There are two schools with ALA-accredited library science programs in Tennessee. They are Trevecca Nazarene University and the University of Tennessee. Trevecca Narazene University offers a Masters in Library Science on-campus. The University of Tennessee provides a PhD in Library Science on-campus and online.
Are There Online Library Science Degrees?
Both the University of Tennessee and Trevecca Nazarene University programs are available online. These are offered 100 percent online with no on-campus residency requirements. An internship experience may be completed at the student's location. Either program provides the education necessary for professional licensure in school librarianship. For individuals that are out of the state of Tennessee, these programs may not provide the education necessary for licensure. Prospective students should review the unique requirements in their state to determine compatibility.
You may also consider a featured online library science program below.
Consider a Featured Online Library Program Taking Applications
|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||Master of Education: Library Media|
|East Central University
|Master||Master of Education in Library Media|
Tennessee Library Science Degrees
Two institutions have graduate programs in library science that feature accreditation for state licensure and more job opportunities. The University of Tennessee's program is verified by the American Library Association (ALA). Trevecca Nazarene University, a private Christian institution, is recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).
Nashville is home to Trevecca Nazarene University, which is one of the two most populated cities in the state of Tennessee with over 687,000 residents. Memphis is second among all cities with around 652,000 people. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has around a fifth of these estimates with over 186,000 people.
These locations provide a number of different opportunities for library media specialists. Individuals may consider working at a public library or institution that offers these opportunities. Specialty library considerations include business and law topics.
A program with ALA accreditation means that they have met proper standards in many phases of education for optimal library skills and knowledge. Many states require graduate-level education in library science that has accreditation. In lieu of designation by the ALA, it may also be recognized by the AASL.
Campus-based and online ALA-Accredited library science degrees in Tennessee
Trevecca Nazarene University
|Masters in Library Science||Campus|
University of Tennessee
|PhD in Library Science||Campus|
University of Tennessee
|PhD in Library Science||Online|
Schools in Tennessee with Online Library Science Programs
University of Tennessee's Master of Science in Information Science
The School of Information Sciences offers the Master of Science in Information Systems either completely online or a blend of both formats with on-campus learning. Even in an online setting, students will have a number of courses that they will primarily take online. Students can pursue the skills and requirements needed for librarianship through this interdisciplinary program.
Many pathways to gain state licensure are available through this program regardless of the status of the student. There is an ability to add elementary-level education to an existing license. Transfer credit is not accepted from an institution that is not ALA-accredited.
Trevecca Nazarene University's Master of Library and Information Science
The Master of Library and Information Science focuses on blending research and technology needed to succeed in a library setting. The curriculum also provides the education necessary for teaching at the elementary level. This program has been recently revamped by the college and is available 100 percent online.
30 total credit hours are needed to complete the program. Up to six credit hours are accepted in transfers. On average, students can finish this degree in a span of 15 months. Individuals without a teaching license will need to complete additional coursework to receive licensure.
Career Options in Library Media
Tennessee holds very similar job prospects when compared to other states in the Southeast region. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2,400 professionals are recognized in librarian and media collection specialist roles. Higher employment is available in larger cities and those with higher education, such as Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.
In addition to traditional public and academic librarian roles, individuals may consider specialty settings. For example, law-based librarians may help with professionals in their field and work at law firms or schools. Corporate librarians will have the expertise in assisting various professionals in the private sector.
Educational Licensure in Tennessee
A Master’s degree is required to receive educational licensure in the state of Tennessee. In addition, library staff positions must complete one continuing educational experience every year. This bumps up to four programs for those in directorial roles.
School librarian licensure requires the above and the passing of a national exam. A minimum score of 146 is needed on the Praxis II Library Media Specialist Test. Licensure for school positions is distributed by the Tennessee Department of Education.
Nashville Public Library
Established in 1901, the Nashville Public Library is one of the top public library systems in the state of Tennessee. 20 branches are established within the metropolitan area in addition to the main library. 356 staff members work in the library system based on the latest statistical information from 2019.
The Tennessee Electronic Library is a digital initiative that is free for all state residents. Immediate access is provided to books, magazines, and historical content for all ages. Positions for this role include managing collections and enhancing services to members.
Salary Estimates in Tennessee
The annual mean wage for statewide librarians in Tennessee is estimated at $56,790. This is based off the latest figures from the BLS as of May 2020. Chattanooga is one of the top-paying metropolitan areas at $64,530 annually.
Compared to other states in the Southeast region, Tennessee is about the same with many nearby states, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Missouri. They are slightly lower than states along the coast. Earners in the top 10 percent can make around $80,000 at their positions, generally reserved for higher-experienced professionals.
Options for campus based learning
Trevecca Nazarene University is in Nashville, a few minutes from downtown.
The University of Tennessee is in Knoxville. It is a bustling atmosphere.
Careers, Top Employers, Salary Information
Recent job postings for Library Science degree holders in Tennessee.
- Circulation/Collection Development Library for Lipscomb University – no salary listed
- Library Services Supervisor for the City of Brentwood – salary $51,667 per year
- Librarian for Meharry Medical College no salary listed
- Librarian I for Dyersburg State Community College – no salary listed
- Dean of the James E. Walker Library for Middle Tennessee State University – salary and rank commensurate with experience and education
- Director of Beaman Library for Lipscomb University – no salary listed
- Librarian for Shelby County Schools – no salary listed
- eCom – Research Clerk – Weekends for Academy Sports & Outdoors – no salary listed
- Media Specialist/Librarian – WCHS for Clarksville – Montgomery County School System – salary to be established by the Board
- Librarian Pool for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools – no salary listed
- Tissue Librarian, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center for Vanderbilt University Medical Center- no salary listed