Hawaii Masters in Library Science
Today, the daily routine of a librarian likely bears only a passing resemblance to what they would have been doing a couple of decades ago. Today’s librarians require expertise in fields like informatics and information science, as they’ll likely be asked to help students, visitors and others access diverse types of information across a range of ever-evolving systems.
While these professionals can work in a range of fields like education, law, medicine and more, a successful career usually begins with a master’s degree. Let’s take a look at graduate study in library and information science in Hawaii, as well as what students are likely to experience when they begin job hunting.
Hawaii Library Science Programs
Library science professionals usually need a master’s degree to get a job, but there are many types of degrees and specialty areas that give students a chance to focus on their interests and career goals.
Universities with library science programs typically offer only one or two types of library and information science degrees. These degrees tend to have similar-sounding acronyms, though, including MLS (Master of Library Science), MSLS (Master of Science in Library Science), MIS (Master of Information Science), MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) or MSI (Master of Science in Information).
Students in Hawaii should consider degrees from programs that have been accredited by the American Library Association. This is a requirement for many positions in schools and public libraries, and for jobs that aren’t covered by state mandates, most employers prefer candidates who have degrees from ALA-accredited programs.
One university in Hawaii offers an ALA-accredited master’s in library science, so let’s explore what students need to know about the program.
University of Hawaii
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional
- Campus: Honolulu
- Total expected tuition: $25,350 in-state, $54,678 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: Advanced Library and Information Science
The only ALA-accredited graduate program in library science is offered at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which is located in Hawaii’s largest city, Honolulu. Courses are completed on campus, though students who live on neighboring Hawaiian islands can take their courses online or in a hybrid format, depending on the course.
Pathways and specializations are broad and diverse, including academic/special librarianship, archives, Asian studies librarianship, public librarianship, school library media, community and cultural informatics and information technology.
Before they can complete their degrees, students must write a thesis or create and present a portfolio that speaks to their experiences throughout the program. A total of 39 credits must be earned before a student can finish their degree, and most students will complete the program in two to three years. Internships aren’t required, but they are strongly encouraged. Recent internship sites have included the Hawaii State Public Library system, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and the Hawaii Supreme Court law library.
Hawaii Library Science Outlook
The average librarian in Hawaii can expect to earn a salary of about $70,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That puts Hawaii well above the national average of $58,000 and ranks the state eighth overall.
Geographic wage data for cities in Hawaii is limited, but for both areas with available data, average wages are higher than the overall average U.S. wage for librarians. The average librarian in Honolulu makes just over $71,000, while the lower of the two wages is in the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina area, where librarians make an average of about $63,000.
Positive growth in job openings for librarians and related workers is expected, though expansion looks to be modest in Hawaii, the Department of Labor reported. Librarians and media collections specialists are expected to see employment rates rise by 3.5%, which is below the national rate expected for these jobs (6.4%).
All other library and educational workers should see a slightly higher growth rate (3.8%), though that is also below the equivalent projected national growth rate of 5.7%.
The sum total of information in our world expands by the day, growing even by the second. For individuals with the training necessary to help others access the information they require, Hawaii offers a fruitful educational and professional picture.