Bachelor's Degree in Library Science: Program Summary
A bachelor's degree in library science prepares the recipient to understand a modern library's workings while learning how to organize and manage media. The field allows for many areas of interest, and bachelor's degrees provide a springboard to graduate degrees in library sciences.
Bachelor's Degree in Library Science
Entering library science program requires only admission to the college or university offering the program. Library science is an open field that teaches library administration courses while allowing students to focus on areas in which they are interested. For example, students interested in teaching at a school library can enter a program that offers a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis or certificate in library science. Students can prepare to become librarians for public, school, corporate, military, museum or special research libraries.
A few schools offer a Bachelor of Library Science. More commonly, library science programs lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Library Science, or a bachelor's degree in another field, such as education, information science or liberal arts, with a certificate or emphasis option in library studies.
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 specific to their library's specialties. Basic courses include:
- Literature studies
- Basic computer programs
- Database types and functions
- Classification and cataloging systems
- Resource management tools and strategies
- Information media types and uses
- Library administration procedures
- Media selection and purchasing
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 returning and organizing media on their appropriate shelves.
- Library assistants
- Library technicians
- Library clerks
- 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 articulation agreements with another university for students to complete a Master of Library Science or a Ph.D. program. Students may choose to expand their knowledge base in related areas though courses in a target area like management or educational media. The American Library Association (www.ala.org) mentioned that managing positions generally require a master's degrees or higher, though some libraries have been known to waive this requirement under certain circumstances.
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