Maryland Masters in Library Science
Today’s librarians must be experts in informatics and information science. They’ll be expected to help students, visitors and others access information across a range of systems, and they can work in diverse fields like education, law, medicine and more.
A successful library and information science career typically means earning a master’s degree, which may be mandated by state law. Let’s take a look at graduate study in library and information science in Maryland, as well as what students can expect when they hit the job market.
Maryland Library Science Programs
Many options are out there for students who are interested in earning a master’s degree in library science, information science and informatics, and many schools offer multiple concentration areas to allow students to customize their degree.
The most common degrees include Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS), Master of Information Science (MIS), Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) or Master of Science in Information (MSI).
Each program is unique, but Maryland students should plan to limit their search to programs accredited by the American Library Association. That’s because ALA accreditation is required for most positions within schools and other public settings, and private businesses and other employers may strongly prefer candidates who have earned degrees from programs that have the ALA’s stamp of approval.
One university in Maryland offers an ALA-accredited master’s in library science, so let’s explore what students need to know about the program.
University of Maryland
- Institution type: Public
- Delivery method: Traditional and online
- Campus: College Park
- Total expected tuition: $26,316 in-state; $58,500 out-of-state
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science, Master of Information Management, PhD in Information Studies
- Graduate certificates offered: School Librarianship, Digital Curation, Museum Scholarship and Material Culture
The University of Maryland’s main campus in College Park offers the state’s only ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science, though the program can also be completed online, providing added flexibility for students.
Specialty focus areas include archives and digital curation, diversity and inclusion, youth experience, intelligence and analytics, school library and legal informatics. Students are required to complete a field study or thesis, while dual degree options include an MLIS/MA in history.
Field study placements are available across Maryland and the Washington, D.C. metro area, including the Arlington Public Library in Virginia, Catholic University in D.C. and Maryland Historical Trust, NASA Goddard Archives and American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives, all in Maryland.
Maryland Library Science Outlook
A typical librarian or media collections specialist in Maryland makes just over $74,000 per year, which is the third-highest average annual wage for librarians in the U.S. All library workers in educational and training settings earn slightly less with an average wage of about $67,000, seventh-highest in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Librarian wages are highest in the Washington, D.C. metro area, which includes considerable portions of Maryland. In the D.C. area, the average librarian or media collections specialist makes about $85,000 per year, which puts the city at No. 4 nationally. Outside of D.C., Maryland wages are highest in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg area, which includes portions of West Virginia. The average librarian in that area makes just over $73,000 per year.
The next several years are projected to bring rapid growth in librarian and library worker employment for Maryland. In fact, according to Department of Labor data, projections for employment growth for these workers put Maryland in the top 10 both for librarians and media collections specialists and all other library workers.
Librarian employment is projected to grow by 15.4% through 2028, which is No. 5 in the country, while all other library workers are expected to see jobs expand by 14.5%, No. 7 nationally. These occupations are projected to grow by 6.4% and 5.7% in the entire U.S., respectively.
In our modern age, the sheer volume of information and information systems expands constantly, seemingly by the moment. It’s perhaps never been more important for professionals who are trained in these complex systems, and the career outlook in Maryland looks to be very good for the next several years.