Bachelors of Library Science Degrees

The Bachelor of Library Science is a degree some students are awarded who major in library science. It is an interdisciplinary field that comprises the practices and principles of Library Administration.

The Bachelor of Library Science is a good start, however, keep in mind that in the U.S. because an ALA-accredited Master of Library Science is required in most academic and public libraries to be employed at the librarian level. The majority of colleges continue to offer a Bachelor of Library Science with programs that are focused on training degree holders to work in a school library.

Requirements are sometimes less stringent if the candidate has attained a teacher certificate. To pursue a Library Science degree, the candidate is required to have a Bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized institution.

Why Consider a Bachelor of Library Science Degree?

The degree is meant for those with an interest in books along with an ability to understand user needs, organizing skills, methodical approach, customer service attitude, excellent communication skills and an interest in a variety of topics. Our society's growth and evolution of information created a demand for professionals who have know-how and skills to evaluate effective instructional delivery technology.Upon completion of the degree, the individual can

  • Apply tools and concepts of inquiry to create experiences and learning environments
  • Evaluate technology applications and tools for research applications and effective instructional delivery
  • Create diverse learner and culture learner opportunities
  • Analyze materials, literature, and media for inclusion in specific programs and settings
  • Develop strategies and research skills to support efficient, appropriate, and accurate information acquisition

Are There Online Programs for this Degree?

There are online Bachelor of Library Science degree programs that cover topics in research and inquiry, collaborative leadership, and organization of information. Three universities that offer online programs are

  • Ashford University - Students in the media and library science program at Ashford learn to evaluate effective instructional delivery technology. Courses include literature for teens and children, instructional design, and cognition. Graduates know how to apply media in the learning environment. It is affordable and convenient. The classes are five-week classes that students focus on one at a time. Experience counts. Up to 90 approved credits can be transferred. There is around the clock access to tech support, writing consultants, and librarians. No debt or charges are incurred until the fourth week. Financial aid and scholarships are available for qualified students.
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha - UNO offers a Bachelor of Science in Education with a library science concentration and a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies in Library Science. The course of study is diverse, relevant, and comprehensive. The university has an excellent job placement rate and provides credentials for entry-level library positions. UNO's online library science degree is an asynchronous, four-year program. The program requires 30 credit hours in library science and two 12-credit secondary fields out of a total of 120 credits. A minimum SAT score of 950 or an ACT score of 20 is required. Transfer students must hold a GPA of 2.0 and meet 16 core course requirements.
  • University of Southern Mississippi offers a degree in Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science that provides the skills needed for a career with the degree. The degree program is a four-year, 124-credit, completely online program. A three-credit capstone requirement must be fulfilled. Admission requires one of four routes that involve high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, class ranking, and NCAA standards. Transfer students must have an associate degree or 30 general education requirements and a minimum GPA of 2.0. Southern Mississippi is an ALA-accredited and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-accredited school.

Typical Coursework for the Bachelor of Library Science

Procedures and policies of library administration are the focuses of a library science degree. Library science professionals can use multiple resources that include technology to help patrons find solutions to specific questions or problems. A Bachelor of Library Science student has to complete about 120 credits in approximately four years. Completion of core courses, general education subjects, cooperative education credits, and electives are required. Core courses include:

  • Research methods
  • Electronic information resources
  • Indexing and abstracting
  • Library organization
  • Record management
  • Record methods

Library and Data Research Methods Courses

Research methods courses teach the standards and methodology used in library and information science research. Techniques for assisting users with research questions are discussed. Other material covered includes evaluation of elementary statistics and information and research project design.

Writing research proposals are included in class assignments. The course gives students confidence in the completion of research with the use of the internet and standard library resources. Research is conducted using library print and electronic resources. Students evaluate the difference between popular and academic sources, develop strategies for searching, apply citation rules, and analyze academic integrity basic requirements. The topics covered are pieces of information that fit the puzzle of conducting research.

Typical Competencies and Skills for Librarians

New kinds of experiences, skills, and competencies are required to respond to the needs of the time that goes beyond the traditional library setting. Electronic information resources introduce students to key concepts related to user accessibility, benefits, how to take advantage of aids of accessibility, and improve the accessibility of resources a library provides to the public and institution users. Students learn how to use computers in information centers and libraries. The most effective information retrieval methods and how information is stored are emphasized. Depending on the program, the course may focus only on computer applications use in media centers of school libraries.

Data Indexing and Abstracting

Indexing and abstracting courses teach students how to classify and catalog various library materials with the use of information retrieval systems. The course highlights concepts of thesauruses abstracting and indexing and their importance in information retrieval and subject analysis. The types of indexes include bibliographies, text, and book indexes. Abstracts are addressed by focusing on the types, elements, and quality of abstracts as well as access points to, and computer application in preparing abstracts. The course addresses the subject and use of computational linguistics of thesauruses. Students learn to analyze packages of information for subject content and effectively describe resources like electronic information, images, music, maps, and books for catalog inclusion.

