School Program More Info
Eastern Washington University Online M.Ed. - Library Media
Prepare for more rewarding career opportunities as a school librarian or library media specialist. Affordable tution, complete in as few as 12 months.
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Click to view more featured accredited online library science programs that are currently taking applications for 2024!

The exclusive Master's degree in library science with American Library Association (ALA) accreditation is offered through the University of Washington. Students can pursue their education at the Spokane campus or conveniently online with minimal residency requirements. Western Washington University's teacher programs have received recognition from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Are There Online Library Science Degrees in Washington?

Yes, there is an option for an online MLIS program. The University of Washington offers the Master's degree in library science online. Most of the coursework is completed online through an asynchronous format. This means students have the ability to view lectures and complete homework when it is convenient for them.

Students are required to take part in a three-day on-campus residency at the Spokane campus. This takes place at the beginning of the program and serves as an orientation process to get students familiar with faculty members and the tools they can use online. They are responsible for travel and hotel costs in this process.

Finding Campus Based Washington Library Science Degrees

Spokane is the second-largest city in the state of Washington with over 217,000 people. It has an equivalent population to Tacoma, which is near the state capital of Seattle. Seattle provides the most opportunities for librarians in the state as the largest city, with over 720,000 residents.

The University of Washington's ALA accreditation means the Master's degree has been validated by the established organization. Its curriculum meets the goals that have been set by the association and faculty members have many years of experience in the librarian field. Universities must continue to review and improve their education based on technological innovations and new available resources.

List of the best campus-based and online CAEP, AASL, or ALA-Accredited library science degree programs in Washington

University Degree Program Accreditation Format

University of Washington

Bachelors in Library Science Campus

University of Washington

Bachelors in Library Science Online

University of Washington

PhD in Library Science Campus

University of Washington

PhD in Library Science Online

University of Washington

Dual Degree ALA Campus

University of Washington

Graduate Certificate ALA Campus

University of Washington

Online Masters in Library Science ALA Online

University of Washington

Online Masters in Library Science ALA Online

Consider a Sponsored Online Library Program Taking Applications

School Level Program
Syracuse University
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.
University of West Alabama
Doctorate Online Ed.D. Rural Education: Library Media
Explore the essential role of library media within rural schools and districts.
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In Depth Review of Washington Library Science Degree Programs Updated for 2023

University of Washington MLIS (and other related programs)

The Information School provides the Master of Library and Information Science with an on-campus and online experience. 63 total quarter credits are needed across core topics, elective options, and a final capstone project. Students may consider an alternative law librarianship pathway with additional requirements, completed at an accelerated pace. There is also an option for a school library media endorsement.

Students will pursue coursework in the topics of information management and organization, and librarianship design. At least one course is needed in the topics of information technology and ethical and social issues. Specializations include Data Science, Information Architecture, and Information and Cyber Security. Students are also required to complete a capstone.

The law librarianship program offers a similar curriculum at an accelerated pace on campus. Prospective students must hold a JD for admittance. Students complete their studies in the course of one year with full-time study with few admitted annually. All students must partake in an annual meeting with the American Association of Law Libraries and a three-week internship away from Seattle.

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Typical MLIS coursework at universities in Washington

