How to Get a Library Science Degree
Whether you’re on the hunt for a bachelors degree or masters degree in library science, you should consider your options available at multiple colleges. Where can you get the best education in library science? What sort of courses and degrees does each school offer? It is important to choose a school that best suits your needs. Here, you will find a few schools to get your search started.
Ashford University offers a fantastic online program for students to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Library Science and Media. The school recognizes the fact that educational technology is expanding at an accelerated rate and has designed the program to fit its growth. The program offers courses that cover topics like information literacy, instructional design, literature and media for children and teens, and more. Many instructors of these topics have their own personal experience as librarians or in other careers related to library science, so students are guaranteed to receive excellent educational experiences. The fact that the program is online allows students the comfort of learning from home.
The University of Southern Mississippi allows students to choose a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Science. The curriculum for this particular degree prepares students for jobs as library technicians or library media specialists as well as other positions for library management and such. It builds students’ written communication skills and the ability to electronically record and catalog resource materials and other pieces of literature. The university offers on-campus and online options for this particular degree program.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania has offered education in library science since 1937. When students opt for the Bachelor of Science in Library Science Education, they can take library-related courses like Media for Children [and Adolescents] and Administration of Libraries. After completing the bachelors degree program, students can go on to earn their masters degree in library science at the university, as well.
Careers in Library Science
Before graduating with a degree in library science, you should have a good idea of what you want to do post-graduation. This section offers different career options and job descriptions for people with degrees in library science to explore.
Entry Level Careers in Library Science
Once you earn your bachelors degree in library science, a world of opportunity becomes available to you. Some of the jobs you may qualify for are listed and described here.
The most basic entry level position in library science is that of a library clerk. It is a perfect part-time job for a high school graduate looking to enter the world of library science or someone who is studying for a bachelors degree in library science. With a job as a library clerk, you are responsible for assisting at the checkout desk and assigning library cards to new visitors as well as using your spare time to restock shelves. It is a perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door for a higher position once you complete your educational training to become a certified librarian.
Many take positions as volunteers; but as professionals, library clerks can earn around $26,000 a year with more knowledge and experience.
Responsibilities of library technicians include those of library clerks and more. They also send out notices for overdue books or media, assist teachers in finding materials for educational purposes, fill out order forms and calculate costs for new materials, and train new staff members. Library technicians possess excellent communication skills as well as knowledge in basic math and management. A bachelors degree in library science is especially beneficial if you are considering a career as a library technician.
Library technicians can earn around $32,000 or more annually.
Advanced Careers in Library Science
Once you earn a masters degree or higher in library science, you’re bound to qualify for even more jobs, often with higher pay. A few of those jobs can be found here.
Library Media SpecialistLibrary media specialists typically work for schools of all levels in order to provide materials necessary to enhance students’ learning experiences, allowing them to easily access various forms of media for educational purposes. These specialists possess particularly high knowledge of computerized library research databases and excellent verbal and written communication skills in order to properly instruct students and teachers on the best ways to utilize multiple research materials both for classes and individuals.
Library media specialists can earn around $44,000 a year, depending on the school district and grades they teach.
Research librarians can work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to law firms, hospitals, and universities. They often work in specific departments related to whatever bachelors degree they earned in college, organizing and tracking materials in order to assist individuals with academic or scholarly research projects. They also manage budgets for materials within their departments among other duties. A research librarian possesses a masters degree in library science with a bachelors degree in another field from literature to history to medicine.
Research librarians can earn around $50,000 annually, depending on knowledge in their department and their experience.
Companies that Hire People with Library Science Degrees
Many companies, schools, and organizations hire people with library science degrees. Below, you will find some examples of places that offer jobs related to library science. Feel free to inquire about open positions at your local school and public libraries, as well.
Butler Area Public Library – located in Butler, PA
Alameda County Human Resource Service – located in Oakland, CA; offers variety of human resource services including grievance solutions, labor negotiations, unemployment insurance, etc.
ICF International – headquarters in Middletown, PA, with locations across the globe; energy business consulting firm; hires positions for library assistants, librarians, records keepers, etc.
McLaughlin Research Corp. – located in RI, WA, and VA; support for undersea research for U.S. Navy; hires positions for computer and information scientists, word processors, technical librarians, etc.
Frederick County Government – located in MD; hires librarians, library communication specialists, etc.
The job market for people with degrees in library science isn’t exactly booming at the moment. However, if you’ve got the proper education and a strong passion for the subject, you’re most likely to land a job before anyone else. With enough determination and confidence in yourself and the knowledge you possess, companies will not hesitate to offer you a job in library science.