Minnesota Masters in Library Science
The modern librarian must be an expert in informatics and information science. That’s because they’ll be expected to help students, visitors and others access information across a range of systems.
While they can work in diverse fields like education, law, medicine and more, a successful library and information science career typically begins with a master’s degree, which may be mandated by state law. Let’s take a look at graduate degree programs in library and information science in Minnesota, as well as what students can expect when they hit the job market.
Minnesota Library Science Programs
Students have many options for earning a master’s degree in library science, information science and informatics, while most schools offer at least a few concentration areas that allow students to build a career specialty.
Most schools offer only one or two types of library science degree, and the most commonly available degrees are 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).
Every program is unique, but Minnesota students should plan to apply to programs that have been accredited by the American Library Association. ALA accreditation is required for most positions within schools and other public facilities, and private businesses and other employers may prefer candidates who have earned degrees from programs that have the ALA’s stamp of approval.
One university in Minnesota offers an ALA-accredited master’s in library science, so let’s explore what students need to know about the program.
St. Catherine University
- Institution type: Private
- Delivery method: Hybrid
- Campus: St. Paul, Minnesota
- Total expected tuition: $35,928
- Degrees offered: Master of Library and Information Science
- Graduate certificates offered: School Library Media Specialist
St. Kate’s, as it’s known in the state, offers the only ALA-approved master’s degree in library science in Minnesota. The degree is offered in a hybrid format in which most classes are on evenings and weekends and some are online. Most students should be able to complete the program in about two years, though they have up to five years.
Specialty areas include archives and special collections, youth services, information science and digital libraries and managerial leadership, and students can earn their school media specialist license through a post-master’s graduate certificate program.
A practicum is not required, but students may choose to complete real-world experience after they’ve earned 24 of the 36 total required credits for the degree; the practicum is an unpaid experience. School library media specialist students must complete clinical experience through student teaching in order to earn their degree and certification.
Minnesota Library Science Outlook
Librarians and media collections specialists in Minnesota earn an average of just over $63,000 per year, which is higher than the overall U.S. average for these workers of $58,000, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Librarian wages in Minnesota are highest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, where the average person earns just over $64,000 per year, while the Mankato area isn’t far behind at $63,500. Librarian wages are lowest in St. Cloud, though the gap is quite narrow, as St. Cloud’s average wage for librarians is nearly $61,000.
Minnesota is expected to see modest growth in employment of library workers through 2028, according to information from the Department of Labor data. Employment of librarians and media collections specialists is projected to grow by 2.9%, which is lower than the expansion projected across the entire U.S. for librarians (6.4%).
Jobs for other library workers should grow more rapidly, but Minnesota’s projected growth rate remains below the national average for all library, educational and training workers, who are expected to see employment rise by 4.5%. The national growth rate expected for these jobs is 5.7%.
In the information 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 Minnesota looks to be very positive for the next several years.