If you are considering taking up a career as a librarian, going for a library science degree program from any of the best schools will be a perfect way to start.
To help you out, we have put down here information about how you can get a library science degree, the Best Schools and Programs to go for. We also included the requirements and cost of the programs.
Librarians provide an invaluable service in answering visitor questions, supporting research projects, and educating communities. While their work may seem simple to library users, librarians provide complex and vital services that typically require a master’s degree.
This post also provides important information about careers in the library, including the degree opportunities and available jobs.
You can navigate through the table of contents below to get an overview of all that this post entails.
What Exactly is Library Science?
Library science is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that incorporates practices, perspectives, and tools from management, information technology, education, and other fields. Libraries; collection, management, storage and dissemination of information resources; and the political information economy.
It is also referred to as library studies, library science, library economics, and computer science
With the huge increase in technology over the last decade, gaining a degree in libraries provides you with many exciting career opportunities.
A master’s degree in libraries or online MLIS can provide you with the communication and research tools you need not only to work in a library but also as a research analyst or recipient of data for a large corporation.
In your Library Science courses you will deal with many types of media such as books, academic journals, data bases, magazines, newspapers, and websites.
Your classes will teach you how to catalog and classify materials, analyze literature, conduct and write research papers, and develop databases of information.
Why a Career in Library Science?
One misconception most people have today about Library Science as a career is that they believe that its doesn’t go beyond working in a Library and for that reason, the need for it is limited.
That is wrong because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for librarians should increase by 9% in 2026 which shows an increase in job opportunities.
Also, library science careers will provide you with a dynamic work environment and opportunities to help others.
Additionally, librarianship careers also offer great growth potential and satisfaction in providing knowledge and advice to communities.
Moreover, you also have the right to earn or maintain state and industry certifications when promoting your education. Once you have a certificate, you can get the job you want and increase your salary potential and pursue a career.
Furthermore, library science careers attract lifelong learners who are committed to promoting their education through higher education and continuing education opportunities.
Skills needed in Library and Information Science
To take up a career in Library and information science, there are skills you must have if you really want to be exceptional. Some of the skills includes the following:
Types of Library Science Degrees
There are four types of degree in Library science programs that you can go for. These degrees can help you build a career in Library science. they are;
- Associate degrees
- Undergraduate Degree
- Master’s Degree
- PhD degree
Note, the duration for getting a degree program each varies.
Associate degrees are a two-year degree. Graduates of these programs are qualified to work as library technicians, library assistants, or paraprofessionals in school libraries.
In addition, many of the credits you earn in the associate’s degree program can be transferred to the undergraduate program if you choose to continue your education.
However, library science programs usually consist of several general education courses, as well as library science courses on the following topics: Acquisitions, Cataloging and Library technology.
Note, with an associate’s degree in library science, you can research entry-level work and determine if a long-term library science career meets your interests and goals. Associate degrees also impart valuable skills applied in a variety of professional careers.
Undergraduate programs can usually be completed in four years. If you need a more flexible option, there are also online library degree programs.
Many graduates of this program find positions as professional librarians or in museums, archives, and publishing companies.
In some states, a library degree will meet the minimum educational requirements necessary to become a certified school librarian.
To work as an academic or public librarian, you must obtain a master’s degree in library.
This degree is acceptable to any undergraduate student, although if you plan to work in a private specialty library, such as a music library or health library, you may want to consider earning a bachelor’s degree in that field.
Typically, MLS can be completed in two years of full-time study and there will be frequent courses: Database design, Information organization, Search methods, Digital libraries, Library systems and User requests.
If you want to continue your studies in library science above the master’s level, you may want to consider getting a doctorate. in library science. As a doctoral student, you can attend courses: History of libraries, Search methods, Statistics and Theoretical development.
You may also need to sit for a field exam or review to show that you have a good understanding of the fundamentals of library science and prepare a research presentation or submit a paper for publication.
With a PhD degree in any Library Science program, you can work as a researcher or lecturer in the research departments of university libraries.
What can i do with a library science degree?
Graduates with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees can pursue careers as library technicians and teachers.
However, library science graduates with tertiary education typically earn the highest salaries and the most career opportunities.
They also welcome greater responsibility and the opportunity to make positive changes at the departmental or institutional level.
As you review the major companies in this chapter, keep in mind that not all library science students become librarians.
