Associate Degree in Library Science: Program Overview
Most librarians are required to have a master's degree in library science before they can find employment in the field. However, some schools do offer associate's degree programs in library science to provide students with an introduction to the field and prepare them for further academic study or entry-level positions as library technicians.
Associate of Arts in Library Science
Associate's degree programs in library science are designed to provide students with an overall introduction to libraries and information systems. Programs' primary role is to prepare graduates to apply for positions as library technicians or to transfer credits to a bachelor's degree program in library science.
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 gain a thorough understanding of how to care for library materials and how to operate the technical organizational systems used in libraries. They also learn how to assist librarians in acquiring materials and locating resources.
Individuals who are interested in becoming librarian 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:
- Introduction to library technician
- Care of library materials
- Library technical services
- Library media services
- Library acquisitions
- Library automation
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Local libraries, government libraries, schools and other information resource centers employed more than 111,000 library technicians in 2009, 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 $29,570. The highest-paying states in the field were the District of Columbia, California and Nevada.
Certification and Continuing Education
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.
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