What is a Master’s in Library Science?

A Master’s in Library Science is a type of college degree required of those who want to work as librarians. Though colleges and universities used this term for a number of years, most schools now call this type of degree a Master of Library and Information Science. Librarians assist patrons in a number of ways, including helping them find resources and use the library’s services, but there are also responsible for the general operations and management of the library. They order new books, hire new employees and handle the library’s budget too. If you want to work as a librarian, you should look at what this type of graduate program entails.

Types of Classes

While most college programs require that you take general education courses, you’ll have the chance to take more specialized and advanced classes in graduate school. Many of the schools that offer a Master’s in Library Science also let students choose a concentration in a field like digital curation or school libraries. A school library concentration will focus more on curating items for schools and assisting students. Digital curation is a newer field that looks at the importance of properly archiving and finding digital supplies and resources. You may also take courses on library planning, usability and library management.

Length of Program

If you enroll in one of these programs on a full time basis, you should complete your degree in around two years. Some colleges and universities require that students spend a semester or an entire year doing an internship in the field after finishing their studies, but some colleges let students do their internship while taking other classes. These programs are also available on a part time basis and online, but students enrolled in those programs may take three or more years to finish their degrees.

Other Components

In addition to the required classes that you take within one of these programs, your college may require that you complete some additional requirements as well. A common requirement is a thesis. You’ll need to choose a thesis topic and present it to your adviser before you start your research. The college may award you three or more credit hours for working on your thesis. Certain colleges offer a non-thesis route that gives students the option of doing an independent research project over a single semester instead of writing a thesis. Your school may also require that you do an internship in a local library and/or take a practicum course.

MLS Salary

Before signing up for a Master’s in Library Science degree program, you may want to find out how much librarians make. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median salary for librarians at around $56,800 a year. This amount varies based on where you live and where you work. Colleges and universities may pay librarians more than public libraries do. Though the BLS estimates that the growth of this industry will grow at a slower than average rate, it still found that the field will add around 2,700 new jobs.

Related Resource: Educational Researcher

Librarians go through schooling and training to learn how to work with patrons and maintain the daily operations of the libraries. You’ll learn all the useful skills that you need on the job in a Master’s in Library Science graduate program and the internship you do in that program.