Pathways to Becoming an Academic Subject Specialist: Insights from Three Librarians

Academic Article


  • Subject librarianship has been a research topic for many years, however there is limited professional literature providing professional advice and practical examples of pursuing this area of librarianship. This article examines pathways to becoming a subject librarian, particularly in an academic setting. Using case studies from three subject librarians with different backgrounds as examples, the article finds common themes and best practices for both obtaining these types of positions and achieving success as a subject librarian. The role of education, professional development and networks, and leveraging experience are discussed as means for librarians to move from working in a broad role as a generalist to transition into a subject specialist. This article approaches the subject from a practical, “getting the job”, professional development perspective, aimed at librarians who are interested in making a career transition.
  • Authors

  • Pothier, Wendy
  • Howard, Heather
  • Campbell, Paul
  • Publication Date

  • May 28, 2019
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)


  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1