Organization and Frameworks

Library organization instructors offer an overview of the theoretical frameworks, practical considerations, and standards used to organize information. Materials consider information archiving, transmission, retrieval, and storage. Discussions examine the access and description systems of the subject catalog. The course is designed to guide students in the development of specialized skills and knowledge related to organizing information such as digital and physical information resources, database management, and metadata standards. It provides a solid foundation in

  • Principles and theories of information organization
  • Best practices and standards in information management
  • Understanding the information-seeking behavior and needs of users
  • Use and awareness of global and local standards for organizing information
  • Proficient technological use for organizing data
  • Application of research findings

Record Management

Record management courses train students to continually improve the storage of records and transition records to digital copies. The program may prepare students to manage private and public data preservation storage facilities. The focus is on data control and management, organizing information, resourcing information, collection of print and non-print sources, information distribution, copyright laws, and basic database design. It covers cataloging, information technologies, library management, resource access, resource preservation, and archive appraisal. The course equips students with a sound understanding of principles and concepts of records and archives management.

Records methods courses include four general research strategies.

  • Theoretical/philosophical inquiry
  • Bibliographic research
  • Research and development
  • Action research

The course deals with the development of conceptual frameworks or models, descriptive studies of the properties of books and bibliographies of various kinds, development of retrieval and storage systems, interface, software, etc. The goal is to solve problems and bring about change in organization. Quantitative and qualitative strategies are the driving force. Quantitative driven strategies include operation research studies, content analysis, bibliometric studies, and predictive/explanatory studies. Symbolic interactionism/semiotics, phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, historical method, biographical method, and case study are qualitative driven strategies. They also include hermeneutical/ethnology of communication, ethnographic semantics, discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics.

Most universities and colleges require elective courses to explore ethical issues faced by libraries today. They include censorship and First Amendment rights. Electives may cover traditions and history of literacy and libraries. Topics students may explore as electives include:

  • Function within the school library
  • Information ethics
  • Issues withing public libraries
  • Special collections

Learning Library Funtions

The functions of a library include:

  • Cultural Center
  • Information Center
  • Media Center
  • Learning Center<.li>
  • Subject of Studying
  • Meeting Point at School
  • Communication Center
  • Place for Reading Promotion

Instructors offer insights into behavioral and cognitive processes involved when people use information. The course emphasizes the role of information mediators in human/information interactions.

Topics include use and dissemination of information, recognizing information needs, and conflict resolution in human/information interaction. The course examines methods and strategies used in information literacy program design. Assignments focus on developing, designing, and evaluating programs that instruct users in using and acessing information. Other topics include learning and teaching strategies, modifiying instructional delivery systems, and assessing user needs.

Information ethics courses have titles similar to

  • Technology and Human Values
  • Ethics and Philosophy of Deception and Lying
  • Policy, Ethics, and the Law of Digital and Data Technologies
  • Cyberlaw: Digital Rights, Ethics, and Privacy

Philosophy of Technology Integrated with Library Science

Students study the philosophy of technology and modern technology and ethics. They examine forms of deception, such as lying in a broad spectrum of contexts using different theoretical approaches from advertising to politics. The course describes the ethical and legal issues associated with protection, disclosure, use, and collection of digital information and information security including dissemination, use, and access.

Issues within public libraries courses have three research objectives

  • Review problems librarians face in a digital era
  • Identify the challenges librarians have in working smoothly in a cyber environment
  • Furnish recommendations to tackle the challenges and overcome the problems

Digitization of Records

With the advent of the World Wide Web and the proliferation of online catalogs, the librarian’s role has changed. Librarians have to be knowledgeable in various sources of information and follow the advancements and new trends in publishing, media, and computers. Other issues discussed are budget cuts, societal change, e-books, infrastructure, library standards, marketing, leadership, and IT training.

Special collections courses introduce students to the special collections librarianship field. The aim is to provide students with an understanding of organizational development, roles, and concepts of special collections as well as skills and knowledge needed by professional special collectors, and best practices, standards, and issues The course involves participation in class discussions, hearing from special collection practitioners, engaging in hands-on exercises, and learning about the challenges and evolving roles of special collection professionals. Topic covered include:

  • Reference
  • Public relations
  • Outreach and instruction
  • Reading and access room procedures
  • Preservation/Conservation
  • Collection development

The course is meant for new and early career professionals that have not undertaken formal coursework. Some schools require completion of cooperative education credits that allow students to gain hands-on experience. They provide valuable training and opportunities to meet experienced professionals in the library industry.