Indiana Masters in Library Science
The job may have originated centuries ago, but librarians today are expected to be experts in accessing information across a range of modern delivery systems. In addition to expanding their versatility with types of information, library science professionals also have many more options beyond libraries and schools for finding jobs.
Regardless of where they end up, these careers most often begin with a graduate degree in library science, information science or a related field. Let’s take a look at the educational options available for students in Indiana as well as exploring the employment picture that’s likely to face graduates once they get their degree.
Indiana Master of Library Science Programs
Library professionals may be required by state law to obtain a master’s degree, and the most common degree in the field is a master’s in library science. But as the field has evolved, many other degrees have been developed, including some that are quite cutting edge.
Related degrees can 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).
Prospective library professionals would be wise to obtain their degrees from programs that have earned accreditation from the American Library Association (ALA). That’s because in some cases, this is required by state law, while in almost every case, the stamp of approval from the ALA is strongly preferred by employers.
Fortunately for students in Indiana, two library science programs have earned the ALA’s seal of approval. Let’s take a look at both.
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional
- Campus: Bloomington
- Total expected tuition: $16,884 in-state; $51,588 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Library Science, Master of Information Science, MIS/MLS, PhD in Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: Information architecture
Indiana University’s main campus in Bloomington is the site of a pair of campus-based library science master’s degrees, a Master of Library Science and a Master of Information Science, both of which are accredited by the ALA.
Students in both programs have optional specialty areas that include archives and records management, digital content, curation and collections, information technology leadership, data science, music librarianship, children’s and young adult services, digital humanities and more.
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Online
- Campus: Indianapolis
- Total expected tuition: $16,740 in-state and out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science, MLIS/MA in History, MLIS/MA in Philanthropic Studies, MLIS/MS in Health Informatics, MLIS/JD
- Graduate certificates offered: School library
Students at IUPUI can earn an Indiana University Master of Library and Information Science, though several joint MLIS degrees are also on offer at the downtown Indianapolis campus. IUPUI’s MLIS is ALA-accredited and entirely online.
Specialty areas include academic librarianship, digital curation, archives management, public librarianship/adult services, school librarianship, technical services and youth services.
Indiana Library Science Outlook
Librarians in Indiana can expect average salary rates of about $48,000. This is well under the national average of $58,000 for librarians and media collections specialists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only are average librarian wages in Indiana lower than the national rate, the state has the ninth-lowest average salary for librarians in the country. Library workers whose jobs are based in schools or other educational settings have slightly higher average wages, though, and these professionals can expect to earn nearly $50,000.
Bloomington is home to the highest average annual wage for librarians and media collections specialists among Indiana cities with available data. In the state’s seventh-largest city, home to Indiana University’s main campus, the average librarian earns a salary of just over $60,000. The next-closest city is Muncie, where librarians have an annual wage of about $53,000. For school-based librarians and library workers, wages are highest in Lafayette, which is home to Purdue University’s campus.
Robust growth is expected in employment rates for librarians of all stripes in Indiana, including those working in educational settings and elsewhere. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of librarians and media collections specialists in Indiana will expand by 5.9%, which is higher than the growth rate projected for all U.S. jobs and in line with the national growth for the job of about 6.4%.
Expansion should be even more rapid for library workers based in educational settings. These professionals can expect employment rates to grow in Indiana by 6.5% through 2028, which is higher than the national projected rate of 5.7%.
As the sum of human knowledge continues expanding, the need for trained professionals who can help others find the information they need will continue to grow, both in Indiana and beyond.