Master's Degree in Library Science

Oct 10, 2019

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in library science, which may also be referred to as library and information science, cover the foundational knowledge necessary to become a librarian. Students learn how to assist library users, evaluate resources, and use evolving information technologies. In some programs, students can concentrate in a specific area, such as school media or reference services. Many library science programs require students to complete internships or media practicum placements. At the end of the program, students must usually complete a research-based capstone project based on their particular interests.

Master's Degree in Library Science

Students in library science programs study information related to digital literacy, school media, reference techniques, leadership, and media technologies. They learn about performing research and how to properly sort information. Common course may include:

  • Information environments
  • Collection development
  • Cataloging
  • Reference services
  • Information literacy
  • Digital libraries

Popular Career Options

Graduates who attain master's degrees in library science might work in public libraries, school library media centers, technical libraries, research libraries, government agencies, museums, or non-profit organizations. Possible job titles include:

  • School library media specialist
  • College librarian
  • Archivist
  • Curator

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2018 and 2028, employment of librarians is expected to grow by six percent, and employment of archivists is projected to grow by nine percent. In May 2018, the median annual salary was $52,240 for archivists and $59,050 for librarians.

Continuing Education and Certificate Programs

Individuals may opt to pursue doctoral degrees in library and information studies or a related field. Doctoral programs offer research-based educational opportunities for individuals to explore their interests in the field. Another option for graduates is to obtain certification in a specific area of library science, such as school library media or museum studies.

In summary, master's degree programs in library science provide students with the library-related skills they need to pursue almost any career in the field or to advance their education in a doctoral degree program. Job growth for librarians is expected to be slower than average over the next several years, but archivists could find more employment opportunities.

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