Job: Secondary Librarian (6-12)

10/6/14 – Secondary School Librarian (6-12)
Albanian College, Durres, Albania

Albanian College is a brand new school in Durres, Albania on the Adriatic. The school is a purpose-built facility for up to 800 students with two libraries (Primary and Secondary), two pools, gym and other facilities. The teaching team is very international with no one nationality representing more than 20% of the total staff. The school enrollment is very small as we are the newest private school in Albania. They offer PYP and MYP programs and hope to offer the IB Diploma in the near future. Applicants who have not been through PYP or MYP training will be trained in IB certified workshops as part of their professional development. The cost of living in Albania is very low; housing is provided for free with teachers responsible only for utilities. Due to Albanian government residency permit issues, we can only consider teachers from North America and western Europe at this time.

Sarah P’s comments:  This position is posted as open now but they indicate they are open to receiving applications for next year if you cannot travel immediately.  There are no reviews yet on International School Reviews.  To see more details and to apply you will need to join The International Educator (TIE) for $39.00.  They first posted an elementary position (see my post from 9/9/14).

This is potentially a good position to apply for because they are offering to train you in the IB (International Baccalaureate curriculum which is the most popular curriculum in international schools as well as in a growing number of US and UK schools. Having IB experience and training will greatly enhance to your employability in the international K-12 market.  In addition, I have been through an IB accreditation and they are very supportive of librarians and thus helped my administration to realize the importance of the library – always a good thing.

4 thoughts on “Job: Secondary Librarian (6-12)

  1. Hello Sarah, do you know if I would need a teacher license for this job? I’m really interested by it, but I only have a MLIS degree…


    • Hi Marie,

      Schools prefer to have the media specialist certification but I know librarians who are working overseas with just the MLIS as that is what is required to obtain the visa. I know of very few librarians who have a full teaching certificate as well. While that might seem like a good idea I caution about getting one because it means that schools can pull you to teach – and I have seen many cases where that happens and is one of the reasons I never obtained more than the media specialist certificate.

      I would like to make a few suggestions which would improve your viability as a candidate:

      1. You will need to join TIE (The International Educator) in order to apply as, for some reason, this school is not listing the library positions (there are two, one for elementary and one for secondary) on their website. Here are the listed requirements for the secondary library position:

      1. Degree in education or subject area to be
      2. Certification or PGCE or equivalent taught (PGCE is a British term for teaching certificate (Post Graduate Certificate Education)
      3. Flexibility
      4. CV with photograph, copy of passport information page
      5. Candidates with EU or North American citizenship given preference due to residency visa issues, but all nationalities welcome to apply

      2. They do not mention this in the requirements but, as this is an IB school, experience with the International Baccalaureate curriculum would be a big plus. Experienced international librarians will have this however as this is a new school it is likely they will have some difficulty hiring one. Also, schools usually pay for IB Training. However in order to improve your chances I would suggest visiting the IB site and familiarizing yourself with the curriculum as well as visiting or volunteering in an IB school library near you. IB is growing in popularity in the US and you should be able to find one. A final note is that the IB believes in the importance of librarians to its program and thus working in a IB school means you will play an integral role particularly when it comes to accreditation – which usually means you will enjoy an adequate budget and some job security!

      3. While it is possible to obtain a position without the US school media certification, it would be advantageous to begin working on it ASAP. This is fairly easy. Send in your transcript to the US state of your choice (for a fee) and they will tell you the courses you need to take to obtain it, normally 4-8 classes. (See link in Book Resources for list.) These can be studied online and you could start now and continue while you are working overseas. This is how I did it and my superintendent was supportive, in part because librarians are somewhat hard to find. However, I did have two years of working in a school library as an ed tech before I earned my master’s degree so make sure you at least volunteer in a nearby school library and/or can show some experience teaching and/or working with kids in some capacity
      4. I would like to also suggest you read my book as I devote a whole chapter to the ins and outs of obtaining a position in international schools and thus offers more info then I can share in this space.

      Best of luck and please write with further questions or comments as I’m sure this information will be of help to others as well. Safe travels, Sarah P.


      • Wow Sarah! Thank you so much for your quick reply!
        My situation is a bit complex… I’m in the French-part of Canada, working as a school board librarian which means that I have 32 primary schools and 3 high schools to support. I’m familiar with the IB programme, but I’ve only worked with a primary school so far. English is also my second language, but I have a bachelor’s degree in translation. I hope it will be enough.
        I guess I’ll give it a try and see if I could be what they are looking for.
        Thank you again!!!



      • My apologies for assuming you are an American librarian. After all my traveling I should know better! Yes, I definitely think you should apply although you might want to state you are open to either primary or secondary which will broaden your chances. Also, it’s great you have had some exposure to the IB which, frankly, I think is worth more than school media certification. By the way, I am from Maine, and my maiden name is Geoffrion, though in our era we were not taught French. Best of luck and please let me know how things progress for you. Safe travels, Sarah P.


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