Is a masters in library science worth it? The number of people who obtain a master’s degree in library science is unquestionably lower today than it was in the middle of the 1970s when graduate training in library studies was at its height. The number of students getting master’s degrees in library science has increased during the last few years, even though the proportion of all master’s degree holders who studied in this discipline has decreased by about half.
And it should come as no surprise that the field of library science is experiencing a rebirth, whether it is because of the dynamic and fascinating subject matter, the growing reliance on public libraries, or the growth of online learning.
There are currently so many institutions that offer library science master’s degrees that choosing amongst them may be more difficult than deciding whether or not to pursue an online Master’s in Library Science. Let’s examine what a master’s in library science comprises in more detail and how to determine whether a masters in library science is worth it.
What Is Library Science?
A major in library science teaches you how to manage numerous resources, including books and databases. You learn how to gather, arrange, and safeguard resources in more detail.
Other names for a library science degree include Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), and Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS). A Doctor of Library Science (DLS) or Doctor of Philosophy is another option for a doctoral degree in library science (PhD).
A library science major could go on to work in libraries, educational institutions, or museums. They might transition into other professions that need operational and organizational skills. Whatever you decide, majoring in library science gives you a ton of opportunities! For someone who enjoys learning, it might also be a fun career. After all, you’ll have tons of books in your office!
Masters In Library Science
A master’s degree in library science focuses on the acquisition, management, preservation, and administration of significant amounts of books and other materials. An American Library Association-accredited college or university is where students can get this degree (ALA). Programs in this area of study could concentrate on particular specializations depending on the kind of job applicants want, like a museum or academic library.
The average length of a master’s program in library science is two years. Through their curriculum, students acquire the skills necessary to carry out duties like:
- Gathering books, papers, documentation, manuscripts, and other written materials
- Directing particular library departments
- Book and special collection organization
- Keeping texts, records, and other data in archives
- Recording and archiving library inventory digitally
- Gathering information about inventory
- Directing other library employees
- Educating junior library staff
- Obtaining outside literature, records, or special collections
- Preserving the library’s inventory
- Controlling the daily activities of the library
Benefits Of Obtaining A Master’s Degree In Library Science
A master’s degree in library science will help prepare you for success if you’re interested in advancing your career in this industry. The following are the most typical justifications for pursuing a master’s degree in library science:
- Increased Knowledge
You can learn everything there is to know about library science by obtaining this degree. Collection, research, archiving, and preservation falls under this category.
- Increased Likelihood Of Employment
Future employers might find you more appealing if you have a master’s degree. You may also become more qualified for positions.
- A Greater Chance Of Earning More Money
With a master’s in library science, you can pursue work at higher levels, which may result in a higher salary.
Admission Requirements For A Masters In Library Science
There are standard entrance standards for the majority of master’s programs in library science. These may consist of:
- Obtaining A Bachelor’s Degree From An Institution Or University That Is Recognized
Typically, an undergraduate degree is required for entrance to a master’s program in library science. Your bachelor’s degree often has no field of study requirements, but you should check the websites of the schools you plan to attend for any restrictions.
- Requiring Applicants To Have A Minimum Undergraduate GPA
The majority of graduate degree programs have a minimum undergraduate GPA requirement. Numerous schools demand a minimum GPA of 2.75.
- Presenting A Resume With Your Entire Employment And Educational Background
A résumé outlining all employment experience, educational background, volunteer activities, accomplishments, and honors may be requested by schools. This aids universities in deciding whether you would be a great candidate for the program.
- Having A Minimal Targeted Score On The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
Many master’s programs have GRE requirements for admission that must be met. To find out what GRE score is required for a program, visit the websites of the colleges.
- Submitting A Personal Statement, Letter Of Intent, Or Application Essay
You can be required to write a personal statement or an essay for admission by schools. These remarks typically concentrate on your reasons for being interested in the program and how you see it advancing your long-term objectives.
Skills Necessary for Library Science
Graduates of library science are frequently required to possess a combination of technical and non-technical abilities to perform the duties of entry-level positions.
Necessary Skills for Careers in Library Science
- Research and Analytics.
Every discipline benefits from this ability, and library science isn’t any different. Professionals in the field of library science can always use research to pinpoint areas for improvement in their offerings and, based on the findings, create better systems and procedures.
