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Librarian Masters Degree Program Information

There are several types of master's degree programs for librarians, but all offer instruction in how to best assist patrons, technology and library administration. Read on to learn about prerequisites, curriculum and certification requirements for librarians.

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Essential Information

Graduate programs for aspiring librarians typically award a Master of Library and Information Science (MILS) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Library and Information Science. However, some colleges and universities offer either or both a Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) and a Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS). Still, other schools confer a Master of Science in Information (MSI) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Information Resources and Library Science.

All have the goal of preparing students to manage a library and its services. Additionally, elective courses can help prepare students for specific library needs. Students learn about reference materials, research methods and organization of materials in addition to studying library management. A practicum in a library may be required. Most programs call for 36-40 credit hours of study and can be completed in about two years. Some programs are available online.

In most states, public school librarians must be certified, which may require holding a teacher's license in addition to completing a librarian training program. Some states call for passing a standardized test. Librarians in public libraries may need to be certified in some states as well. Students should make sure any program they are considering meets their state's requirements.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants to librarian master's degree programs must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Generally, this undergraduate degree may be in any area. Most schools expect an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, although that requirement might be waived if a student's GRE scores are high enough or if he or she already has a graduate degree in another subject.

Program Coursework

Courses that are common to most library and information science master's degree programs include:

  • Basics of library and information services
  • Information sources
  • Information technology
  • Library management
  • Organization of materials and information
  • Research methods

Popular Careers

Librarians' three primary focuses include patrons' needs, technical services and administration. In smaller libraries, there may be one or two librarians who perform all of these tasks. In larger libraries, however, librarians tend to specialize in just one aspect of a library's collections or services. Additionally, some libraries have one primary focus, such as legal, medical or religious information. Employers of librarians might include the following:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Corporations
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Government agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Law firms
  • Museums
  • Professional associations
  • Public libraries

Continuing Education

Library science and information technology are continually changing, and professional librarians need to keep up with these changes. Many workshops and online classes that provide continuing education for librarians are available, typically through colleges and universities, state libraries and professional organizations, such as the American Library Association. Additionally, some schools offer Ph.D. programs in library and information science.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MSEd in Educational Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants to master's programs must have already earned a bachelor's degree. Applicants to doctoral programs must have already earned a master's degree.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Arts in Education
        • Master of Arts in Education - Distance Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • Library Science and Related Professions
        • Library Science and Librarianship
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Education
      • Counseling and Guidance
      • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Library Science and Related Professions
        • Library Science and Librarianship
      • Philosophical Foundations of Education
      • Special Education
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas

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