Typically, a job application consists of a resume and cover letter. And while to most of us the resume is a pretty familiar concept, the idea of a cover letter could be confusing.
You know you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Your librarian resume is top-notch; you know everything about the Dewey Decimal System and can recommend the perfect book to literally anyone.
In other words, you almost landed the job.
To tilt the hiring scale in your favor, you just need one more thing—a librarian cover letter that will knock the hiring manager's socks off.
In this guide:
- Two sample librarian cover letters: for experienced and entry-level librarians.
- Step-by-step tips on how to write a librarian cover letter that will land you more interviews.
- A template you can copy, adjust, and have ready in 15 minutes.
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Looking for a different kind of cover letter? Check out:
- Academic Advisor Cover Letter
- Administrative Assistant Cover Letter
- Career Change Cover Letter
- Cover Letter for Internal Position (or Promotion)
- Elementary Teacher Cover Letter
- Library Assistant Cover Letter
- No Experience Cover Letter
- Nonprofit Cover Letter
- Office Manager Cover Letter
- Recent Graduate Cover Letter
- School Counselor Cover Letter
- Substitute Teacher Cover Letter
Haven't found what you're looking for? Check: Best Cover Letter Examples
1. Librarian Cover Letter Examples
Librarian Cover Letter Example: Experienced Candidate
Let’s meet Anna! Anna is 30 years old and has 5 years of experience working as a collections and online resources librarian.
Anna wants to apply for the Associate Librarian position at the University of California Santa Cruz. The University library is looking for a creative individual with a teaching and learning mindset.
Fortunately, Anna gained those skills during her previous gig. Now she needs to highlight her experience in her librarian cover letter.
Collections and Online Resources Librarian
Sacramento, March 15, 2018
Head of Research Support Services Department
University of California Santa Cruz
1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 90064
I’m thrilled to have come across a job opening for an Online Learning Librarian at the University of California Santa Cruz. With my 5+ years of experience in assisting faculty with developing and accessing course materials, I am sure that I can help you successfully develop asynchronous lessons and learning objects.
In the job listing, you state that you’re looking for a person who has experience teaching and supervising undergraduates. In my current position, I worked closely with professors and college tutors and helped develop several academic courses, including one that covered the topic of critical race theory. The course was highly graded by students. It received an average grade of 3.8 (out of 4) in yearly students evaluation surveys. I’m sure I’ll translate my experience into similar results at the University of California Santa Cruz.
I’d love to work in an inclusive institution that genuinely cares about the well-being of its students and faculty members. Working with first-generation students has always been my dream, and I would love to deepen my expertise at UCSC.
Can we schedule a meeting or a call to discuss ideas for undergraduate courses?
Anna is definitely going places, we can be sure of that!
But what to do if you’re applying for an entry-level job?
Mark is precisely in this situation—he just graduated with a degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution and is looking for his first real job. He has some experience and transferable skills, but not much is related to librarian work.
Let’s see how he handled the situation.
Librarian Cover Letter Sample: No Experience
MS in Librarian Science
Fresno, June 6, 2020
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Chatham Community Library
Pittsboro, North Carolina
I’m excited to have come across a job opening for Library Reference Assistant at the Chatham Community Library. I’m a recent graduate of the Master's program of Librarian Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
I believe I have what it takes to perform as a Library Reference Assistant. I volunteered in our university library and coordinated youth outreach programs as a student. In addition, I run a class on various topics (including basic computer skills, eBooks, and Microsoft Office programs) for underprivileged youth at a local community center. As a result, 89% of students in my courses advanced their high school programs. Moreover, I provided readers with advisory services. As a result, the readership and number of members increased by 25%.
I believe that the aptitude and effort I demonstrated could be scaled to a larger institution. I’d love to do my best at an institution that has a tangible impact on the community.
When can we schedule a meeting to discuss the ideas for introducing new initiatives to the Chatham Community Library?
Let’s walk through all the steps of writing an equally good cover letter for you.
If you’re pressed for time, you’ll get fill-in-the-blank templates for each part of your librarian cover letter: all you’ll have to do is enter your information.
Don’t have a resume ready yet? See a dedicated example here: Librarian Resume—Examples and 25 Writing Tips (+Objective).
2. How to Write a Librarian Cover Letter
Here are our well-researched tips for writing a librarian cover letter:
1. Choose the Best Librarian Cover Letter Format
Your cover letter should be readable and easy to navigate, just as a library index.
The task is easier than you think. Especially if you follow our cover letter formatting tips:
- Align your text to the left, don’t use justification; it makes it harder to read.
- Apply 1” margins on all 4 sides.
