Schools for Aspiring Librarians

Learn how you can locate a school with a library science program, and read about bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field. Check the requirements for becoming a librarian, which may include licensure or certification. Get info about online library science programs, and find out how online courses work. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

To become a librarian, an education in library science is generally necessary, and can be explored at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Continue reading below to see how you can find these programs, as well as more information about whether they are right for you.

How Would an Aspiring Librarian Find an Appropriate School?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists at least 90 schools that allow you to pursue degree programs in areas related to library and information science (http://nces.ed.gov). However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers often will hire you only if you hold a degree from a school that has been accredited by the American Library Association (www.bls.gov).

In addition, a master's degree is the minimum qualification you must meet in order to secure employment as a librarian in nearly all libraries. The ALA website features a searchable list of accredited universities that offer appropriate master's degree programs (www.ala.org). You can find programs offered through a university's school, department or college of library and information sciences, education and human sciences, communication or a similar department.

If you're specifically interested in becoming a school librarian, you might want to consider a master's degree program that has been accredited by the National Council of Teacher Education. In order to help you in your search, the American Association of School Librarians (an entity overseen by the ALA) offers an online directory of such schools.

How Do I Earn the Right Degree?

Your first step in becoming a librarian is to earn a bachelor's degree, which is necessary to be admitted to a master's degree program. The BLS notes that although undergraduate programs in library sciences exist, a bachelor's degree in just about any field should suffice for admission to a master's degree program.

A program leading to a degree such as a Master of Library Science or a Master of Library and Information Science usually consists of at least 36 credits. Depending on the school, your specialization and the delivery platform of the program, it can take 1-2 years to complete. Some schools allow you a much longer time to complete the program, particularly if you're attending part-time.

Typical required courses cover the organization of information, information technology and research methods. You'll select additional courses with the aid of a faculty advisor. You may specialize in such areas as school media, special collections or public libraries. If your interests include another specialized field, such as law, medicine or engineering, some schools give you the opportunity to earn a dual degree, an additional graduate degree or a graduate certificate.

A school may present you with the option of completing a thesis. However, an integral part of most schools' programs is an internship. You may have the choice of completing your internship at any of a variety of external facilities, such as libraries, museums, media centers, other universities or businesses.

Earning your degree alone may not be enough to qualify you to become a librarian. Each state has different licensure qualifications. Some school libraries require teacher certification. The ALA can give you access to a directory that lists the librarian licensure requirements in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Programs in Library Science?

A wide variety of institutions offer bachelor's degree programs in library science. Some of the schools which offer either online or traditional programs are:

  • University of Maine at Augusta delivers a Bachelor of Science in Information and Library Science degree program online.
  • University of Nebraska provides an online Bachelor of Science in Education in Library Science degree program.
  • University of Southern Mississippi has a Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science degree program.

Which Schools Offer Master's Programs in Library Science?

Master's degree programs in library science are also available at a multitude of colleges and universities, including the following:

  • Kent State University has a Master of Library and Information Science degree program.
  • University of North Carolina provides a Master of Science in Library Science degree program.
  • Indiana University Bloomington offers a Master of Library Science degree program.

Are There Any Programs Available Online?

Many programs are through online education. The ALA offers a comprehensive listing of schools that provide programs that are fully or partially online, hybrids, which are partially or primarily online with some face-to-face courses, as well as Internet or broadcast programs. Depending on school practice, Web programs may be presented synchronously (wherein you'd log on at specific times) or asynchronously.

Which Schools Offer Online Master Degree Programs in Library Science?

A handful of schools also allow students to complete coursework entirely through the internet. Below are a few examples:

  • Sam Houston State University provides an online Master of Science in Library Science degree program.
  • Drexel University has a Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree program available online.
  • Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis offers an online Master of Library Science degree program.

For students interested in library science, degree programs are commonly available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels; a master's degree is often the minimum qualification for a job as a librarian. Some programs are also available online, allowing more convenience to students.

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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