Library Science Masters Programs | MLS Degree
What are Library Science Masters Programs?
Library Science Masters Programs explore aspects of the management and usage of libraries. It encompasses libraries’ educational systems and information technology, as well as the processes of collection, organization, and dissemination of information.
MLS Degree | MLIS | MSLS
Other terms that may be used relatively interchangeably with library information studies include; Library and information science, Librarianship, and Library science. Master’s degrees conferred upon successful completion of these programs include MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science), MLS (Master of Library Science), or MSLS (Master of Science in Library Science).
Aspiring library information studies graduate students should ideally possess the following qualities:
- Highly intellectual
- Curious and inquisitive
- Interested in research
- Fascinated with a wide range of literature
Library Science Masters Programs Application Requirements
Applicants to library information studies graduate school must hold a bachelor’s degree. They will need to submit a completed application form which usually includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, relevant standardized test scores, and an application fee. Some library information studies graduate schools require a minimum GPA or minimum test scores, while others require particular undergraduate coursework. Check with the admissions department at your prospective schools for specific requirements.
Library Science Masters Programs’ Curriculum
Depending upon the school curriculum for library information studies graduate programs may vary widely. For example, some schools focus may on information systems and technology, corporate librarianship, health sciences, etc. However, library studies graduate students can reasonably expect to encounter the following types of courses, during their studies:
- Foundations of library and information science
- Information organization
- Technology for information professionals
- Library services for children
- Library services for young adults
- Cataloging and classification
- History of the book
A master’s degree in library information studies can take anywhere from one to three years to complete, while the Ph.D. in library information studies takes an average of three to six years to complete, depending upon the school’s requirements and student’s own pace. Each state sets its own standards for librarian certification. Generally speaking, the process involves proof of a graduate degree, completion of an application, and a fee.
Library Science Masters Programs: Career Paths
Most individuals attend library information studies graduate programs with the intention of becoming librarians. Interestingly, a wide range of job options aside from librarian may exist for those who are qualified. The skill set may be applicable to the following types of careers, among others:
- Independent research consultant
- Caretaker of historic collections
- Documentation specialist
- Data analyst
- Library relations manager
Library Information Studies Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a librarian’s median salary in 2012 was $55,370. The minimum education requirement is a master’s degree, and projected job growth is slow at 7% between 2012 and 2022. This is due in part to regional budget cuts leading to library closures, as well as increasing technological literacy on the part of laypeople, reducing the need for librarians in those roles. The graph below provides 2012 median salary information for librarians employed in select industries.
St. John's University