People who love books often decide to pursue a degree in library science. Earning a master's degree in library science enables someone to work as a librarian in a public, special, or academic library. Those who earn a school librarian's certificate in addition to the master's can work as a librarian in a school. Unfortunately, not many people live close to a university that offers a library science program. The solution to this dilemma is to earn a library science degree online.
Distance education has permitted many people to pursue a master's in library science from an accredited university. If someone decides to take this route, she should carefully study the various schools who offer the library science degree online. It's important to enroll in a reputable school. Most employers prefer to hire library science graduates who attended a university accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
A distance education library science program offers the same rigorous academics expected from a traditional program. The only difference is that students learn from the comfort of their own homes, earning a library science degree online. Instruction is delivered through a variety of online formats, including email, message boards, chat rooms, and other web-based methods. Most library science programs allow students to access the lessons on their own schedules. Typical library science classes include courses on information studies, research methods, information technology, collection development, and issues in librarianship.
Drexel University offers a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. The program is delivered completely online and is accredited by the ALA. U.S. News and World Report ranked its Library and Information Science program 11th in the U.S. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Drexel is one way that future librarians can learn a library degree online.
Another institution that offers a library science degree online is Southern Connecticut State University. According to its website, 72% of students enrolled in the Information and Library Services program during 2007 were working toward the degree through distance learning. The school offers a Master of Library Science degree and is accredited by the ALA. Students must complete 36 credit hours, a combination of 12 classes. The courses include five core classes and seven electives.
North Carolina Central University also has a Master of Library Science degree accredited by the ALA. Students can choose two tracks — school media librarian or academic, special, and public librarians. The distance education courses are the same classes as are delivered on campus. The program requires students to successfully complete 36 hours of instruction. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate reading comprehension of a foreign language.
These three universities are not the only respected institutions offering a library science degree online. Schools such as University of Alabama, Clarion University, Florida State University, Clarion University, Texas Women's University, and others all provide library science degrees that can be earned from home. People who live far away from schools that offer library science programs can apply to a university that offers the library science degree online. These flexible but rigorous programs allow students to benefit from the same quality education their counterparts receive in traditional classes.