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Most librarians need a master's degree in library science before they can find employment in the field, however, some schools offer associate's degree programs in library science. These programs introduce students to libraries and information systems.
Students enrolled in a 2-year associate's degree program in library science must complete general education courses in addition to core library science courses. They learn how to assist librarians in acquiring materials and locating resources. Graduates are prepared to apply for positions as library technicians or to transfer credits to a bachelor's degree program in library science.
Individuals who are interested in becoming library technicians or assistants should first be sure to earn a high school diploma. Schools offering associate's degree programs in the field also require students to be familiar with computer technologies.
Many courses provide aspiring library technicians with the practical tools and skills necessary to earn a position in the field while at the same time providing them with a solid general education background. Some examples of core courses include:
Local libraries, government libraries, schools and other information resource centers employed 94,260 library technicians in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for library technicians in that year was reported to be $31,680. The highest-paying states in the field were the District of Columbia, California and Alaska.
No certification or licensure is required to become a library technician in the United States. Those individuals who are interested in becoming librarians must complete a baccalaureate degree in any field as well as a master's degree in library science.