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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Library Science

Majors Overview August 30, 2015

Overview of Library Science Master’s Programs

Individuals who want to work as librarians in environments such as public libraries, academic libraries, or special libraries, like law or corporate libraries, could benefit from a master’s degree program in library science. Librarians in most states must obtain teacher certification among other minimum requirements.

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek librarian positions. They can choose from possible job titles such as law, reference, school and music librarian, apart from archivist, media specialist, and library director. They may also seek employment in nontraditional library settings, such as:

•Nonprofit organizations
•Private corporations
•Consulting companies

Librarians employed in these environments work in information broker positions; their responsibilities include research, organization, evaluation and analysis of information for clients. Some librarians may seek online work, where they can manage information systems, including databases for businesses; they can choose from various job titles, including:

•Database specialist
•Webmaster

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for librarians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The low growth is due to the greater availability and employment of electronic resources, combined with limited government budgets. The best job prospects are available to librarians with experience in complex reference requests, database search techniques, and staff management. However, librarians with staff management, database search techniques, and complex reference requests were thought to have the best prospects; the fastest growth is available to librarians working in non-traditional settings.

In 2012, graduates with a master’s degree in library science were most commonly hired by hospitals, governments and schools (BLS). Wages differ by title. In March 2014, reference librarians brought in an average annual wage of $45,018; during that period, library directors earned $57,608 per annum, on average.

Certification Information

There are state-level certification requirements for librarians who work in public libraries or schools. A master’s degree in library science is required in some states while others mandate a teacher certification. These may be voluntary choices, but can vary by state. Most employers prefer librarians with master’s degrees.

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