School Program More Info
Syracuse University Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited ALA-accredited. Multiple professional pathways or specializations available. No GRE required to apply. Complete in as little as 18 months.
University of Denver Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA Accredited ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required. Complete in as few as 21 months.
St. John's University Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited ALA Accredited, 24 months to complete. 4 specializations and 2 certificate options.
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The Library Science degree is offered online at many schools in the United States. In this guide, we will go through the top online library science degrees, review typical coursework for each degree, and provide a sample of schools with an online library science degree. According to our database, there are over 60 different online Library Science programs.

No matter the degree level, for most online library science degree programs, all courses are taken online by logging into the distance-learning portal of the school, which may utilize a system such as Blackboard or Moodle to manage course materials. The system is also how students pass in assignments and correspond with instructors.

Online Library Science Degrees

There are around 60 library science degrees that are offered online, available at all levels. A Master of Library Science is required for most librarian positions.

Click to find featured online library science programs currently accepting applications for 2024.

Many online library science degree programs have specialized coursework

Earning an online MLIS degree is the first step toward a fulfilling position in a private collection, library, school, or museum. Students working toward a library science degree usually focus on information organization principles regardless of the program being campus based or online. An online program typical includes similar coursework to a campus based program, with courses in service provision information, technology, and leadership and management.

The Masters degree is the most popular

Some programs culminate in a dissertation or thesis. Most include a course in research methods. Some allow students to choose an area or concentration of specialization as they earn their online degree in library science. Options vary from one program to another. Typical concentrations include academic librarianship degrees, digital content management, records and archives management, and school library science degree programs. Learners interested in sub-fields can tailor the online degree program to meet their academic and professional goals.

Hybrid degree programs

There are some "hybrid" library science programs, where students take some coursework online and other coursework on campus.

Sponsored Online Library Programs

School Level Program
Syracuse University
Master Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. No GRE required to apply. School Media Specialization available.
University of Denver
Master Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
ALA-Accredited, No GRE Required.
St. John's University
Master Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited. Complete in as little as 2 years.
University of West Alabama
Master Online Master of Education in Library Media
Develop knowledge and skills in school library media with our online library media specialist degree.
University of West Alabama
Doctorate Online Ed.D. Rural Education: Library Media
Explore the essential role of library media within rural schools and districts.
i sponsored

Online Bachelors of Library Science Degree

Despite the Masters in Library Science being the most popular online degree, there are also undergraduate Bachelors programs available online.

The Online Bachelor of Library Science is a degree that is awarded to students excelling in library science. The goal is to train those aspiring to library science with the required skills for the field. The demand for expertise in the field grows daily. There is a scarcity of people with knowledge and expertise about library books, journal procurement, management, and documents. Candidates for the degree need to have the ability to understand users, a systematic approach, and organizational and reference skills. Popular courses taken toward a Bachelor of Library Science include the following.

Top Online Bachelors Courses

  • Introduction to Information Literacy - Introduces the basic skills and strategies related to the location, evaluation, and use of digital and print resources
  • Reference and Information Services - Introduces reference materials, services, functions and activities, along with methods for locating information
  • Cataloging and Classification - Methods and principles of classifying and cataloging library materials, providing practice in subject analysis and bibliographical descriptions
  • School Libraries - A survey of the organization, functions, and objectives of elementary and secondary libraries
  • Development of Library Collections - Principles and philosophy that govern the selection and procurement of library materials, including using bibliographic sources and selection aids to develop print and non-print collections
  • Rural and Small Libraries - An overview of the principles of managing small and rural public libraries
  • Library Instruction - Study of methods and principles of bibliographic instruction and information literacy in libraries
  • Technology in the School Library - A survey of the technology used in elementary and secondary libraries
  • Literature and Related Media for Children - A survey of traditional and modern literature and related materials used with children from infancy to grade six
  • Information Ethics - Introduces concerns and ethical issues that are specifically related to information technology and professions
  • Library Practicum - Supervised library work that provides students with operational library experience

Schools with an Online Bachelors in Library Science Degree

Those who enjoy organization, research, and reading may find an online undergraduate library science degree an excellent match for them. The programs provide the credentials and skills needed for entry-level library science positions, such as archivists, library aides, media specialists, and more. They provide the foundation needed to pursue a Masters in Library Science degree. Here are some online Bachelor of Science programs available.

School Online Bachelors Program Info

Northern Kentucky University

The Library Informatics program prepares graduates for careers in information evaluation and management. Courses focus on three areas of information professional expertise, including: organizing information, accessing information, and assessing information. A senior capstone is completed during the fourth year of study.