They can also use their education to become historians, curators, teachers, and archives, among other careers.
Interestingly, these career opportunities pay well more than most science career opportunities. With a Library Science degree, you fit into any of the following positions;
Associate degree in library science
- Library Technicians and Assistants
- Teacher assistants
Bachelor degree in library science
- Middle school teacher
- high school teacher
- Special education teacher
Master degree in library science
- Elementary, middle, and high school principals
- Post-secondary education administrator
- Instructional coordinator
- School and career counselor
PhD degree in library science
- Survey researchers
- Postsecondary teachers
- Computer and Information Research Scientist
#1. Library Technicians and Assistants
This position deals with helping librarians catalog material, answer user questions, and perform administrative tasks.
Taking this position will provide you with an excellent introduction to the field of library science and provides professionals with the opportunity to practice the skills acquired in their library science program.
#2. Teaching Assistants
This is another well-paying job you can take up with an associate degree in Library Science. You will work in public and private K-12 classrooms.
Basically, your duties will include answering student questions, monitoring behavior, and assisting teachers in preparing lessons and materials.
Interestingly, this position will help you obtain a teacher’s certificate, as many states require school librarians to have a teaching license and librarian approval.
#3. Middle school teacher
In public and private schools, secondary school teachers educate students in grades 9–12 in 1–2 academic subjects.
Other responsibilities include advising students and collaborating with peers on school and district policies.
#4. High school teacher
High school teachers teach students in grades 6-8. They teach specific subjects, make lesson plans, meet with parents, and evaluate student learning.
#5. Special education teacher
With this position you can work with children with mental and physical disabilities. You will also be responsible for keeping detailed records and legal documents.
#6. Postgraduate teacher
Postgraduate teachers teach students in colleges and universities. They teach 1 to 3 courses each semester. They also publish original research, guide students, and collaborate with peers to create new courses.
While some postgraduate teachers only have master’s degrees, full-time teachers must have doctoral degrees in their fields.
#7. Survey Researcher
Graduates with a doctorate in library science have the skills needed to successfully complete the position of survey researcher.
Survey researchers conduct in-depth research to create unbiased surveys. Large corporations often hire these professionals to assess employee satisfaction or to assess public opinion about a new product or service.
#8. Computer and Information Research Scientist
Many library master’s and doctoral programs acquire advanced computer skills.
As a result, graduates can become researchers in computer and information research by creating new software programs that librarians and users use to research material and data.
These professionals play a vital role in ensuring the relevance of libraries.
Librarians perform many administrative tasks, such as planning library programs, approving purchases, and training less experienced librarians and library technicians.
Job responsibilities may vary depending on where the librarian works (such as schools, public or medical libraries).
#10. School Principal
Primary, secondary and secondary school principals use their education and experience to lead staff, develop new initiatives and act as a public image for their school.
Other tasks include solving disciplinary problems and advising teachers. School librarians with teaching experience and a master’s certificate can successfully play this role.
#11. Postgraduate education administrators
This position is often held by an experienced graduate librarian, managing his or her school library by hiring staff, conducting training seminars, and reviewing proposals.
#12. Teaching coordinators
Your major role as a teaching coordinator is to develop curricula for public and private schools.
You will analyze the data; adhere to local, state, and industry standards; to train teachers according to the latest curriculum and teaching practices.
Note, experienced librarians can enter this position by writing professional development course programs.
#13. School and professional counselors
With this position, you can help students explore higher education and career opportunities. Professionals can use the research skills acquired in the Master of Science (MSc) program in the library to help students choose the right colleges and universities.
Library science graduates can begin this career with additional education and experience.
What to consider When choosing library science school
There are several factors to consider when choosing the school that best suits your needs:
To be accredited by the American Library Association, a school must meet a wide variety of criteria.
If you want a position that requires a master’s degree in library science, perhaps the most important factor is that your degree is ALA-accredited.
There are more than 60 programs in the U.S. and Canada that meet this requirement.
In the 1990s, several traditional library science schools began to become more defined “information schools”.
The result is a very diverse diversity of schools, some more traditional and others much more focused on different information professions. The world of libraries benefits from both, and you can too.
It is important to review course offerings and schedules to make sure the school meets your needs based on the types of courses offered.
For example, if you want to become a youth services librarian, you will want to make sure that the school offers courses in children’s literature, storytelling, early literacy, and more.
