Online School Librarian Degree Programs

A degree in library information science could help you begin your career as a school librarian. Read on to learn more about online education options in this field at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Explore some course topics you'd study as a library science student and discover how online programs work. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Online School Librarian Degree Programs

School librarians generally hold degrees in library science or library and information science, and several schools offer these programs online. You should note that a bachelor's degree in library science may not meet state licensure requirements for public school librarians, also known as 'media specialists' or 'media coordinators.'

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of 2014, most states require librarians to have a master's degree in library science while some also require a teaching certification prior to licensure. Therefore, depending on location, an undergraduate program in education followed by a master's program in library science might be the preferred path for aspiring school librarians. State-by-state licensure requirements can be found through the American Library Association, or by contacting the government office overseeing licensure in your state.

Online DegreesBachelor's and master's degrees are available online.
Common CoursesBachelor's: Library organization, library procedures, children's literature
Master's: Research methods, management of information, information behavior
Online Study RequirementsVideo camera and microphone may be required.

What Types of Undergraduate School Librarian Degrees Are Available Online?

Some online bachelor's programs in library science are degree completion programs, which means you'll need to hold an associate's degree or otherwise meet general education requirements before enrolling. Through an undergraduate library science program, you can increase your knowledge of collection development, cataloging, and reference management, as well as develop your organizational, communication, and computer skills. Topics of study may include:

  • Children's literature
  • Adolescent literature
  • Library organization
  • Electronic information technology
  • Library procedures and practices

What Are My Master's Options?

MLS (Master of Library Science) and MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) programs are widely available online. Prerequisites may include a current teaching certificate and a passing score on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). Some of these programs are offered entirely online, while others require a mandatory on-campus orientation and/or fieldwork experience. It is important to ensure that your selected program is accredited by an official authority; recognized accreditation authorities for MLS/MLIS programs include - but are not limited to - the American Library Association (ALA), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and your state department of education.

Online graduate programs in library science tend to focus on library theory and may allow students to select a specialization, such as school librarian. In your final year of coursework, you'll likely be required to complete a research project or thesis. Your curriculum may include courses such as:

  • Information behavior
  • Information life cycle
  • Management of information
  • Research methods
  • Information organization
  • Information resources

How Is Coursework Delivered?

Coursework in a distance education program for aspiring school librarians may be delivered in the form of recorded lectures, as well as online readings and assignments, through a course management system. Students may need a video camera and/or microphone to take part in real-time online chats. Additional communication may take place through e-mail or discussion boards.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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