|Syracuse University||Online MS in Library and Information Science||✓|
There are four schools with ALA-accredited library science programs in Pennsylvania. Three of these programs have been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Holding this designation means that the program has been reviewed by an established organization and meets various criteria for professionalism, knowledge, and ethics.
Are There Online Library Science Degrees in Pennsylvania?
All Pennsylvania ALA-accredited programs feature online study capability with many courses and resources available virtually. Lectures and accessing course material will be in an asynchronous format with assignments, examination, and internships having due dates or specific times. In many cases, enrollment is offered in a full-time or part-time basis to meet professional work obligations.
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
Diving Into Pennsylvania Library Science Degrees
Four universities offer Master's degrees in library science in the state of Pennsylvania.
Both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offer some the largest employment numbers in library science and feature online, accredited programs. Popular institutions to consider include the University of Pittsburgh and Drexel University. Other similar programs include Clarion University and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
List of the best campus-based and online ALA-Accredited library science degrees in Pennsylvania
Learning about ALA accreditation
Holding a degree with ALA accreditation provides additional opportunities for individuals to gain jobs in public and school library settings. In some instances, state licensure requires the completion of an ALA-accredited degree or similar. This requirement is needed in the state of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, after receiving the degree, a certain amount of credit hours are needed in continuing education annually. Director positions require eight credit hours while other staff members working over 20 hours per week must pursue six credit hours.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania's program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). It is also recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). This provides preparation for a position as a school media specialist in a library setting.
Admission into a Master's degree often requires the completion of a Bachelor's degree in a similar field. Incoming students should have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or within the final half of their studies. Other application material may include letters of recommendation, personal statement, and updated resume.
Review of universities with a library science degree
Drexel University's Master's in Library and Information Science
The College of Computing and Informatics offers an online and on-campus version of their Master's degree in library and information science. Students gain technology skills and competency in information management teaching. This degree requires around one to two years to complete.
45 total quarter credit hours are needed to complete curriculum requirements. Three foundational courses feature topics in ethics, design, and data. This prepares students for many digital-heavy courses and various electives that customize an individual's education toward a specific library profession.
University of Pittsburgh's Master of Library and Information Science
The School of Computing and Information offers the Master of Library and Information Sciences. This is typically a two-year program and requires 36 total credit hours to finish studies. Students pursuing the online format of the program will receive the same content as the on-campus version.
Customization of specific courses is available to focus studies toward a particular position in library science. Depending on the course, students will need to consider both synchronous and asynchronous experiences. Students admitted out-of-state must take all courses online, but in-state students have the option of a hybrid format.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania's Master of Science in Library Science
The Master of Science in Information and Library Science is an exclusively online program. There are concentrations available in archival studies, user services, and school library media. Admission takes place in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Desire2Learn is the learning management system utilized by the university. In addition to the various applications and tools used within this platform, students also use Zoom webconferencing to communicate with students and faculty members. All online students have access to the university library for immediate access when available or quick distribution of physical material.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania's Master of Library Science
The College of Education provides the Master of Library Science that is accredited by the CAEP. 36 total credit hours are needed to satisfy curriculum requirements. Both full-time and part-time enrollment is possible, but all coursework must be completed in a time span of six years.
Graduates gain different teaching skills to accommodate specific situations. They gain strong capability to research and analyze for enhancing library and information management. An elective may be an additional course, independent study, or internship. All studies culminate with a comprehensive portfolio project.
Career Options in Library Media in Pennsylvania
One of the top five states that represent librarian employment is Pennsylvania. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 5,400 employees are represented across the state. Many of these opportunities are in the cities of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and locations stretching toward the state of New York.
Other cities to find many open opportunities include Harrisburg, Exton, and York. Librarian career seekers can find options in various public and school-based libraries and media centers. Those considering school positions and are beyond assistant level will need to receive state certification.
The State Library of Pennsylvania has been implementing digital solutions in their collections and resources. Some jobs in this area include preserving historical data related to the state through digitization processes. There is also high demand in adding more resources in a number of different industries in a digital format.
Salary Estimates in Pennsylvania
According to the BLS, the average salary estimates across the state of Pennsylvania are $57,190 annually. Looking at the extreme estimates in the top and bottom 10 percent, figures can range anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000 on average. All of these figures are accurate as of May 2019.
The highest average numbers around found in the eastern portion of the state in the metropolitan areas of Philadelphia and York, which is between $64,000 to $67,000 annually. For comparison, Pittsburgh has an annual mean wage of $54,950. This joins a large region of high-paying opportunities across the East Coast that stretches in the states of Delaware, New York, and Virginia.
Organization to Know: Pennsylvania Library Association
An easy way to network and view the latest librarian opportunities across the state is by joining the Pennsylvania Library Association. Resources include helping individuals find career options, gain financial needs to complete their desires, and to gain the skills needed for management and leadership positions. Organizations can also post their open career options for other members to consider.
Membership is open to those who are looking at professional employment or have an interest in improving library services in the state. This includes libraries in a school setting, for citizens in a community, or specialty library in an organization. Other activity includes reading legislation updates and being able to build various skills as a librarian.
Various individual memberships are available at the student level, current employment, retirement status, and more. These provide different rates and resources for those looking to continue advocacy at different levels. There are also alternative membership options for organizations.
Recent job postings for Library Science holders in Pennsylvania
- Corrections Library Assistant SCI Coal Township for the Commonwealth of PA – salary ranges from $36,127 to $51,736 per year
- Information & Library Science Temporary Full-Time or Part-Time Pool for Clarion University of Pennsylvania – no salary listed
- Adjunct Research & Instruction Librarian for the University of Scranton – no salary listed
- Adjunct Archivist for Delaware County Community College – no salary listed
- Library Media Specialist for Westtown School – no salary listed
- Library Assistant – Bibliographic for the County of Berks – salary $12.10 per hour
- Children’s Services Coordinator/Librarian for Zelienople Area Public Library – salary ranges from $13.75 to $15.50 per hour