How to craft an effective librarian cover letter

Librarians hold the keys to knowledge, learning, and wonder. In the role of a librarian, you hold many important duties, including organizing books, memorizing inventory, and providing great customer service to guests. To land a position at the library of your dreams, a well-written cover letter is a necessity.

In this guide, we take you through 5 key steps for writing a cover letter as a librarian. Continue reading to learn all about:

  • How to properly format your cover letter’s header and headline
  • Why tailored content crucial element in your librarian cover letter
  • Which details are most important to include in your introduction
  • How to describe your relevant skills and accomplishments as a librarian
  • Why your librarian cover letter conclusion needs to be persuasive

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1. How to properly format your librarian cover letter’s header and headline

Like any good library, a well-written cover letter requires excellent organization — and making your cover letter appear well-organized requires a header and headline.

A cover letter header should always be the first element you include on the page, generally place in the top left corner. This header includes key information, such as:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact details
  • The name of the employer you are sending the letter to

Here is an example of a well-formatted librarian cover letter header

Sam Wise, School Librarian
(123) 456-7890 | |

To: Millway Elementary School
Librarian’s Department
1234 Street Address
Naples, FL 34102

After your header is in place, a few spaces down is where you will place your cover letter headline.

Though widely considered an optional element on a cover letter, a headline can be highly effective at hooking an employer’s attention when a few key details are included, such as:

  • A relevant keyword (such as the name of the position)
  • An eye-catching number or trigger word (such as “My Top 3 Skills”)
  • A memorable adjective or verb (such as “Achieve” or “Apply”)
  • A personalized statement that directly addresses the employer

Here is an example of a strong headline from a librarian cover letter

My 3-Step Approach to Optimizing Library Organization & How I Will Apply it at Your Library

Trigger Word/Number: 3-Step Approach
Keyword: Library
Adjective/Verb: Optimizing, Apply
Personalized Statement: Your Library

2. Tailor your librarian cover letter to the job

The personalization process does not end with the statement found in your headline. To make your cover letter truly memorable for employers, you must include as much personalized information as possible. This may include:

  • Specific goals or values of a company
  • Key skills or qualifications the company has stated a preference for
  • The name of the person at the company who will read your cover letter

Using this last detail, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses this person by name.

Here are 3 examples of personalized librarian cover letter greetings

  • Dear Head Librarian Susan Pickle,
  • Dear Mrs. Susan Pickle,
  • Dear Principal Harold Claymaker,

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3. How to write an eye-catching librarian cover letter introduction

With your header and headline in place and your personalized information ready to be used, you can now begin writing your introduction.

A cover letter introduction should only be one paragraph long, comprised of two to four sentences. In this introduction, some of the most important information to include is:

  • A concise summary of your professional history, specializations, and credentials
  • A statement on why your enthusiasm for this profession
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible) that can speak to your qualifications

Pro Tip: Mutual acquaintances can include a wide variety of people, from professional associates to former employees. Make sure to choose someone who is trusted and respected by the employer. If you do not have a mutual acquaintance, try using LinkedIn to expand your network and gain new connections.

Here is an example of a stellar introduction on a librarian cover letter:

Dear Head Librarian Susan Pickle,

I am a seasoned school librarian with more than 10 years of experience working in middle and high school libraries. With a dual degree in Library Studies and Education, I focus my career on expanding the minds of students through literature. Mr. Logan Rogers — your school’s retired principal — is one of my most treasured professional mentors and recommended I apply for this opening.

4. How to describe your relevant skills and accomplishments as a librarian

After completing your introduction and hooking the employer’s attention, you can move on to describing your key qualifications in greater detail.

Unlike a resume, a cover letter gives you ample space to fully explain and provide context for your notable skills and accomplishments. As you describe these qualifications, make sure the information you include is highly relevant, concisely worded, and specific to the job you are applying for.

Here are 6 skills to describe in a librarian cover letter:

  • Shelf organization
  • Re-stocking books
  • Managing book waitlists
  • Processing late fees
  • Membership onboarding
  • Library technology

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a librarian cover letter

As the assistant library manager at [Former Employer], I oversaw the ordering of books and designing of book displays. After increasing the library’s inventory by nearly 10%, the library saw a 40% rise in new memberships thanks to my curated selection of new reading materials.

5. How to craft a persuasive librarian cover letter conclusion

You have reached the end of your cover letter — now, it’s time to make sure you hear back from the employer.

The conclusion to your librarian cover letter should be persuasive, encouraging the employer to contact you and giving specific instructions on how to do so. Always include your best form of contact, even if you have already listed it in your header.

Here is an example of a persuasive conclusion from a librarian’s cover letter

With my years of experience with not just keeping libraries well-organized but also expanding public awareness and visitation, I guarantee I will be a valuable addition to your team. I am keen on discussing this position with you further and hope to hear from you by next Thursday. Please contact me at (123) 456-7890 any time during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

Yours Truly,

[Applicant Name]

If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.

Published on Sept. 27, 2022

Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as The Business of Business. She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.

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