Library Science Degrees Tips

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Can I Combine My Library Sciences And Education Degrees?

You can combine your degrees, but the best route would be to earn one degree and go back for the other with a more specialized focus, usually in the path of a master's degree. The advantage of having both is increasing your knowledge base and hiring skills and with the shortage of teachers, schools offer accelerated programs to those with other degrees besides teaching. Ask your counselor the best route for obtaining both degrees, what applies to both, and which would be more advantageous to earn first.

   

Library Sciences Degree vs. Education Degree

The general pre-requisites for earning a library sciences degree are university dependent, but when taking the speciality classes, a person seeking an education degree takes education classes and a person seeking a library science degree takes library science classes. Another large difference between an education degree and a library science degree is if the college you are attending is not accredited by the American Library Association, it will not be recognized by employers or other institutions where you might want to consider a masters or PhD program. Do your homework and make sure the degree program is on the approved list before beginning any specific classes.

   
Where should I go for my Library Science Degree?

Time Commitment For A Library Science Degree

If you are thinking of a Library Science Degree, you will most likely have to earn a masters degree before being considered for employment. Most institutions want librarians with masters degrees but check where you want to work and find out what they require. Usually, the specific course work is 36 to 72 hours (1 1/2 to 3 years) after the general pre-requisites. Make sure the school you are attending is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA.org) before enrolling. Otherwise, employers won't find you employable.

   
Where can I work with a library science degree?

Job Opportunities With Library Science Degrees

Working in a library may be an obvious choice with a library science degree, but there are multiple choices of libraries in which you can work.

(1) School librarian includes interacting with students from pre-K to high school senior. Choices of books may be restricted by the school districts policies while dealing with intellectual freedom. Developing a cooperative curriculum and relationship with teachers can be challenging.

(2) Academic librarians work at a university/college level. A master's degree in library sciences can be required and you may be considered faculty, which places you on the same level as many professors. Issues include copyright problems, academic freedom, and open access to scholarly works.

(3) Special librarians work in areas such as medical, law, corporations, news agencies and special collections.

(4) You can work as an archivist librarian, helping archive old documents for historical purposes.

   

Time Commitments

An online bachelor's in education takes approximately two years, and a master's degree in library science takes anywhere from one to three years. The time commitment is obviously significant but if a combination of education and library sciences is in your career goals, be sure to plan out your route with your education counselor. Ask if it's better to earn one degree at a time and take all your pre-requisites for both degrees while working on the bachelors to save time later.

   

Teaching With A Library Science Degree

With a library sciences degree, you can teach others about the workings of the library, how you file, the special archives, any new additions or editions but this is not a teaching position. You will work with professors and educators of all levels and educations but you are not classified a teacher. After earning a degree in library sciences, you decide you want to teach, there are multiple programs to help you bridge over to an education degree. Check out Teachers Count (teacherscount.org) for more details.

   
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