  • Information Behavior - This foundational course provides an introduction to user-centered information behavior. Topics include theoretical foundations, behavior studies, field research, and application, with the goal of designing systems, services, and policies.
  • Concepts, Services, and Issues for Information Professionals - An examination of contemporary roles of information professionals in various settings and contexts. Considers the responsibilities of meeting diverse patron needs and managing resorces, while adapting to ever-changing information environments.
  • Organization of Information and Resources - An investigation of the theories and principles of information organization. Topics include document analysis, surrogate creation, metadata, classification, and controlled vocabularies. Considers both print and non-print materials.
  • Research Assessment and Design - This course will introduce students to research and design opportunities in library and information science. Students will create frameworks, conduct research in information organizations, collect and analyze data, and report results.
  • Management of Information Organizations - Students are introduced to the internal and external management issues and practices in library and information science. Topics include organizational theory, personnel, budgeting, planing, politics, strategic planning, and funding sources.
  • Introduction to Programming for Information and Data Science - Foundational course providing an introduction to basic concepts, theory, and application in information settings. Students gain skills necessary for writing scripts, understanding programming environments, and version control. No previous programming experience required.
  • Intellectual Freedom in Libraries - This course considers issues related to intellectual freedom in libraries and for librarians. Students discuss current legal trends, conformity, censorship, social responsibility, children's rights, and the future.
  • Capstone I, II, & III - Three course series that guides students through the process of preparing a capstone project, analysis and preliminary project design, design implementation, and completion of project deliverables.

Washington Career Options in Library Media

Just over 2,000 librarians and media collections professionals are recognized by the US Bureau of Labor StatisticsBLS. This is the largest state for librarian positions in the Pacific Northwest and only exceeded by California when looking at the Western half of the country. The Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area accounts for approximately half of these librarian positions.

Job opportunities are available throughout many public and academic libraries in the state. The Seattle Public Library system is the largest in Washington with 27 different branches in various neighborhoods. Librarian jobs can be found in institutions such as the University of Washington and Washington State University.

The Seattle Public Library was founded in 1890 and currently maintains around 2.3 million items within their system. Job opportunities consist of maintaining and enhancing offerings for members. There are also digitization efforts in place to preserve historical information and photography of Seattle and Washington state history.

AASL School Librarianship Requirements in Washington

In order to gain the Washington Library Certification for certain public librarian positions, individuals must have an accredited Master’s degree in library science. This is easily accomplished by holding a degree that is accredited by the ALA. Alternatives include degrees recognized by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

Certification for school librarians is distributed by the Washington State Department of Education. Completion of the basic version of the Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-B) is needed to qualify for certification. Even if certified in a different state, professionals must go through Washington’s process to receive licensure.

Washington Library Association

Goals of the Washington Library Association (WLA)WLA is to improve the educational services and leadership in various libraries across the state. They promote diversity and maintaining intellectual freedom to advance knowledge and development. Annual events include a statewide conference and career lab for those looking at working in a different industry.

Various pieces of work and established professionals are awarded by the association each year. Over 1,300 individual and 48 institutional members are part of the association. They are an established chapter of the ALA and headquartered in Seattle.

Salary Estimates in Washington

Washington is one of the top-paying states for professional librarians, be it in academics or a specialty position in law. According to PayScalePayscale Seattle, WA, the average base salary for jobs in Seattle is at $61,346 annually. This can increase to around $76,000 when looking at the top 10 percent of earners in the area.

PayScale estimates that pay for librarian peaks when individuals have five to nine years of experience. Beyond this, professionals may take managerial or director roles in a library setting. For example, they may take a bigger role in collection management or take part in implementing a new service for their patrons.

Washington Librarian Careers, Top Employers, Salary Information

Recent job postings for Library of Science degree holders in Washington:

  • Area Manager for NCW Libraries – salary $70,184 to 94,322
  • Library Director for Orcas Island Public Library – salary $91,457 to $108,305
  • Library Manager 2 – Aberdeen at Timberland Regional Library – salary $32.57 to $34.56 hourly
  • Library Director for the City of Grandview and Yakima Valley College – salary $78,000
  • Library Manager 2 – North Mason at Timberland Regional Library – salary $32.57 to $34.56 hourly
  • Director of Library Operations for the King County Library System – salary $133,187 to 159,829
  • Open Education Librarian, Full-Time Tenure Track at the South Puget Sound Community College – salary $62,200
  • Branch Librarian for State of Washington Office of the Secretary – salary $45,504 to $61,224
  • Supervising Librarian- Gig Harbor at the Pierce County Library – salary $69,476 to $80,538
  • Technical Records Librarian at Aero Controls, Inc – salary $25 to $30 hourly