Illinois Masters in Library Science Degrees
Today’s librarian is an expert in information science with the training to help people find the information they need. They can work in a diverse range of fields, including the obvious (schools and libraries), but also in specialty libraries, museums and other places.
Pursuing a career in the field usually means earning a master’s degree. Let’s check out the schools with library and information science degrees in the state of Illinois as well as what professionals in the field can expect to earn in the state and what their career outlook is likely to be.
Master of Library Science Degree Programs in Illinois
In some cases, library professionals may be required by state law to obtain a master’s degree, and the standard remains a master’s in library science. But there are a growing number of options, and depending on each individual’s interests, some are better than others.
Potential master’s degrees in library science, information science and related fields include Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Science in Library Science (MS), Master of Information Science (MIS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or Master of Science in Information (MSI).
Generally, prospective library professionals would be wise to obtain their degrees from programs that have earned accreditation from the American Library Association (ALA), and in some cases, this is required by state law or strongly preferred by employers.
Fortunately for students in Illinois, three library science programs have earned the ALA’s seal of approval. Let’s take a look at each school and its degree offerings.
Chicago State University
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Hybrid
- Campus: Chicago
- Master’s tuition: $8,356 in-state; $13,846 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Science in Library and Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: Archives and Records Management, School Information Specialist Endorsement for Licensed Teachers
Chicago State University’s Master of Science in Library and Information Science is under initial accreditation status by the ALA, which means the program very recently began graduating students with accredited MSLIS degrees.
The program offers multiple specialty areas, including school, academic and public archives, and already licensed teachers can pursue a non-degree endorsement in school information.
University of Illinois
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Online and traditional
- Campus: Champaign-Urbana
- Master’s tuition: $14,292 in-state; $25,192 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Science in Library and Information Science, Master of Science in Information Management, PhD in Information Sciences, MSLIS/MA in History, MSLIS/MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, MSLIS/MA in African Studies
- Graduate certificates offered: Advanced study, school librarian licensure
At its main campus in Champaign-Urbana, the University of Illinois offers a diverse range of library and information science degrees led by the flagship MSLIS degree, often rated as the best such degree in the country.
Students can complete the MSLIS online or in-person, and they can choose a specialty area from options that include archival and special collections, data and asset management, information organization and management, and youth and school librarianship. Dual degree options also allow students to complete joint master’s degrees in history and library studies.
- Institution type: Private
- Delivery method: Online, traditional, hybrid options
- Campus: Chicago
- Total expected tuition: $30,600
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science, Master of Science in Information Management, Master of Arts in Youth Literature, MLIS/MSW, MLIS/MBA, MLIS/MA in Public History, MLIS/Master of Divinity, PhD in Information Studies
- Graduate certificates offered: School librarian endorsement, executive library leadership, archives and cultural heritage resources and services, digital curation, informatics, youth services
Dominican Universities diverse range of degree options are among the most robust in the country, allowing students to select the degree, endorsements and certificates that are most tailored to their interests and career goals. And students can opt for traditional, online or hybrid delivery.
In addition to a broad range of specialty areas, students can pursue degree options that let them join their library and information science training with courses in social work, history, divinity and business.
Illinois Library Sciences Salaries & Job Outlook
A typical librarian in Illinois earns about $60,000 per year, which is just above the overall national average reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Librarians whose jobs are based in schools and other educational institutions have slightly lower average wages — $55,900.
Chicago-area librarians should expect wages that are quite a bit higher than their counterparts in other locales across the state. In the metro area of the city, which includes portions of Indiana and Wisconsin, the average librarian earns just under $63,000. For educational library workers, salary levels are highest in the Champaign-Urbana area ($66,840), which is home to the main campus of the University of Illinois.
Job openings for all librarians are expected to see subpar growth in Illinois through 2028, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which projects employment for librarians to expand by just 1%. By comparison, all jobs in the economy are expected to expand by about 5% in that time, while librarian jobs should grow nationally by 6.4%.
The outlook is considerably better for library workers in educational settings, though. These professionals can expect employment to expand by 7.4% in Illinois over the next several years, which is higher than the 7.4% expected for their national counterparts.
As the sum total of human knowledge expands by the day and technological innovations complicate our ability to access that information, the expert guidance of library and information science professionals will remain crucial.