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2023 Library & Information Science Degree Guide

Librarians are essential tools for research. They help students and the general public find books, magazines, articles and resources, while providing education on writing, plagiarism and properly referencing sources.

Many students are attracting to this field due to their love of reading. While this major will involve literature classes, you will also be learning how to develop and work with data bases, as well as how to organize, store and retrieve information. Some of the classes you will take are library media methods, resources for young adults, storytelling, cataloging and classification, collection development, and literature.

Concentrations in this major include: Library and Information Science; Children and Youth Library Services; Archives Administration; Library and Science Administration; and Library and Archives Assisting.

Rapid Growth in Library & Information Science Degrees Awarded

#121 Most Popular Major
6k Degrees Awarded
9.2% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, library and information science was the 121st most popular major nationwide with 5,950 degrees awarded. This represents a 9.2% increase in library science degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 5,403.

This year's Best Library & Information Science Schools ranking compares 49 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom library science rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Library & Information Science
2023 Overall Best Library & Information Science Colleges >

Best Library & Information Science Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Library & Information Science
Bachelor's Degrees in Library & Information Science
Master's Degrees in Library & Information Science
Doctorate Degrees in Library & Information Science


What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Library & Information Science

Successful students in this field tend to be very organized people. Students should be resourceful and creative as they will be employed in a variety of tasks from day to day. Public speaking skills will help you as a professional leading a workshop for different groups such as writing a resume or avoiding plagiarism. These workshops will help you stay proficient with your skills and will allow you to be confident in your teaching.

Loving books and technology is only part of the major. You should also enjoy working with people of all ages. Depending on your specialization, you could be working with students as young as 4, college students or retired adults. This is a career that involves continual learning. Professionals will need to stay current with understanding data bases and technology.

It will also be helpful to work with students either as a coach, tutor, or camp counselor to practice talking to and explaining things to children. To get experience in the field, you should work as a volunteer or a staff member in the library. This will give you a better understanding of the inner workings of a library.

Getting Accepted Into a Library & Information Science Program

library and information science degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional library science certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Library & Information Science Degrees

There are many different library science degree levels. Library & Information Science programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest library science degree you can get. Different library and information science degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to library science, with approximately 39.2% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for library science workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 37.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.8%
Doctoral Degree 7.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate 3.0%

86.0% of library science workers have at least a bachelor's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in library and information science have received.


This of course varies depending on which library science career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Library Science Majors

Average Number of Jobs
$43.9k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

To be certified in library science you must pursue a Master's Degree. Otherwise you will only be qualified to work as a school librarian or a librarian technician. A library technician is essential to help keep the library running smoothly, but do not get paid as much as librarians. Careers as librarians and library technician are growing slowly, and competition may be high. Those willing to move may have better chances of finding work in their field. However, the skills learned in this major can also be used in a variety of other professions, like education.

Solid Growth Projected for Library Science Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your library science degree? Library & Information Science careers are expected to grow 8.2% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to library and information science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Librarians 150,600 9.0%
Archivists 7,800 14.7%
Library Science Professors 6,500 8.3%

Library Science Degree Salary Potential

Library & Information Science graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $43,891 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $14,470 to as high as $70,455. As you might expect, salaries for library science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Library Science Majors

Salaries for library and information science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers library science grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Library Science Professors $75,450
Librarians $61,530
Archivists $56,400

Getting Your Library & Information Science Degree

With over 165 different library science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased library science school rankings to help you with this.

Library & Information Science is one of 2 different types of Library Science programs to choose from.

Library Science Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Library & Information Science 5,696
Archives/Archival Administration 214
Children & Youth Library Services 40

View All Library Science Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Library & Archives Assisting 467
Other Library & Archives Assisting 121

View All Library Science Related Majors >


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