- Library Service.
To communicate with users and assist them with their information requirements, librarians must possess certain skills. They must be familiar with using library services, guiding customers through the process, and performing simple hardware and software program troubleshooting in case issues develop.
- Information Technology.
Today’s libraries rely heavily on technology. Bookshelves are being replaced by computers in these locations. Information technology skills development and adaptation to 21st-century needs are requirements for professionals in this industry.
- Knowledge Management.
Professionals in the field of library science need to know how to gather, store, and share information within their companies. This will increase employee competencies and encourage the transfer of knowledge.
General Skills for Careers in Library Science
- Project Management.
Projects that, among other things, enhance awareness of library services and encourage reading and literacy are frequently carried out by libraries. To assist in achieving project objectives, staff members must be knowledgeable about ideas like financial management, marketing tactics, and event planning and coordination.
- Administrative Know-How.
Clerical responsibilities are frequently required by library science professionals. These include scheduling appointments, arranging books, returning phone calls, and filing paperwork. It is required of a graduate in this sector to be skilled and productive in carrying out these kinds of responsibilities.
- Reading Comprehension.
More than any other occupation, librarians are regarded by the public as having above-average reading comprehension skills. This ability will help assist clients in locating information sources that meet their requirements.
Which Qualification In Library Science Is The Best?
For graduates of library science, the American Library Association provides two certification programs. These credentials can make you stand out from competitors with degrees that are either comparable to or higher.
- Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC).
Only a high school certificate and at least a year of experience working as library assistance staff are needed for this certification program. Six out of the ten competencies outlined by the program are intended to be developed by candidates.
- ALA-APA Certified Public Library Administrator Program.
You require a master’s degree in library and information studies and at least three years of supervisory experience to be eligible for this certification program. Seven courses, including budget and finance, library marketing, and fundraising/grantsmanship, must be taken and passed by applicants to this program.
Career Options For A Masters In Library Science
You can pursue several occupations after earning a master’s in library science, including:
- Museum Curator
For those with training in archiving and cataloging skills, a variety of job options have recently opened up in the museum industry. The collections in museums are incredibly diverse and unique. Additionally, they are always expanding as people contribute items to museums that should be included in permanent collections. Each institution’s collection and new purchases must be tracked by the curator, who also develops and continually improves means to make the collections available to the general public and researchers while ensuring that they are accurately cataloged and wisely stored.
- Instructional Coordinators
Coordinators of instruction concentrate on developing and implementing curricula. In a learning environment, they aim to enhance instructional strategies and learning resources. They also oversee teacher training and development initiatives as part of their duties. Additionally, they are the ones that assess and suggest textbooks and other educational materials that will support the curriculum’s stated goals.
- Medical Archivist
The amount of information available to medical providers is growing. Health providers must look to individuals skilled in the abilities you have attained as a graduate with a Master’s in Library Science to archive medical data, access it when necessary, and ensure that it is shared with authorized individuals as governmental and insurance regulations for the proper management of this material increase. Such services are necessary for hospitals, private practitioners, clinics, and medical student libraries at top universities.
- Postsecondary Teachers in Library Science
Teachers of library science are in charge of creating lesson plans and compiling resources for use in the classroom. They lead conversations, design assessment tools, set aside time for student input, and assign grades to students after each semester.
- Chief Information Officer
In a company, the chief information officer is important. The chief information officer is responsible for managing a company’s whole digital collection of transactions, standards, budgeting data, regulations, employee records, and much more. The term “information” in the job title refers to “information technology.” The chief information officer in this role is required to wear many hats, including those of a researcher, archivist, and database developer to name a few. This job path is especially open to you as a Master’s in Library Science graduate who has studied information systems and archival technologies.
- Government Records Analysts
State and local government offices receive assistance from government records analysts with the implementation of laws and regulations on records management. They are responsible for improving record systems and procedures, developing administrative staff, and overseeing all record management activities.
- Researcher and Knowledge Specialist
No one understands the exponential growth of knowledge and information better than a graduate in library science. There is no one more qualified to assist organizations in managing both the data they generate and the information they need than you due to your expertise in information classification, storage, and retrieval. As a professional researcher, you will be tasked with determining the type of information that is required, collecting it from all relevant sources, and organizing it suitably. Additionally, you might be asked to deliver this knowledge in a formal context, like a webinar or conference.
