Masters in Library & Information Science

A Master’s Degree in Library Science provides you with the knowledge and skills that you need to become a librarian or an information professional. You will learn about cataloging books and digital materials, Internet research and sorting of many types of information. By earning a master’s degree in library science, you can usually work in a public or private library system, a university library, some private companies that need help organizing information, and many public facilities.

A library science degree will provide you with the essential foundations for a career in librarianship or information management. Many library science programs offer several concentration areas, such as archiving, school media and reference services. Some of the most common skills you will learn in this master’s program includes:

  • Helping library users find needed information
  • Manage collections
  • Evaluate resources
  • Conduct research
  • Manage library systems

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for librarians is $54,000. You should keep in mind that a professional with a master’s in library science also can find work in many fields that require strong data management skills that command higher salaries.

Why Earn a Master’s in Library Science

As technology is growing so rapidly each year, many library science majors are finding that earning a master’s degree in this field provides them with a number of exciting career possibilities. They find that getting a master’s in library science can offer them the advanced communications and research tools that they need to be skilled technology experts – not just in a library but in many careers in the private sector. Some of the common benefits of this exciting master’s degree are:

  • More specializations available than ever. The world and technology of changing, and this is making library science programs evolve. Many of the best library science programs in the US now have several specializations available. At the University of Pittsburgh, you can choose from Archives and Information Science; Academic Libraries; Health; Youth; and Digital Libraries.
  • More online programs. The library science field now has many fully online degree programs, including for a master’s degree. Many full time working professionals find that being able to earn their degree fully online while continuing to work makes getting this master’s degree much easier.
  • More demand for many information-related jobs. There is generally lower demand for librarians today than generations ago. But as technology is improving, there are many other areas where master’s in library science students can use their skills. People who have developed very strong analytical and research skills often find excellent employment opportunities in many fields, such as computer systems management and market research
  • Changing emphasis of master’s programs. Most library science master’s programs today have more of an emphasis on the accurate and efficient collection and organization of information. Professionals who have advanced skills in managing and navigating information effectively can be very well qualified for many research, creative and documentation related roles.

Featured Online Programs

Additional Online Master’s in Library Science

  • Drexel University: This Master’s degree in Library and Information Science is known as one of the top programs in the field of digital information management. US News & World Report ranked this online, no GRE program as one of the best graduate schools in the US. Some of the core classes in this library science program include Research in Information Organizations, Social Context of Information Professions, Information Users and Services, Info Access and Resources, Foundations of Information Systems and Managing Information Organizations.
  • San Jose State University: The Master of Library and Information Science program will ready you for a rewarding career as an information professional who will be able to work in many information environments, from libraries to archives to digital information management offices. No matter if you are angling to become a digital librarian, digital asset manager or a virtual services librarian, this MLIS program will provide you with the skills and knowledge that you need to succeed. This program is fully accredited by the ALA.
  • Kent State University: The Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science is fully accredited by the American Library Association. Kent State is the top center of library and information scholarship in the state of Ohio, and is one of the top 20 LIS programs in the US> With this degree, you will be prepared for an exciting career in a library, information center or a variety of positions in the information industry. You will be prepared for leadership positions both in libraries and many information professions. No GRE is required if your undergraduate degree GPA was 3.2 or higher.
  • University of Arizona: The School of Information and Library Science has a Master of Arts with an emphasis in library science and information resources. This program has a strong weight towards technology and stresses theoretical designs of information resources. Strong abilities in competence and the ability to deftly manage information are the strongest aims of the curriculum. This online master’s program is fully accredited by the American Library Association, and does not require the GRE. UofA is featured in our top 100 online masters programs report for 2017.
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: The mission of the Library Information Science program is to provide you with a no GRE master’s degree that will prepare you for a career as a librarian or information specialist. You will be ready to undertake essential library instruction, research and service programs that meet vital library, information and technology needs. You also will be able to understand, apply and articulate all of the principles and ethics of modern library and information science. And, you will expand your library science knowledge base through expert research. No GRE is required, and many classes may be taken online.

Popular Career Paths for Master’s in Library Science

Some of the career opportunities available with a master’s in library science include:


Librarians assist the public and students to find critical information and to do research for professional and academic use. Regular libraries are growing fewer in number due to the broad use of the Internet today, but there are some types of libraries that library science professionals can find additional job opportunities:

  • Technical service library
  • Administrative service library
  • Academic library
  • Corporate library
  • Government library

The job outlook for librarians is below average with only 2% growth anticipated. But there will be more demand for librarians for special and technical collections, such as academic and corporate libraries.

The median pay for all libraries is $56,800 as of May 2015. The top 10% with advanced degrees earned in excess of $88,000 per year. The best paid librarians tend to work for colleges, universities and professional schools at a median wage of $60,300.

Archivist, Curator and Museum Worker

Archivists are responsible for the appraisal, processing, cataloging and preservation of permanent records and highly valuable documents. Curators must oversee artwork and historic pieces, and sometimes engage in public service activities for a museum or other related organization. Museum and technicians and workers are responsible for preparing and restoring objects and documents in museum exhibits and collections.

Below is more information about each one of these occupations:

  • Archivist: As they preserve documents and records of historic significance, they also coordinate public educational outreach initiatives, including workshops, lectures and classes. They also work with manuscripts, websites, electronic records, maps and motion pictures to keep these historic items in good condition.
  • Curator: They direct how collections are acquired, stored and exhibited. This includes to authorization and negotiation of the purchase, sale and exchange of the collections. They often will oversee the research projects for an institution.
  • Conservator: Keep artifacts and works of art in good condition. They must regularly document findings and treat items to reduce the level of deterioration, or to restore them to a better state. A conservator will often specialize in a certain group of objects or a material.

These jobs will grow by 7% by 2024, which is about as fast as average. Professionals with a master’s degree in library science should expect to have strong competition for available job openings, but those with advanced technology and information gathering skills will have a strong edge for available jobs.

The median wage in this field is $46,700, with the top 10% earning more than $83,000 per year.

Training and Development Manager

These managers are responsible for the planning, directing and coordinating of programs to improve skills in the employees of public or private organizations. They also will oversee a staff of specialists in training and development as well.

Training and development managers will usually do some or all of the following:

  • Assess needs of employees for various types of training
  • Create and manage the training budget for the organization
  • Oversee the creation of critical educational materials, including online learning materials for workers in training classes
  • Go over possible training materials from several vendors to choose proper materials with the best learning potential
  • Instruct other training and development professionals with up to date training methods

Training and development managers with a strong information and technical background are needed to produce a more knowledgeable and productive workforce. Providing the chances for more skill development is a very strong selling point to get the best employees and to keep them.

This will help to keep employees that contribute the most to the growth of the business. Professionals with a library science background often make excellent training and development managers.

Employment for training and development managers will grow by 7% by 2024, which is about as fast as average. Many employees need to take new skill development classes throughout their careers, and there is more demand for workers who train them.

The median pay in this field was $102,100 as of May 2015.