Find Top Schools for Master’s in Library and Information Science in United States

Master’s in Library and Information Science in United States

Many librarian jobs in the United States and even in Canada require a Master’s in Library and Information Science. The addition of the “information science” component distinguishes this degree from other Master’s-level library programmes such as a Master’s of Library Science. The degree prepares aspiring librarians for careers in managing digital information as well as physical information. Many schools in the United States enable students to couple the Master’s in Library and Information Science with certification programmes in disciplines such as school media, and many library programmes offer concentrations such as youth services and archival studies.

What Is a Master’s in Library and Information Science?

In many respects, a Master’s in Library and Information Science is similar to the older Master’s of Library Science degree. However, as digital information and technology take on even more importance in today’s world, quite a few schools have switched to calling their degrees with the information science addition. This is to emphasise that the degrees prepare students for modern library work. Whether you opt for an online programme, an in-person programme or a mixture of both, you can expect a few common features:

  • Required and elective classes.
  • Coursework for students who have teaching degrees.
  • The ability to focus on certain areas such as digital libraries or corporate libraries.
  • Emphasis on technology.
  • Internship opportunities.
  • High-quality faculty members with different types of experience in libraries.
  • Flexibility with scheduling so that you can hold down a job while studying.

As an example, at Drexel University, classes such as managing information organisations are required, while concentrations include archival studies, youth services, digital libraries, digital curation, and library and information services. Students can take classes fully online, in person or opt for a mix of both.

When searching for schools, students should look for a Master’s in Library and Information Science programme that is accredited by the American Library Association. This accreditation indicates that the programme meets requirements that the ALA deems vital to a librarian’s job.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Library and Information Science in the United States?

You stand to enjoy many benefits by getting a Master’s degree in library and information science in the United States. To list a few of the advantages:

  • Many employers such as public libraries and school libraries require the degree for work in the United States and in Canada.
  • You can specialise in areas of interest such as school media or research librarian.
  • School and programme options are diverse; for instance, if you want to study near the beach in California, you could attend the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
  • You develop soft skills such as research, writing and communications.
  • The degree may enhance your career and salary prospects.

Application requirements for library and information science programmes depend on the school. In general, expect to submit an essay or statement of purpose and, for international students, evidence of English-language proficiency.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect with a Master’s in Library and Information Science?

A Master’s in Library and Information Science can lead to many types of librarian careers. Job titles may include:

  • Research librarian
  • Museum librarian
  • School library media specialist
  • Corporate librarian
  • Library director
  • Library manager
  • Cultural heritage preserver
  • Law school librarian

A school library media specialist also tends to have a teaching degree. These professionals teach students how to use electronic resources, for example, how to use the internet to find information on a dog breed or how to conduct research in electronic databases. The specialist often develops programmes around events as Earth Day, and collaborates with teachers and administrators to develop instructional lessons.

A corporate librarian may work for a company such as an oil corporation or an athletic wear company. The job basically entails:

  • Fitting in with the culture of the corporation.
  • Developing reference services and building employee awareness of them.
  • Cataloguing information and digitising information.
  • Working with employees from all over the United States and the world.
  • Doing tasks such as project management, archiving and outreach.

A career in library and information science is possible with a Bachelor’s degree. However, a Master’s degree results in expanded career and salary opportunities for many people. A Master’s degree can also be attractive for people seeking changes in the middle of their careers.


If your interest is piqued, start today to explore the wide world of Master’s in Library and Information Science programmes in the United States.

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