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A bachelor's in library science explores book and multimedia management and provides an academic stepping stone for aspiring librarians and library media specialists. Graduates gain expertise in data retrieval, collection, and preservation of all kinds, making them ideal candidates for related occupations in information technology, museum studies, and education.

While most librarians need a master's degree and may need a teaching license, graduates with a bachelor's in library science may qualify for corporate or specialized library management positions. Many students draw on their background in library science to pursue intriguing careers as instructional designers, museum technicians, and web developers.

Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% job growth for librarians and library media specialists and 11% job growth for archivists, curators, and museum technicians. The following guide explores the diverse and adaptable bachelor's degree in library science.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Library Science?

Schools offer bachelor's degrees in library science to prepare students for niche data management and research positions.

Schools offer bachelor's degrees in library science to prepare students for niche data management and research positions. While some students prefer to learn on campus, many choose the online bachelor's degree in library science for its convenience and affordability. A traditional bachelor's degree takes four years to complete, though many online programs offer accelerated schedules and set or in-state tuition rates.

Some programs require an internship, which students may complete through a small local library or academic research facility. Schools may offer library science as a specialization within education degrees. This program commonly features interdisciplinary coursework for diverse careers.

Since most library science careers require a master's degree, few bachelor's programs receive accreditation through the American Library Association (ALA). Graduates qualify for roles that may not require an ALA-approved master's degree, such as corporate, research, or assistant librarian.

Find the best online Bachelor's in Library Science programs

What Will I Learn in a Library Science Bachelor's Program?

Most schools offer this major as a bachelor of science (BS) in library science. As most BS programs focus on developing technical skills, this degree suits aspiring collectors, catalogers, and managers of books and multimedia. Coursework explores basic cataloging techniques, library education, and managing library resources. Most programs culminate in a capstone.

Schools sometimes offer an online bachelor's degree in library science through a division, such as undergraduate studies, education, or multicultural studies. Graduates can pursue entry-level work in research, information technology, and museum studies. Students may also go on to earn a master's degree to eventually become a professional librarian.

Courses

Data Organization

Students learn critical classifying and cataloging skills in this course. A typical bachelor's in library science follows the ALA and Library of Congress subject-cataloging standards.

Children's Literature and Media

This course prepares degree-seekers to develop and host literacy-promotion events for students from infancy to 10 years of age. Learners explore basic childrens' library services for further study toward a career as a school librarian.

Information Technology and Multimedia

Students in this course explore best practices for researching, collecting, storing, and presenting data using technology and multimedia. Coursework also trains students to understand the data collection methods of colleagues like researchers, anthropologists, and historians.

Library Management

This course develops management skills for aspiring library directors and senior information analysts. Covered topics typically include library leadership, policy, and procedures, and ALA standards.

Research Techniques

A typical bachelor's in library science may include a variety of specialized courses in this topic. Prospective librarians, curators, and collections and records managers can learn to perform scholarly research to collect information.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Library Science?

A bachelor's degree in library science can lead to special librarian and non-library positions. Most public librarians need a master's degree; however, special positions within corporate, law, and medical libraries may accept a bachelor's degree and work experience in lieu of a higher degree.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in library science may also qualify for library-related roles in data research and management. Students can become library managers or directors, instructional designers, and museum technicians. Some graduates pursue IT careers in network or systems administration and web development.

A bachelor's in library science prepares graduates for diverse careers. Students often continue their studies in pursuit of a master's in library science to meet entry-level education requirements for all librarians. A library science bachelor's program can also provide a foundation for an advanced degree in art or art history, education, or computer science.

Popular Career Paths

Popular Continuing Education Paths

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Library Science?

Earning a bachelor's in library science can lead to several lucrative careers. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in this field can become library directors or corporate librarians. Many library science students go on to pursue careers as museum technicians, archivists, or instructional designers.

According to the BLS, archivists, curators, and museum workers earn a median annual wage of $52,140, while library and media collections specialists make a median annual salary of $60,820.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Library Science Programs

What is library science?

Library science teaches students to collect, organize, and preserve books and multimedia materials. Library science majors can pursue careers as librarians, library managers, curators, and archivists.

Is a bachelor's in library science worth it?

A bachelor's degree in library science can lead to a variety of dynamic and lucrative careers in fields, such as education, technology, and art and art history. Librarians and multimedia specialists enjoy faster-than-average projected job growth between 2019 and 2029.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in library science?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students pay an average of more than $27,000 for a four-year degree. However, many online bachelor's degrees in library science offer set or in-state tuition rates.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in library science?

Most on-campus bachelor's degrees take four years to complete; however, an online bachelor's degree in library science may offer an accelerated path to graduation.

Are librarians in high demand?

Yes. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 5% job growth for librarians and multimedia specialists and 11% job growth for archivists, curators, and museum workers.