- Pick a classic, legible font. Times New Roman or Arial are always good ideas. Matching it with your resume font is always a good idea.
- Use 1.15 line spacing. Don’t make the recruiter read a whole page of tightly—packed text.
- Write a concise librarian cover letter. 1 page should suffice.
- Include your full name, job title, and contact details in the header.
Expert Hint: According to Harvard Business Review, 70% of employees screen candidates' social media profiles before hiring. Make sure your social media accounts are ethical and professional.
2. Use a Professional Cover Letter Header
Good news: the ideal cover letter header looks precisely the same as any standard business letter header. So this part of your cover letter is literally a game of fill in the blanks!
Start your cover letter with a header clearly stating your full name, current job title, and contact information. You can add your address if you wish to, although this is not mandatory.
The header of your cover letter should follow this pattern:
Librarian Cover Letter Header Example
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g., Customer Service Team Leader ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Address the cover letter to the person who is responsible for hiring. You can probably find the name online by looking at the job ad or looking up the institution's web page.
If you couldn’t find the name online, try to do some old-fashioned digging. Call the library and ask for information. If you can’t find out the name of a hiring manager, you can always start your cover letter with “Dear Hiring Manager.” Avoid “To Whom It May Concern” as it sounds too generic.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
3. Introduce Yourself and State the Position You’re Applying For
For a real bookworm, there’s nothing like immersing yourself in a good book.
But you don’t have that much time with your cover letter. Recruiters are busy people, and you only have a few seconds to catch and hold their attention.
That’s why the first paragraph of your cover letter is so important.
So get straight to the point: introduce yourself, state the position you’re applying for, and give a sneak-peek of your most impressive professional accomplishments. Then, make them want to read more.
Just like in the example below:
Librarian Cover Letter: Intro
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],
As a dedicated librarian with [X]+ years of experience [Your Area of Expertise], I was excited to see your job posting for a library at [Target Institution Name]. From the job ad on your website, I know that you’re looking for a candidate with [Skills and Requirements From the Job Ad]. I think you’ll find my resume a good fit based on the highlights below:
The intro is concise, to the point, and leaves the reader wanting to know more.
4. Elaborate on Your Skills and Achievements
Next, you want to write more about your skills and achievements. Re-read the job posting carefully and note all the critical skills the recruitment manager is looking for.
All you have to do is take those skills and achievements and describe them in more detail. The middle paragraph of your cover letter should convince the reader that you’re the one and only candidate for the job.
Here’s a librarian cover letter example that can inspire you:
Sample Librarian Cover Letter
The job ad mentions that you’re seeking a librarian with experience in [Library Assistant Job Responsibilities From Advertisement]. As a [Previous or Current Job Title] with [Name of Previous or Current Institution], I gained extensive experience with [Give Several of Your Proudest and Most Relevant Projects, With Numbers, If Possible, to Show Results]. Therefore, I’d love to apply my skills and knowledge at [Target Institution Name].
5. Explain Why You Should Be Hired
In the next section of your cover letter, make sure that the person reading it feels like you are the perfect match for the job. Explain why you want to work in this particular library or institution.
Do your research—what makes this organization different from others? Why do you want to work specifically there?
The hiring manager wants to choose a candidate that won’t bail after a couple of months. So describing why you want in may tilt the scale in your favor.
Feel free to use this template:
Librarian Cover Letter
Becoming a member of [Target Institution] would be not only a perfect opportunity for me to grow by benefiting from your internal knowledge and [what they do], but also a perfect culture-fit that would benefit everyone as [something you found out about them] is something that is important to me personally.
6. Finish with a Clear Call to Action and a Proper Sign-Off
In the closing of your librarian cover letter, gently encourage the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
Here’s what a call to action can look like:
Librarian Cover Letter Call to Action
Could we schedule a meeting to discuss how I can apply my skills to help [Target Institution] succeed and meet its long-term goals?
Ending your cover letter with a solid call to action will show that you have a strong personality and know what you want.
But you don’t want to sound rude.
Use a polite phrase to close a librarian cover letter. For example, you can use one of those:
- Best regards,
- Kind regards,
- With thanks,
- Thank you,
- Kind regards,
- With respect,
Follow it up with your full name and signature, and you’re done!
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When writing a librarian cover letter, you should:
- Format your librarian cover letter correctly, so the information flow is easy to follow.
- Write an appealing introduction. State your full name, job position you’re applying for, and mention some of your previous accomplishments.
- Target your cover letter to the job posting.
- Close with a solid yet polite call to action.
Do you have any questions? Or would you like to share some tips for writing a cover letter? We’ll be thrilled to hear them! So just write in the comments below.
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