|Syracuse University||Online MS in Library and Information Science||✓|
|University of Denver||Master of Library and Information Science||✓|
There are two institutions to consider for advanced library science education in the state of Alabama. One of the largest schools in the state, the University of Alabama, has an exclusive accredited program by the American Library Association (ALA). An alternative option is gaining a specialist degree in library media through the University of West Alabama that is recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Are There Online Library Science Degrees in Alabama?
Yes, both universities offering accredited library science programs have availability online for students. This includes adding the specialization toward library media for either Master's degree. Both programs may be completed 100 percent online, but vary in requiring physical attendance at their university.
You might also consider an online featured library science below that is currently taking applicants.
Consider a Featured Online Library Program Taking Applications
|Master||Online MS in Library and Information Science
ALA-accredited. No GRE required to apply.
|University of Denver
|Master||Master of Library and Information Science
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
|Doctorate||Education Specialist: Library Media
Finding Alabama Library Science Degrees
The University of Alabama is in Tuscaloosa, the fifth-most populated city in the state with over 103,000 residents. Tuscaloosa is around 60 miles to the southwest of Birmingham, which is the largest city in Alabama and houses some of the most opportunities for librarians. Livingston is where the University of West Alabama is located, which is approximately 60 miles to the southwest itself of Tuscaloosa.
Some librarian positions require proper education and accreditation from an established organization. Directorial positions need at least four continuing education meetings per year in Alabama. This provides directors with the updated topics in the field and understanding latest innovations that they may implement into their own library system.
More in Depth on Online Library Programs
Students need a modern computer setup with access to high speed internet. Specific technical requirements will vary based on the type of online education and the learning management system used. For the University of Alabama, students need a Windows or Mac operating system, web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and a headset with microphone for live courses.
Admittance into the Master's degree often requires the completion of a Bachelor's degree. They should have a 3.0 cumulative GPA over the duration of this undergraduate program or in the last 60 credit hours. Other needs in the application process may include a resume, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.
Campus-based and online ALA-Accredited library science degrees in Alabama
University of Alabama
|PhD in Library Science||Campus|
University of Alabama
|PhD in Library Science||Online|
University of Alabama
|Master of Library and Information Studies||Campus|
University of Alabama
|Master of Library and Information Studies||Online|
University of Alabama's Master of Library and Information Science
The College of Continuing Studies offers the Master of Library and Information Science entirely online. Concentrations to consider include Archival Studies and School Library Media. If a student completes two courses each semester, they may complete the program in less than two years. The university has a mandatory two-day orientation at the Tuscaloosa campus.
36 total credit hours are needed to complete the curriculum requirements. Course distribution is throughout a regular semester and with weekly sessions at night. Having virtual courses on a weekly basis at this time allows students to continue pursuing professional work.
University of West Alabama's Master of Education in Library Media
The Master of Education has a concentration that focuses on library media specialists. This program is available fully online without any need to visit the campus. Each course is distributed through an eight-week duration and students often complete the program in one to two years.
33 total credit hours are needed with core content in education, technology, and multicultural concepts. The rest of the program emphases the concentration, featuring collection development, cataloguing, and legal issues in the field. An internship is required for all students to complete to receive certification.
Career Options in Library Media
According to the latest statistical information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of Alabama has over 2,450 employed as librarian and media collection specialists. This is similar to the neighboring state of Tennessee, but lower than Georgia and Florida. The Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area has the most employment with over 650 recognized, but many positions are spread out across the state.
There are many large institutions to consider that have library positions. The University of Alabama in Birmingham has over 22,000 students enrolled with multiple libraries on campus. The University of Alabama and Auburn University also have library and media collection jobs available. In addition to college, there are elementary and secondary schools to consider across the state.
School Librarianship in Alabama
Many school library positions require licensure, which is distributed by the Alabama State Department of Education. Individuals should already hold a teaching license and a Master’s degree that has accreditation. They must also pass examination on school media certification through Praxis. An additional examination, the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, must also be passed to ensure they hold skills to currently teach effectively.
Alabama Library Association
Based in Montgomery, the Alabama Library Association (ALLA) looks to improve library professionals and the services they offer in various industries across the state. They also look to promote the profession at conferences and connections they make with many organizations. They also publish a journal with various works and reviews from professionals and provide an opportunity to post job opportunities from employers.
Membership benefits include a reduced rate to join the annual conference hosted by the association and participation in workshops to build on skills. Networking opportunities with other professionals and affiliated organizations, and being part of important meetings to help improve legislation and policy is also possible. Membership dues are based on salary, student level, or joint memberships with the ALA.
Articles are reviewed and submitted to a journal, The Alabama Librarian, that is published twice a year. Format for the articles must be APA style with the final word count ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words. Reviews of books and electronic material is also accepted.
Salary Estimates in Alabama
As of May 2020, BLS estimates for librarian pay is $53,230 annually across the state of Alabama. The top 10 percent of earners is approximately $68,040. Higher positions tend to be reserved for collection management and directorial roles. Those looking at entry-level or assistant positions, especially without ALA accreditation required, may look at jobs that hover between $30,000 to $45,000 annually.
Overall, pay is spread out fairly evenly across the state. The highest pay is found in the Decatur metropolitan area with an average salary of $58,900 annually. Both the Birmingham and Montgomery locations are not far behind at around $56,500 on average between the two.
Alabama Librarian Careers, Top Employers, Salary Information
We have reviewed some recent job postings for Library of Science degree holders in Alabama to give you an idea of the types of librarian careers in Alabama you may be able to pursue after the proper education. Here are some examples:
- Curator/Archivist for the State Black Archive Reserve Center and Museum at the J.F. Drake Learning Resource Center
- Information Librarian/Executive Assistant for the DA Technologies software company
- User Experience Librarian for the Auburn University Libraries – A salary of $56,410 was posted with the ad
- Data Service Librarian for the University of Alabama with a posted salary range of $55,000 to $75,000 per year
- Web Development Librarian for the University of Alabama with a $55,000 to $70,000 per year salary posted
- Head of Access Services and Library Technology Analyst Librarian for the Drake Memorial Learning Resource Center
- Principal Technical Librarian for Raytheon Missles & Defense Engineering
- Sr. Technical Librarian for Raytheon Technologies