|Syracuse University||Online MS in Library and Information Science
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, No GRE Required. Complete in as few as 21 months.
|St. John's University||Online M.S. in Library and Information Science
ALA Accredited, 24 months to complete. 4 specializations and 2 certificate options.
There is one school in Virginia with an ALA-accredited program: Old Dominion University. Old Dominion University provides an ALA accredited online MLIS degree and a Library Media Specialist Masters degree that is CAEP accredited. Longwood University offers a Master's Library Media PreK-12 that is CAEP accredited. The programs offered by both universities are provided on-campus.
Librarian positions are represented evenly across the Richmond and Virginia Beach metropolitan areas. Virginia Beach features the highest population in the state with over 450,000 residents. Richmond has the fifth-highest population with over 232,000 people. All of these locations feature a number of librarian and media collection specialist opportunities.
Are There Online Library Science Degrees at Virginia Colleges?
Yes, Old Dominion University offers an online Master of Library and Information Studies that is a 30 credit hour asynchronous online degree program. You can consider an online library science degree that accepts applicants from all over the country however, and ask them about their admissions criteria and any other questions you have about the program. See below.
Finding Virginia Library Science Degrees
Pursuing higher education provides more flexibility in studying opportunities. There is no need to commit to spending a long time on campus and part-time study may be accomplished when continuing professional work.
Despite the lack of online opportunities, there are a few institutions that provide accredited programs in library and information media science. Having this accreditation is needed for state teaching licensure for some library positions. This also verifies that the program features experienced faculty members and the curriculum provides similar goals to improve librarianship. Outside of the higher education options providing licensure, there are many universities and public library systems and branches to consider. Popular institutions in the state include the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and Liberty University.
Other nearby states with library science programs
Individuals may consider other programs that are available in different states. There are online programs with accreditation in New Jersey, Maryland, and North Carolina. Each program should be reviewed and determined if it will meet licensure requirements of the state they reside in.
List of the best campus-based and online CAEP, AASL, or ALA-Accredited library science degree programs in Virginia
|Master's: Library Media PreK-12||CAEP||Campus|
Old Dominion University
|Library Media Specialist (Masters)||CAEP||Campus|
Old Dominion University
|Master of Library and Information Studies||ALA||Online|
Consider a Sponsored Online Library Program Taking Applications
|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.
|California State University San Marcos
|Master||Online Master of Arts in Reading, Language and Literacy
Get advanced training in developing, enhancing and assessing literacy.
In Depth Review of the Top Virginia Library Science Programs, Updated for 2023
Old Dominion University's Library Science Masters degree
Students can pursue the Master of Library and Information Studies entirely online through ODU. An optional endorsement for School Librarianship is available to those with a teaching license. At this time, the program is not accredited by the ALA, but voluntarily follows criteria and is seeking accreditation status.
30 total credit hours are needed to complete the program and most courses do not have live session meetings. Most of the program is online, but at least one day of a two-day residency is required during the summer at the Norfolk campus. An internship is also needed to satisfy curriculum requirements.
Longwood University's Master of Education in School Librarianship
The Department of Education and Counseling offers a Master of Education in School Librarianship. Students complete a track to gain initial teaching licensure or for those already holding one. Example course topics include instructional design, information organization, and school library administration.
Alternatively, students can consider a professional endorsement from the program. This is geared toward individuals with a professional license that do not need the Master's degree. Enrollment to these programs take place in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Recap: Options for campus based library science degrees in Virginia
- The main campus of Longwood University is made up of 154 acres near downtown Farmville, VA, in a triangle bordered by Main Street, Griffin Boulevard, and High Street. Campus architecture ranges from historic 'north core' to the contemporary southern end.
- Old Dominion University is located in Norfolk, VA. It is a mid-size city setting.
Career Options in Library Media in Virginia
The state of Virginia has over 4,400 library professionals recognized by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is on par with the nearby state of North Carolina and higher than librarian career opportunities in West Virginia and Maryland. Many positions within the Washington DC metropolitan area also blend into the state count.
Many of these job opportunities are found in the Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach areas. In addition to a handful of universities, there are multiple public library systems to consider. Virginia Memory is the digital library that holds various newspapers, photos, and historical documents for long-term preservation.
Top Virginia Library Associations:
Library of Virginia
Located near the state capitol building in Richmond, the Library of Virginia offers one of the most extensive collections in the state. Its current building location was established in 1997, but the library itself was founded back in 1823. In addition to historical documentation in culture and from the government, the archival process is completed here.
The Heritage Resource Center features lectures that goes over research processes and items that can be found within the archives. Workshops offer the ability for librarians to improve their communication skills and complete tasks more efficiently in any setting. This includes how to utilize services at their library and working with members that may struggle or not know about digital resources.
Virginia Library Association
Finding new job opportunities and connecting with professionals is accomplished through the Virginia Library Association (VLA). Virginia membership is split into six different regions across the state. There is an annual conferences that hands out scholarships for prospective students and features keynotes from various established professionals.
Over 4,300 members are recognized both as individual and affiliate members. The individual membership is available to professionals, volunteers, and others looking to make a difference. Membership rates are based on salary or if the individual is a student or retired.
Salary Estimates in Virginia
Like many other states along the East Coast, Virginia has high average salaries when compared to the rest of the country. The annual mean wage is estimated at $70,230 according to the BLS. This jumps all the way to $112,470 annually for the top 10 percent of librarian salaries.
High earners are generally reserved for those that have spent years working within the library or have management and/or directorial duties. This could be planning and deciding services that the local library can offer and decision-making based on budget. Librarians tend to make more at university libraries when compared to public library systems.
Careers, Top Employers, Salary Information
Recent job postings for Library Science degree holders in Virginia
- Adult Services Librarian for the City of Danville, VA – salary $40,550 per year
- Full-Time Reference Librarian (Central Library for the City of Charlottesville – salary ranges from $41,662 to $50,003 per year
- Research and Instructional Services Librarian for Shenandoah University – no salary listed
- Instructional Outreach Librarian for Christopher Newport University – no salary listed
- Coordinator, Library Services for Virginia J. Sargeant Reynolds Comm Coll Richmond, VA – salary $71,000 per year
- Associate Librarian for Collection Management for Liberty University – no salary listed
- Cataloger – Intel for BAE Systems – no salary listed
- Coordinator of Instructional Services & Reference Librarian for Hampton University – no salary listed
- Archivist for YORKTOWN SYSTEMS GROUP INC – no salary listed
- Virtual Librarian for Hampton University – no salary listed