Relevant education for aspiring library professionals is available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Private and public universities around the country provide programs in the fields of library science and information technology.
Colleges and Universities with Library and Information Studies Programs
These schools offer a range of programs in Library and Information Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Both degrees and certificates are available.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$8,591 (in-state), $33,673 (out-of-state)|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$11,839 (in-state), $34,143 (out-of-state)|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$43,318|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Abor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,856 (in-state), $43,476 (out-of-state)|
|Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick||New Brunswick, NJ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$14,131 (in-state), $29,521 (out-of-state)|
|University of Texas - Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$9,806 (in-state), $34,676 (out-of-state)|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$10,388 (in-state), $33,741 (out-of-state)|
|Simmons College||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$37,380|
|Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$48,791|
|Pasadena City College||Pasadena, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,152 in-state, $6,810 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Here are some considerations for students interested in a library assistant program:
- Prospective students may want to look for schools that are accredited by the American Library Association.
- Students who are considering programs that include internships or practicums may want to find out where they are offered, in order to ensure that they will gain experience in the setting in which they one day hope to work, such as a school library or a museum archive.
- For students who are considering career-focused certificate programs, it can be helpful to find out if the credits can be applied toward associate's degree programs or the continuing education requirements of employers or professional organizations.
- Prospective students may want to look for schools that offer endorsement or licensing opportunities alongside their degree or certificate programs.
A few community colleges and technical schools provide career-specific certificate programs for library assistants. These programs provide basic training in everyday library procedures, such as cataloguing, materials circulation customer service. These programs may be available in online or part-time formats to accommodate the needs of working students who want to transition to library jobs.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in library technology cover many of the same topics as certificate programs, but they also include general education coursework. In total, these programs take two years of full-time study to complete, and they may confer an Associate of Occupational Science (AOS) degree.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
In bachelor's degree programs in library science, information studies and related fields, students develop their research and computer skills. Some programs focus more heavily on the technological aspects of the field, while others provide more courses on the educational aspects of working in a library, such as children's literature and information literacy. Some programs require students to complete a practicum in a relevant setting, such as a library, museum, archive or school.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in library and information science provide advanced courses in the field for future library professionals. They are typically intended for individuals who want to advance beyond library assistant positions, and they may be offered in online formats in order to accommodate the needs of those currently working in the field. At some schools, students may choose a formal concentration in an area such as archival studies, digital curation or youth services.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Library assistants do not need a PhD, but those who are interested in careers at research universities or major library systems can enroll in a doctoral-level library science program. PhD candidates take high-level coursework and write a dissertation in a particular area of interest. Possible research areas include, archives and information science, information behavior, social information systems, health information behavior, school librarianship and web-based information systems.
Individuals who are interested in becoming library assistants can pursue degrees and certificates at a range of levels in Library and Information Studies programs. Many of these programs are designed with future careers in mind and provide internship, practicum or endorsement opportunities, in addition to coursework.