Bachelor's Degrees in Library Science: Online and Campus Programs

Learn how you can earn a bachelor's degree in library science on campus or online. Read about typical course topics, online formats and employment opportunities for graduates. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Courses Will I Take in a Bachelor's Degree Program in Library Science?

You will take courses from a wide array of disciplines which will teach you how a library works, how books are classified and how to assist library patrons. You will likely take a sampling of courses that introduce you to more specific areas of study, such as young adult media resources, children's literature or storytelling. Many bachelor's degree programs in library science also require you to complete a library assistant practicum in which you work under the supervision of a professional librarian. Some courses that you might take include:

  • Intro to libraries and information services
  • History of libraries and books
  • Classification and cataloging
  • School libraries and curriculum
  • Library information technology
  • Searching databases and references
  • Collection acquisition and development
  • Library resources for children
  • Archiving materials
  • Library administration

Some programs offer bachelor's degrees in education with a specialization in library science. These programs usually feature general library science courses along with courses focused on primary, middle or secondary school librarianship. In some states, this program may qualify you for certification as a school library media specialist.

Degree Overview Training in library operations, assisting library patrons, and how books are classified
Common Courses Archiving materials, library information technology, searching databases and references, classification and cataloging, school libraries and curriculum
Online Availability 100% online and hybrid programs are available
Career Options Library technician, researcher, library assistant, bibliographer, information specialist
Median Salary (2018)$26,500* (for library assistants, clerical)
Job Outlook (2016-26)9% growth* (for all library assistants, clerical)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Complete This Degree Online?

Some library science programs are entirely online or include a combination of Web-based and video instruction. Online courses are generally presented through a learning management system such as Blackboard. Other programs are offered in a hybrid format that require you to attend some courses on campus. Any practicum requirements are completed at a library approved by your school.

All online library science programs require access to a computer with a reliable Internet connection and an e-mail account. Most courses require the use of Microsoft Word. You may have to purchase textbooks or other materials for individual courses.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get With This Degree?

With this degree, you may find a job as a library assistant or technician in a public, school, private, academic or specialty library, such as a law or medical library. You may also be able to find a job as a researcher, bibliographer or information specialist.

Most bachelor's degree programs in library science prepare you to further your studies in a Master of Library Science (MLS) program, since the MLS is the professional standard for advanced library positions. You may also need additional education to work in specialty libraries, such as coursework in law for employment at a law library.

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:
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Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

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  • University of Southern Mississippi

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    • Mississippi: Hattiesburg
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha

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    • Nebraska: Omaha
  • University of Maine at Augusta

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    • Maine: Augusta
  • Southern Connecticut State University

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    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • Emory & Henry College

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    • Virginia: Emory
  • Clarion University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Clarion
  • Chadron State College

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    • Nebraska: Chadron
  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Kutztown
  • Stanford University

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    • California: Stanford