University of Southern Mississippi

The program curriculum includes courses listed above and Information for Multicultural Populations. Minors and dual degrees are available. The program culminates with a library practicum.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

This is a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies with a Library and Information Studies concentration. Classes for this program, not mentioned above, include The Information Society, Informed Citizenry, and Information for Life. Graduates are prepared for entry-level library information science positions. Students may continue studies in graduate-level library science degrees offered at Clarion.

University of Southern Mississippi

The program curriculum includes courses listed above and Information for Multicultural Populations. Minors and dual degrees are available. The program culminates with a library practicum.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

This is a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with a Library Science concentration. Classes for this program, not mentioned above, include The Information Society, Informed Citizenry, and Information for Life. Graduates are prepared for entry-level library information science positions. Students may continue studies in graduate-level library science degrees offered at Clarion.

University of Maine - Augusta

The fully, asynchronous program allows students to customize the curriculum content by choosing elective courses such as Digital Preservation for Cultural Institutions, Introduction to Archives and Manuscripts, Librarian as Teacher, and Library Services for Teens. A 120-hour on-site internship is required to complete the online Bachelor of Science degree.

University of Nebraska - Omaha

This is a 120-hour comprehensive program that is completed entirely online. The school has a nearly 100 percent job placement rate. Those who complete the Bachelor of Library Science program receive the same diploma traditional students do.

Masters of Library Science Degree Online

Those with an Online Master of Library Science degree work at the forefront of a dynamic librarianship field. Because of rapid advances in systems and technology, librarianship of today is radically different than that of ten years ago. With the change came the emergence of online Master of Library Science programs. The programs prepare students for the changing digital trends environment and provide a comprehensive understanding of tech-based and other library resources. Enrolling in an online Master of Library Science program is a way to begin developing the technical skills needed to become a practicing librarian.

Online Masters Courses

  • Library Information Science – An orientation to librarianship and the MLIS program
  • Cataloging Multimedia Objects – Study of the methods and principles of subject and descriptive cataloging and classifying multimedia materials
  • School Library Media Centers – Study of the school library media development and administration
  • Media Utilization – A survey of equipment and resources with an emphasis on library utilization. Experience with equipment is provided.
  • Literature and Related Media for Young Adults – Study of literature and related materials for young people in grades seven through 12.
  • Programs and Services for Youth – Introduces programming for youth and its relation to libraries and learning
  • Storytelling – A study of the oral tradition in various settings, emphasizing the selection of stories and the techniques and art of storytelling. Students practice storytelling.
  • History of the Book – A study in the early development and origins of printing and books in the Americas and Western Europe
  • Sources of Information for a Multicultural Society – Overview of the diverse information resources in print and other media multicultural societies and the different utilization of information by those societies
  • Information Technology and Libraries – Examines the various contexts and applications in which forms of information technology such as computers are used in different types of information libraries and centers
  • Web Design and Evaluation – Introduces the principles of web development and design including basic XML and HTML coding. The course covers web usability and evaluating websites, including library web pages

Online Doctorate Library Programs

Many online doctoral programs that are related to Library Science are Doctorates in Information Technology. They begin with fundamental classes such as advanced software development, enterprise database design, and principles of programming. As students advance, they specialize with electives such as project management, technology for mobile devices, and cloud computing. Some programs offer formal specializations in areas such as computer security and healthcare information technology. A research-based dissertation must be completed to earn a Ph.D. in Information Technology. Courses in advanced academic writing and research design prepare students for graduation. Students work with faculty advisors who help choose a topic.

Online Doctorate Courses

  • Applied Research Methods – Prepares students for a research-based dissertation. They are introduced to the basic elements of collection, analysis, and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data. Students that have prior graduate-level education may move on to statistical analysis courses that are more advanced.
  • Computer Networking and Operating Systems – Examine topics such as performance analysis, interfacing, multitasking, security, administration, configurations, and file systems. Theoretical learning is applied by creating elements of communication and information infrastructure.
  • Fundamentals of Information Systems – Explore the principles of computer software hardware, and networks. Students learn to use basic programming languages, express data, and create algorithms to realize designs.
  • Principles of Programming – Programming is an indispensable role of information technology. Students gain practical experiences with languages like Java, Python, and C++. They practice logical designs, precise coding, and practice algorithmic thinking.
  • Systems Analysis and Design – The class helps prepare students to develop large scale software systems. They learn to use object-oriented, and structures approaches that help them better understand the functional requirements of a given system.

