You are here

Career Preparation: Tips for High School Students

Thinking about becoming a health sciences librarian? Here are some things you can do now to get ready for this career path:

Medical librarians work with a variety of health care providers: doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, etc. The more you know about what they do and where they work, the better a librarian you’ll be.

  • Volunteer in a hospital to learn more about the daily efforts of these professionals.
  • See if your state has an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program. If so, contact them about what they offer to teens interested in health careers.
  • Take any opportunity in high school to learn about health careers.
  • Learn more about medical terminology online or from your local library.

Medical librarians use computers and mobile devices heavily in their daily work. Some librarians are systems librarians, responsible for fixing computers, for running local area networks, or for training others to use technology. Librarians frequently create web pages for their library and many are responsible for the website for their institution. 

  • Take a courses in web design, web development. Find out about content management systems.
  • Look at health sciences library websites such as MedlinePlus or MayoClinic to learn more about style, presentation, and how they organize content.
  • Learn more about health-related software and apps and their uses in medical settings.

Medical librarians are well-educated! They need to be able to talk comfortably and articulately with physicians and hospital administrators, professors and university chancellors.

  • Take college preparation courses in high school. Join a debate, speech, drama, or other team or activity that will help you become familiar with speaking in public.
  • Plan to go to college! You don’t have to major in a health-related program, but the more you know about your customers, the easier it will be to do your job as a medical librarian.
  • Know the requirements for getting your master’s in library science. Ask your school librarian or counselor to help you identify schools where you can get a master’s in library science 
  • see the list of graduate library science programs that offer health sciences courses.

Most librarians don’t actually fit the old stereotype of what librarians do!  That is especially true of health sciences librarians. Get familiar with the kinds of services they provide.

  • Call your local health sciences library—check a university medical school or a hospital—and ask if you can shadow a librarian for part of a day to see what they do.
  • See if you can get an internship in a local health sciences library.
  • Look at health sciences library websites to learn more about the work they do.