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Aug 31 2018

Library Science Degrees: Bachelor – s, Associate – Online Course Info

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Library Science Degrees: Bachelor’s, Associate & Online Course Info

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Studying Library Science: Degrees at a Glance

If you have passion for performing research, as well as organizing and processing information, an undergraduate degree in library sciences would qualify you to be a library assistant. Undergraduate programs in this field usually require students to double major in library science and another area of their choice. The skills that you learn in your undergraduate years will be creating the building blocks for master’s degree programs and careers as librarians.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), library assistants (who generally have completed an associate’s degree) were projected to see an average jump of ten percent growth in job openings from 2010-2020, while library technicians were expected to see nine percent growth during that same period. By contrast, BLS reports show that librarians (who are generally required to have earned a master’s degree) were anticipated to experience a slower-than-average job growth of seven percent for the same decade.

Who Is this Degree for?

People who are interested in working in library support positions

People who are interested in working in library support positions

Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary)

– Library assistant ($23,000)*

– Library technician ($30,000)*

Basics of an Associate’s Degree in Library Science

Associate’s degree programs in the library sciences allow technologically savvy students to use deductive reasoning and research skills to help others answer questions. Since most libraries of the world are rapidly moving toward digital formats, anyone seeking to work in libraries as assistants or technicians should also have interests in using technology as a cataloguing and researching resource.

Pros and Cons


  • You will be able to work in academic, private, public, and law libraries.
  • If you are interested in becoming a librarian, you will have built the foundation of the education necessary for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • You will learn about the latest technologies.


  • If you want to become a librarian, an associate’s degree will not suffice; you must complete your bachelor’s and master’s in library science.
  • Certification varies by state, so you may have to become recertified if you move.
  • This career track is not for introverted personality types; great communication and interpersonal skills are a must.

Common Courses and Requirements

This type of program is designed to prepare students to work as library technicians or assistants in a variety of different library settings. You will need to become proficient in cataloging, document delivery, public services, technology, and circulation procedures. In order to graduate, you must demonstrate your proficiency by successfully completing a library internship.

Examples of courses you might take at the associate’s level are:

  • Business applications
  • Research methods
  • Web systems
  • Literature
  • Multimedia applications

Online Degree Options

Since library and information science relies so heavily on technology, fully online programs are fairly easy to find. Courses are taught online, sometimes including video conferencing and streaming video of classes. Students maintain continuous contact with academic advisors via email, phone calls, and the college’s intranet.

How to Stand Out With This Degree

Strong technological and interpersonal skills are an absolute must in this area of study. Since the world is making the digital shift – and libraries are certainly at the center of it – it is important for library technicians and assistants to be well versed in the newest technologies, with an eye on what is to come.

Basics of a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science

Most Bachelor of Science in Library Science programs prepare students for graduate studies, so it is important to look for American Library Association-accredited programs. By incorporating a double major or a major in library science and a minor in another area of study, you become specialized in a specific area, helping you to becoming a potential subject librarian after you complete your master’s degree.

Pros and Cons


  • You will learn the latest research methods.
  • You will prepare yourself for master’s studies.
  • You will be qualified to work in a variety of different libraries.


  • Bachelor-program graduates are qualified to hold the same jobs as an associate’s-degree holder.
  • In order to work as a librarian, and not in a support position to a librarian, you will most likely need to complete a master’s degree.
  • Since certification varies by state, moving to a different state means that you will have to become recertified.

Common Courses and Requirements

Most programs require you to double major or take a major in library science, with a minor in another area of study. You will also have to complete an internship at a library of your choice, as well as a senior capstone.

Examples you might take at the bachelor’s level:

  • Digital environments
  • Information sources
  • Cataloging
  • Special libraries

Online Degree Options

Online bachelor’s degree programs are readily available, and they may be structured similar to on-campus options. For example, both types of program typically require you to have maintained a minimum GPA in your core classes, as well as tackling a major or minor outside of the library discipline. You will interact with your professors via email, phone, or video conferencing; classes held online come in various forms such as videos and live streaming lectures. You may have to complete a library internship or capstone in order to graduate.

How to Stand Out With This Degree

If you are considering getting your bachelor’s degree in library science, you should also consider seeking and completing a master’s degree in library science. Bachelor’s degrees are great if you hope to work as a library technician or library assistant, but if you hope to become a subject specialist, reference librarian, library administrator, library director, or any other highly ranked position, opportunities will be better if you have earned a master’s degree.

Related Articles

A Masters Degree in Library Science or Library and information science is the degree to pursue if you want to become a librarian at a public or.

An Online Graduate Degree program in Library Science prepares students to manage the storage, retrieval and use of printed and electronic.

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