|Syracuse University||Online MS in Library and Information Science||✓|
|University of Denver||Master of Library and Information Science||✓|
Three colleges provide higher education in the field of library science in the state of Arkansas. The University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas Tech University are similar universities with nearly identical enrollment rates. These schools are located in Conway and Russellville, respectively. Another program to consider is through a smaller institution, Southern Arkansas University, which is located in Magnolia.
Are There Online Library Science Degrees in Arkansas?
Yes, all three institutions that have been mentioned offer degrees that have hybrid or fully online library science programs available. When a program is fully online, that means a student can complete all coursework required to satisfy curriculum requirements. Not all electives may be available, and some courses may only be offered in certain semesters.
You might consider a featured online library program below.
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 Arkansas Library Science Degrees
All of these programs feature accreditation through the American Library Association (ALA) and American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Each program has a focus on preparing individuals for school librarian licensure for various positions in teaching and media collection. These programs are focused on meeting state requirements in Arkansas and may be eligible in other states based on their accreditation.
Top cities or towns
Conway is the largest town in Arkansas that features one of the three institutions with over 68,000 residents. This city is also part of the Little Rock metropolitan area. By itself, Little Rock is the largest city in the state with over 196,000 people. Overall, this area is the top location to find librarian positions in Arkansas.
ALA and AASL Accreditation
Having ALA and AASL accreditation means that the program has been validated by established organizations. Schools offer a program that has met an established criteria and has faculty members with years of experience in librarianship. There is an ability to customize this program to various positions that are needed for improving services and digitization efforts for preservation.
List of the best campus-based and online ALA-Accredited library science degrees in Arkansas
Arkansas Tech University
|Master's: School Library Media Specialist||Campus|
Southern Arkansas University
|Master's in Library Media Science||Campus|
University of Central Arkansas
|Master's: Library Media Specialist (K-12)||Campus|
Finding Online Library Science Degree Programs at Arkansas Universities
Hybrid education means that the student will need to complete coursework both in an online format with on-campus requirements. For example, the student may have to meet on campus for specific courses or have limited physical meetings between faculty and students. This is different than on-campus residencies, where a student only needs to meet on campus once or twice, usually as an orientation session prior to the program starting.
Admission requirements into the graduate programs are similar across the board. For the University of Central Arkansas specifically, applicants must submit transcripts of their educational accomplishments and a two-page letter of intent. This personal statement should include why the individual wants to become a librarian and future goals they have in the profession.
University of Central Arkansas' Master of Library Media and Information Technologies
30 total credit hours are needed to complete the Master's degree in library media offered by the University of Central Arkansas. Main course topics include library management, collection development, and global information services. To satisfy the school library media specialization, students must complete a specific course on teaching in a library media center and a practicum.
120 clock hours in the practicum is needed, divided up evenly between elementary and secondary education. At least a 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout the program and the completion of an exit portfolio showing competency in library education. Students must be enrolled in two of the three semesters in each year to retain their status.
Arkansas Tech University's Master of Education in Instructional Technology
Available completely online, the Master of Education features a concentration to become a Library Media Specialist for Kindergarten through 12th grade. This degree requires a teaching license and features subject matter such as collection development and media program administration. Another concentration is the Instructional Design and Technology option without a teaching license.
36 total credit hours are needed for either opportunity, with 27 credit hours needed through enrollment at Arkansas Tech University. All program requirements must be completed in a span of six years from enrollment. For education certification, there is an alternative pathway that requires 12 credit hours with a specific emphasis on curriculum development and instruction techniques.
Southern Arkansas University's Master of Education
The College of Education provides the Master of Education with a specialization in Library Media and Information Specialist. This program is available in a hybrid format online, meaning most of the curriculum is available through online distribution. Some coursework is only available on-campus through an intensive summer session: Collection Management and Development, and Instructional Design and Production.
30 total credit hours are needed to complete the program. Courses requiring attendance are located in Magnolia, which is around 140 miles southwest of Little Rock. Students may complete the program is approximately two years.
Options for campus based learning in Arkansas
Arkansas Tech University offers a Master’s in School Library Media Specialist degree. ATU offers classes across the Arkansas River Valley with three locations. The Arkansas Tech Career Center is located in Russellville. Satellite campuses are in Paris, Ozark, Danville, and Clarksville. Each school has program options and culture of its own.
Southern Arkansas University is located in Magnolia, AK, and the SAU Tech campus is in Camden. The main campus is a beautiful and quiet part of south Arkansas. It is a short drive to outdoor activities and central to regional hubs such as Little Rock, Shreveport, and Texarkana.
The University of Central Arkansas is located in Conway, AK. It is in the heart of the state. Students enjoy city life while enjoying the quaint downtown feel of home.
Career Options in Library Media in Arkansas
When comparing to other states in the Southeast, Arkansas is on the lower end of librarian employment. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that just over 1,400 librarians and media collections specialists are represented in the state. The vast majority of these positions are located in the Little Rock and Fayetteville metropolitan areas.
The University of Arkansas does not have an accredited program in library science, but they provide opportunities for librarians for their campus library in Fayetteville. Other locations to consider are various public library districts and school systems within Fayetteville and across Central Arkansas. Positions that require advanced degrees include teaching positions, specialists for collection management, or directors for services.
School Librarianship in Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Education distribute the specialized school licensure for individuals that meet all requirements. Applicants must show evidence of their teaching license, completion of a Master’s degree in library science, and at least two years of teaching experience. They must also complete the Praxis II Library Media Content examination with an acceptable score.
Central Arkansas Library System
In Arkansas, Pulaski and Perry County make up the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and serves as the largest public library system in the state. Little Rock houses the main library downtown and various branches in the city. This stretches out to various branches in the suburbs and surrounding cities, including Sherwood and Jacksonville.
The mission for the CALS is to improve education and workforce development in the local area. They want to enhance support at the public and private level and increase awareness of services and offerings. Core values that are in place include the freedom of everybody to learn, respectful collaboration, and optimal customer service.
Salary Estimates in Arkansas
Based on the most recent information from the BLS, the annual mean wage for the state of Arkansas is $52,520. This can jump to over $71,400 for those within the top 10 percent of earners. Professionals are making similar amounts for librarian positions at their place of employment when compared to neighboring states of Missouri, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
These estimates are higher in more competitive areas in Little Rock and Fayetteville, which also offers more employment opportunities. The Little Rock and Conway metropolitan areas are making an average of $56,130 annually. The largest area is Fayetteville with over $59,000 on average annually.
Careers, Top Employers, Salary Information
Recent job postings for Library of Science degree holders in Arkansas:
- Faculty Services and Outreach Librarian for the University of Arkansas – Salary is $58,333 per year.
- Media Specialist for Pulaski County Special District – Salary range is based on the teachers’ salary schedule.