Bachelor's Degree in Library Science: Program Summary

A bachelor's degree in library science trains students in modern library administration and can prepare them for graduate study or careers in public, school, corporate, military, museum, or special research libraries.

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Essential Information

There are no specific prerequisites for entering a bachelor's degree program in library science. Degree programs may allow students to focus on their particular interests. For example, those who want to teach in a school library could earn a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis on, or certificate in, library science. Another choice is a degree in liberal arts with a focus on library studies. An undergraduate library science degree can also provide a pathway to graduate school in library science.


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Bachelor's Degree in Library Science

Graduating with a bachelor's degree in library science requires four years of study, during which students learn about modern library tools and procedures used in collecting and maintaining informational media. Common courses may include:

  • Literature studies
  • Basic computer programs
  • Database types and functions
  • Classification and cataloging systems
  • Resource management tools and strategies
  • Information media types and uses

Popular Career Options

Recipients of a bachelor's degree in library science qualify for library support positions. Depending on the library, students may fill some of these positions while still in school. For example, library pages have no education requirements because they are only responsible for shelving and organizing media. Positions which may require a bachelor's degree include:

  • Library assistant
  • Library technician
  • Library clerk
  • Associate librarian

Continuing Education Information

Most institutions that offer a bachelor's in library science also provide a master's program. Some colleges with only a library science bachelor's program provide matriculation agreements with other universities for students to complete a Master of Library Science or Ph.D. program. Students may choose to expand their knowledge in related areas though courses in a target area like management or educational media. The American Library Association (www.ala.org) states that management positions generally require master's degrees or higher, though some libraries have been known to waive this requirement under certain circumstances.

The most common degree for those wishing to work in libraries is the 4-year bachelor's degree in library science. This program teaches students about modern library tools and procedures and prepares students to work in a variety of library support positions or continue their studies in a master's degree program.

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