A library science degree encompasses more than what you may imagine for a typical librarian. It isn’t simply stocking books or helping others search for a periodical. Instead, it delves much deeper into research and community involvement. If this sounds interesting to you, you might be happy to find out that you can actually earn your library science degree online.
Below you’ll learn more about this fascinating field and which colleges offer this type of degree.
What is Library Science?
Library science is defined as “the principles and practices of library operation and administration, and their study.” It’s actually a subcategory of information science.
This field focuses on how to preserve, collect and organize books and other research material in libraries. While you may have not given much thought to libraries in the past, the institution is extremely important in academia and the community itself. Thus, it is important that those charged with operating the facility must have an organized, hands-on approach to all the materials involved.
What Courses Will I Take for a Library Science Degree Online?
Library science degrees will require a variety of courses. Those courses may include:
- Research methods
- Information and organization
- Media and literature for children
- Library management and leadership
- Multimedia and data collection
- Grant writing and development
- Cataloging and classification
Each of those generalized courses can even be broken up further into specialized areas depending on the college’s requirements or the area in which you want to specialize.
Who is Best Suited for a Library Science Degree?
Those most suited for this field of study must enjoy research and data management. This will include both printed and digital media.
If your goal is to get a job as a school or college librarian, archivist or museum curator, this degree would be what you need.
By 2026, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs in library science will grow by 13 percent. This makes sense being that we just can’t seem to get enough information in this age.
Which Colleges Offer Library Science Degrees Online?
If you’ve made the decision to pursue this type of degree, now it’s time to choose which college is right for you. Keep in mind that one major advantage of online degrees is the time and money it saves you overall. There will be no extra expenses for room, board or travel, and you won’t spend extra time traveling to and from campus.
Bachelor Degree Options
Here are a few of the top colleges that offer bachelor’s library science degrees online:
- University of Nebraska- Omaha: This college offers a bachelor of science in education with a library science major. They incorporate hands-on learning and research opportunities to advance your skills.
- Northern Kentucky University- You can earn a bachelor’s degree in library informatics at Northern Kentucky University. Overall, you’re mostly allowed to complete work on your own time while meeting specified deadlines.
- University of Southern Mississippi- At USM, you are able to earn a bachelor’s in library and information science. As a bonus, all online students pay in-state tuition rates. And, perhaps uniquely, this program requires an internship during your senior year.
Master’s Degree Options
If you’ve already received your bachelor degree in library science and are pondering the thought of pursuing a master’s degree, there are plenty of online opportunities for that, as well. These give you the added flexibility to continue to work while you study.
Colleges available to pursue your online master’s degree in library science include:
- Appalachian State University
- University of North Texas
- University of Washington
- Murray State University
Because there are so many options available, it will be up to you to do your research (which you shouldn’t mind if you’re considering this degree) to determine which option is best for you. You’ll want to review tuition costs as well as course requirements.
As you can see, earning a library science degree online is 100 percent possible. The only “problem” you may have is narrowing down which avenue to pursue. This growing field may be looking for you!