraries can serve particular populations, such as the blind and physically handicapped, while others are dedicated to special collections, such as the Library of Congress or a presidential library.”   For more information on special libraries, you may want to consult the Special Libraries Association’s website: http://www.sla.org/content/learn/ipvalue/index.cfm

Just as an FYI, the ALA website listed above also gives a working definition of Public Libraries and School Libraries.  Check them out if you’re interested.

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