Louisiana Masters in Library Science
Librarians today are masters of informatics and information science. A typical librarian is expected to help a range of people, from children to young adults to professionals, access the information required to guide their understanding of a variety of topics.
For most librarians and related workers, that means completed advanced education in library science, information science, informatics or related fields. A successful career in this area typically includes a master’s degree, and certain jobs may require them, depending on state law. Learn more about the educational options and employment situation library science students can expect here in Louisiana.
Louisiana Library Science Programs
There are many interesting degree options in the library and information science arena, and it’s not unusual for colleges and universities to offer diverse options for students, including multiple types of master’s degrees, a range of specialty curriculum areas and a handful of graduate certificates that can be added to a degree or earned in a standalone capacity depending on existing educational levels.
Every school is a bit different, but master’s degrees in library science tend to have similar-sounding acronyms like 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). This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, and programs may be from a Master of Arts perspective rather than a Master of Science one, for example.
Students in Louisiana, especially those planning to work in public spaces, would be well-advised to limit their search to programs accredited by the American Library Association, which is a state requirement for many positions within schools and other public facilities. For jobs that aren’t covered by state mandates, most employers strongly prefer candidates who have earned degrees from ALA-accredited programs, so for students from non-ALA schools, getting a job may be difficult.
One university in Louisiana offers an ALA-accredited master’s in library science, so let’s explore what students need to know about the program.
Louisiana State University
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Online
- Campus: Baton Rouge
- Total expected tuition: $17,460
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: Archival Studies, Records & Information Management, School Librarianship
A Master of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University is the only ALA-approved graduate degree in library science within the state of Louisiana. With an entirely online program, students aren’t required to visit campus, nor are they required to complete a thesis project.
LSU offers students one of the broadest ranges of specialty areas among MLIS programs in the country, and students can choose from things like academic librarianship, cultural heritage resource management, digital content management and more, though they also can earn a general degree without a specialization.
Louisiana Library Science Outlook
Louisiana’s average annual salary for librarians and media collections specialists is just over $53,000, according to the most recent publications from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is lower than the overall U.S. average of $58,000 but puts Louisiana near the middle of the pack when compared to all states.
Shreveport is home to the highest average salary for Louisiana cities with available data. Librarians in that area, which includes Bossier City, earn an average annual wage of $57,630, followed by Hammond, where the average librarian makes just over $57,000. Lafayette and Alexandria are home to the lowest average wages in Louisiana, $49,600 and $49,960, respectively.
The state of Louisiana is expected to see modest growth in job openings for librarians and other library workers over the next several years. According to the Department of Labor, employment of librarians and media collections specialists should rise by 4% in Louisiana through 2028. This is lower than the projected growth in this job across the U.S., which is expected to reach about 6.4%.
All other library and education workers are expected to see even more modest employment growth. These jobs should rise by 3.6%, which is well below the national projected growth rate of 5.7%.
As the information age continues to expand the horizons of human understanding, the demand for people who are highly trained in harnessing and organizing information will continue to grow. Fortunately for those in the state, Louisiana’s educational and employment situation is largely a positive one.