A librarian’s duties include categorizing library books, managing enormous amounts of texts and documents, checking out and in borrowed materials, and arranging books. A librarian is the most popular profession for those with a master’s degree in library science. These experts can also concentrate on particular operational areas including outreach, technical support, serials, and catalogs.
- Legal Archivist
For legal practitioners, librarians can offer essential services. The world’s largest and most sophisticated law libraries are found in the United States. For lawyers, law students, lawmakers, and researchers, these specialized libraries and archives preserve significant collections of reports, reviews, legal digests, treatises, statutes, and a lot of other materials. As part of earning a Master’s in Library Science, the legal archivist will have developed crucial abilities that can be tailored to the unique requirements of the collections they will be working with.
Is A Masters In Library Science Worth It?
The final say on whether you think getting a master’s in library science is worthwhile rests with you. A career as a librarian can be ideal for you if you enjoy reading and have excellent organizational skills. However, you would be far better off getting a degree in a different field if that one piqued your interest more.
But in general, a degree in library science will open doors for you. No matter if you choose to work in a school, a public library, or a museum, there will always be a need for librarians. Librarians are constantly needed in schools. Additionally, museums will always require individuals to manage their archives. This is a career that will never go out of style.
Therefore, it is safe to state that earning a masters in library science is worth it if you enjoy studying it and want to work in the industry.
Masters In Library Science Vs Masters In Information Science
|Masters In Library Science||Masters In Information Science|
|It is possible to learn how to manage books and other materials at academic, public, and private libraries and museums by studying library science. You may be able to find employment in the industry by earning a master’s degree in library science (MLS), also known as a master’s degree in library and information sciences (MLIS). Consider obtaining this degree if you want to work at a library, museum, or private group.|
Your ideal job would be one in which you could assist others in gaining access to texts and resources while working in a library system. One of the numerous humanities and social science professions that might be beneficial for ambitious professionals is library science.
Thousands of people are drawn to invest their time, money, and effort in obtaining college degrees that will lead them to these occupations by their continuing relevance in the digital world today.
Degree holders in library science can find a variety of jobs, according to the most recent Zippia data. In contrast, more recent graduates choose to work in the education sector than any other.
|Students in a master’s program in information sciences are prepared to manage, explore, evaluate, and use information in both the public and private sectors. Massive volumes of data are produced by organizations, and those with a Master of Science in Information Sciences degree are in high demand to manage, organize, and analyze this data and provide prognostication.|
Because of their strong commitment to volunteerism, enthusiasm for establishing and upholding ethical and fair information practices, in-depth technical knowledge, and innovative spirit, information science professionals are uniquely positioned to address many of the most important issues our society faces.
Even in an online setting, the Master’s in Information Sciences program provides many chances for practical study. The practicum program offers experiential learning for credit hours, which enables students to make the connection between their academic work and real-world applications while also honing their professional competencies and problem-solving skills. A practicum is a fantastic method to network with influential figures in information science and might potentially result in employment.
Is A Masters In Library Science Worth It? With a master’s in library science, you can support an organization that educates people. Librarians actively participate in fostering communities. They provide shelter for those who used libraries to access online courses and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Information services are made available to everyone, especially the economically disadvantaged, with the support of library science professionals. Their professional life can only become more pertinent and significant as the digital divide widens.
Graduates with a Master’s in Library Science have learned skills that are currently in high demand by both for-profit companies and government agencies, including cataloging information, managing databases, and websites, and storing and retrieving knowledge.
The world is your oyster when it comes to establishing a lucrative profession when you have a Master’s in library science.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should I Study Before Library Science?
- For reference librarians, mass communication and English, for automation librarians, liberal arts and applied technology, and for archive librarians, history and sociology may be useful undergraduate degrees.
What Does A Master’s Degree In Library Science Teach You?
- Digital preservation, running a library or information center, Book preservation, children’s literature, collection development, cataloging, research technique, and archives management are some of the subjects you could study when studying library science.
You can also read, “Is A Masters In Information Technology Worth It In 2023?“