School librarians should take special care to obtain a certificate from the library media school. Some schools are for full-time students, while others offer courses in multiple locations on weekends and afternoons.
Other elements to consider are the availability of related courses in other schools, dual degree programs, and doctoral programs.
The costs can vary greatly from university to university. The total cost for each person will be different.
Factors to consider include private education, total number of credits required, room and catering facility, books and fees, travel and parking.
Scholarships and paid internships can help cover some of the costs.
Visit the University
A personal visit is highly recommended to better understand the program environment. Admissions officers can arrange for you to meet with faculty and students, tour the school, and attend some classes.
Current students and recent graduates can be a good source of information about their experiences at school.
The school admissions officer can often keep in touch with both, although you may want to join a discussion list that may include many recent graduates.
Admission requirements vary by university. Master’s programs typically require a four-year college degree (from any program); some will have additional requirements, such as an entrance essay or a minimum score on the graduate enrollment exam.
Other sources that try to evaluate “graduate” programs, such as the U.S. News and World Report, are great starting points, but be very careful and understand what criteria an evaluator uses.
What is Library Science Salary Like?
When talking about How much you can make a year with a degree in Library science, you can make enough that can really help you financially.
Below is an overview of the salary of some Library Science degree career opportunities.
|Career Opportunities||Salary Outlook|
|Library technicians and assistants||$29,640|
|Special education teachers||$59,780|
|Middle school teachers||$58,600|
|high school teachers||$60,320|
|Computer and information Research Scientist||$118,370|
|Postgraduate Education Administrator||$94,340|
How long does it take to a Library Science and information Degree?
The duration for any degree program you want to take depends largely on the type of degree you are pursuing.
For instance, an associate degree program in Library science will take you two years to complete, while an undergraduate degree program will take you four years to complete.
On the other hand, to get a master’s degree program will take you one to three years to complete while PhD degree will take at least 4 years.
What are the Application Requirements
Admission requirements at Library Science university will vary from one university to another. That being said, these are the most common academic requirements:
- High school diploma Certificate
- A high-grade point average (GPA) with at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- An American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
- Work Experience
- Statement of purpose
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose
Where can I get a Library Science Degree?
Below is a list of universities that offer Library Science Degree programs:
Lets take a look at some of the top Universities that offers Library Science Degree programs from the list above.
1. Appalachian State University
Location: 287 Rivers St, Boone, NC 28608, United States
Tuition: In-state: $3,772
When talking about the best places where you can get a library science degree, Appalachian state university should be on your list. The Appalachian State University graduation rate is 70%
This university is known as the leading public undergraduate school in the state of North Carolina which prepares students to live useful lives as global citizens who understand and take on their responsibilities to build a sustainable future for all.
Note, the University is part of the University of North Carolina System with more than 19,000 students.
Interestingly, this prestigious university offers more than 150 bachelor’s degrees and 70-degree programs, including two doctoral programs.
Location: 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Tuition: In-state: $44,646
Drexel University is a private research university headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1891.
This is among the best universities that offer library science degree programs to both national and international students.
However, this university has more than 70 undergraduate programs and more than 100 master’s, doctoral, and professional programs at the university.
Interestingly, they also provide opportunities for students to earn up to 18 months of paid full-time work experience in the field while studying.
Note, the graduation rate of this university is 68% which is good.
#3. Simmons University
Location: Bangor LL57 2DG, United Kingdom
Tuition: In-state: $35,200
Simmons University is a private woman-focused undergraduate university and private co-educational graduate school in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1899.
This university offers degree programs in Library Science to both national and international students.
Basically, the university has 5 graduate schools which include Library and Information Science, Social Work, Health Sciences, Business Management, and an Arts and Sciences program.
These programs provide degrees in Education, Communications Management, Gender, and Cultural Studies, Public Policy, and Liberal Arts with about 3,000 students.
Note, this university graduation rate is 73% which is good.
#4. University of Illinois
Location: 501 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6211
Tuition: In-state: $12,036
The University of Illinois is one of the top universities recommendable for library students who want to pursue a master’s degree.
With an M.S. in Information Management degree from this university, you are sure of handling information-intensive professional roles in a broad range of sectors.