Sample Schools with Online Library Science Degree Programs

It is easy to find a Master of Library Science program online. The same is not true of a doctoral program. Most require face-to-face faculty and student interaction, and the dissertation process and residencies require on-campus, hands-on attendance. Earning a Doctor of Information Technology qualifies students for a broad spectrum of careers. They can work in cybersecurity where they safeguard a company’s intellectual property and computer networks. Students can apply expertise in the healthcare industry with database architecture that helps treat patients and unlocks chronic disease cures. They may want to pass along knowledge to the next generation by becoming a university or college professor. The following are online Information Systems Doctorate programs.

University of the Southwest – The program is a 100 percent online program that was designed for community, educational, nonprofit, corporate, or government organizations. The title of the degree is Doctorate of Business Administration – Strategy and Innovation.

University of Dayton – Does not have a specific library degree online, but does have a Doctor of Education – Organizational Leadership. It takes 36 months to complete the program. A Master’s degree is required.

Capella University – Allows students to forge paths of their own in the field of business to lead, consult, and teach. The program offers a combination of practice and theory to enhance skills in critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Baylor University – School of Education – Offers an EdD in Learning and Organizational Change. It prepares development professionals and educators to apply essential principles of learning toward the dynamics management of organizational change. The program takes three years to complete.

Other schools that offer programs related to library science but not having a Doctor of Library Science in the title are:

  • Indiana State UniversityBowling Green State University
  • California Intercontinental University
  • University of the Cumberlands
  • University of Management and Technology

Why Study Online?

Those who have only taken face-to-face classes may be a bit apprehensive, but an online course has its perks. There are many reasons to study online:

  • Balance
  • Anytime, anywhere studying
  • Accelerated courses
  • Lower costs
  • Faster completion
  • More choice
  • Availability of certain credentials>/li>
  • Self-paced learning

Online classes permit fitting them into a jam-packed schedule, which makes it easier to keep up with school, social activities, family, and work on your terms. You don’t have to get dressed, fight traffic, or commute to attend class on-campus. With accelerated online courses, you learn at a convenient and fast pace. Adult learners save on the cost of tuition, instruction, and other expenses by taking advantage of student mentors, flexible faculty, and self-paced instruction.

Along with accelerated courses, some degree programs are also accelerated, which helps fast-track to the finish. Other than the doctorate of library science, there are few limits to the degrees that can be earned online. The explosive growth of degree programs available online means it is simpler than ever to earn an online degree offered by an accredited institution. Future employers value an online degree from an accredited university or college as much as a traditional degree, while it is a more flexible option for your lifestyle. Going at one’s own pace has shown to be an effective independent learner method. You are in charge of how much and when to study within the framework of the course.

ALA Accreditation

The ALA Office for Accreditation serves employers, students, the general public, and information and library studies Master’s programs by promoting the advancement of education in information and library studies. The office ensures equitable and fair accreditation review of information and library studies. It provides external validation and reviews of Master’s-level information and library studies programs. The ALA Office promotes inclusiveness and diversity in information and library studies education. It communicates with populations regarding activities. The OA, as it is called, anticipates and prepares for environmental changes and the future needs of communities. It manages resources and operations to be relevant, responsive, and useful.

Responsibilities of the Office include supporting and coordinating activities directly related to Masters of Education for LIS accreditation. It provides information about the accreditation process, information and library studies trends, and trends in accreditation in higher education. An ALA-accredited school has endured a process that is externally reviewed in many areas. The ALA looks at areas such as financial and physical resources, administration and students, teachers and curricula, and the program’s goals. Being ALA-accredited means a quality education is offered that prepares students for librarian work in a variety of settings. Having a degree from an institution that is ALA-accredited opens more doors to a library career.

What Can You Do With A Library Science Degree?

Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in library science opens a world of opportunities. Library Clerk or Library Technician are two available positions for those with a Bachelor’s degree. Those who earn a Master’s or higher degree qualify for more jobs such as Library Media Specialist or Research Librarian. Many organizations, schools, and companies hire people who have library science degrees.

Librarians are custodians of information. Whether in professional, faculty, corporate facilities, or the public library, they help communities find information on nearly any topic. Library jobs include facilities support staff to doctorate-level directors and researchers. The most common requirement for professional librarians is a Master of Library Science. Associate and Bachelor degrees typically lead to library technician jobs.

Librarians with skills in computer and information systems can become automated-systems librarians. They plan and operate computer systems. Archivists maintain, analyze, catalog, and exhibit collections and objects for researchers and the public’s benefit.

Records are saved in mediums that include computer, electronic disk, audiotape, videotape, film, and paper. Individuals interested in a library science career can pursue various positions such as emerging technology librarians, instruction librarians, data curators, school librarians, law librarians, or academic librarians, to name some of the opportunities available. The work includes diverse activities such as collaborating with K-12 STEM teachers and user assessment and experience research.