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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Library Science

Majors Overview August 10, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in library science and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certificate and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Library Science

Individuals seeking the foundational knowledge necessary for becoming a librarian could benefit by enrolling in a master’s degree program in library science, also called library and information science. The program also teaches ways of building and managing a collection, cataloging books, doing Internet research and sorting information. Students also learn about assisting library users, evaluating resources, and using evolving information technologies. Concentration areas, such as reference services or school media, are offered in some programs. In many library science programs, students are required to participate in media practicum placements or internships. A research-based capstone project based on their individual interests must also find completion.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. In some schools, applicants may also be asked to submit letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, or personal statements.


Coursework involves the study of information related to school media, digital literacy, leadership, reference techniques, and media technologies. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Digital libraries
•Reference services
•Information Sciences
•Collection development
•Management principles
•Information environments
•Information literacy

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek jobs in school library media centers, public libraries, research libraries, technical libraries, museums, government agencies, or non-profit organizations. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•College librarian
•School library media specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for librarians. Archivists are expected to see an eleven percent job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, archivists and librarians brought in respective average annual wages of $44,410 and $55,370 (BLS).

Certificate and Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll in doctorate programs in library and information studies or a related field; graduates may use research-based educational opportunities as an aid to exploration of their interests in the field. Program graduates may also obtain certifications in a specific aspect of library science, such as museum studies or school library media.

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