Specifically, the Library and Information Science concentration of the campus-wide M.S. in bioinformatics program emphasizes multidisciplinary skills that are required for a career developing and managing information systems for the biological sciences community.
Furthermore, this program gives students the opportunity to study an aspect of information sciences in greater depth than is possible in the M.S. program, refresh and upgrade one’s professional training several years after completing an M.S. program.
Note, the graduation rate of this university is 85% which is very high.
#5. The Catholic University of America
Location: 620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20064, United States
Tuition: In-state: $39,200
The Catholic University of America is relatively small, with only 6,500 combined bachelors and masters.
However, CUA is organized by several universities and schools, through which it offers a wide range of academic opportunities both online and on-campus.
Interestingly, the Library Science program in this university is unique and ideal for those who want to learn the faith.
Basically, they offer a master’s degree in library and information science and religion studies. With this general program, you can study information, data, and archives related to theology and church history.
Note, the Catholic University of America’s graduation rate is 69%.
#6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Tuition: In-state: $6,423
Chapel Hill (UNC) is the leading university in the largest system in the University of North Carolina. It is one of the oldest schools in the country, as students began attending in the 18th century. Today, the UN Council is visited by almost 30,000 students.
The university provide students with the opportunity to create and manage libraries and information centers.
As students, you will learn the benefits of new service technologies, file science, effective communication, and more. UNC graduates have found work in a variety of locations, including: Public libraries, Government and non-profit libraries, Information centers and Museums.
Note, the graduation rate is 90%.
#7. Southern Connecticut State University
Location: 501 Crescent St, New Haven, CT 06515, United States
Tuition: In-state: $4,600
Next in our list of the top places where you can get a degree in Library science is Southern Connecticut State University.
This university is a place for students to improve and discover new passions. There are currently 181 undergraduate programs offered with an average student-to-faculty ratio of 14: 1.
Basically, this university offers only a Bachelor of Information Management and Services degree. With this degree, students will be able to understand the fundamentals of library science while taking other related electives.
The most popular courses include Human-computer interaction, Basics of data mining, and Sources of information.
#8. University of Southern Mississippi
Location: 118 College Dr, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, United States
Tuition: In-state: $6,980
This institution is renowned for the arts and specializes in such titles as theater, design, and dance. USM was founded in 1910.
However, the Bachelor of Librarianship and Documentation will prepare students for future K-12 librarians, as well as work in a variety of other academic locations.
Currently, this university has more than 15,000 students, and the entire university’s economy generates more than $600 a year.
Note, University of Southern Mississippi graduation rate is 58%.
#9. University of Maine at Augusta
Location: 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330, United States
Tuition: In-state: $6,510
The University of Maine in Augusta is known as the third-largest state university.
Basically, this university offers an online Bachelor of Library science degree. This program connects students to the faculty via email and the Internet.
The UMA Information and Library Science degree helps students develop the skills a contemporary librarian needs.
This comprehensive online program is packed with hands-on learning, community engagement, and prepares students for a future master’s degree.
Note, the graduation rate is 29% which is very low.
#10. Florida State University
Location: 600 W College Ave, Tallahassee, FL 32306, United States
Tuition: In-state: $4,640
Florida State University is one of the oldest universities established in Florida and among the best universities that offers library science degree programs.
Basically, this university offers library science master’s degree which is a combination of classes in information architecture, services, youth information, and more.
Other courses include offered in this university includes Digital media, Design and production of networked multimedia, Digital libraries and Introduction to data networks.
Note the graduation rate of this university 79%.
Where can I get Library Science programs?
Below is a list of universities that offer Library Science Degree programs:
Catholic University of America
College of Southern Idaho
Southern Connecticut State University
College of the Canyons
University of Mississippi
Diablo Valley College
Florida State University
Illinois State University
Kent State University at Kent…..
What career opportunity can I take up with a Library Science Degree?
There are wide career opportunities opened for Library Science degree holder. Some of them include;
Library Technicians and Assistants
Middle school teacher
high school teacher
Special education teacher
Elementary, middle, and high school principals
Post-secondary education administrator
School and career counselor
What are the basic admission requirements for Library Science Degree?
It is important to note that, Universities consider so many things before the can consider admission. Below are some of the basic admission requirements:
High school diploma Certificate
A high-grade point average (GPA) with at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
An American College Testing (ACT) or Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
Statement of purpose
3 letters of recommendation
Statement of purpose