Library and Information Science
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Overview
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Library and information science is a program that focuses on the knowledge and skills required to develop, organize, store, retrieve, administer, and facilitate the use of local, remote, and networked collections of information in print, audiovisual, and electronic formats and that prepares individuals for professional service as librarians and information consultants.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in library and information science at each level last year.
02K4K6K1-2 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's DegreePost-master's CertResearch Doctorate
People with this bachelor's degree have gone to work in these careers
LibrariansElementary and middle school t...Education administratorsManagers (specialized areas)Computer and information syste...Postsecondary teachersCounselorsLibrary techniciansClerical library assistantsFirst-line supervisors of non-...Computer systems analystsFirst-line supervisors of reta...
Library Science majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all library and information science graduates from this last academic year. We found a lower percentage of international graduates than in 55% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 84% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in library and information science earned in the last academic year, 83% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a higher percentage of women than 84% of other programs.
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Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in library and information science.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in library and information science have a median salary of $53,136.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 71% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 40% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
All of the following employment data applies to people holding a bachelor's degree in library and information science.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 2.3%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are more likely to be employed than the bachelor's graduates of 76% of other fields.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 3% of workers who earned a bachelor's in library and information science are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Library Science, perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
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Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Library and Information Science doing?

New data from College Scorecard gives us a glimpse into the earnings and debt for recent graduates in their first year or two after leaving school. Shown is the distribution of the medians reported for all schools with graduates in the given program/award level.

Starting salaries by award level
$41K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KMaster's Degree
Median cumulative federal loan amount
$35K$0$20K$40K$60KMaster's Degree
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Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data applies to people with a bachelor's degree in library and information science

This section is informed by household surveys collected by the US Census Bureau in its American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS tells us all about the individuals surveyed -- education level, age, career, salary, home, etc. -- and includes the field of degree for people who earned a bachelor's degree. All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree in library science, although we're also able to see the level of education the individuals attained. All higher degrees could have been in any field.

Employment overview
Percentage of library science bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in library science lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage library science majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 28.9% of library science graduates are currently not working. However, only 2.3% are classified as "unemployed," while 26.6% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

71%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether library science majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

2.3%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for library science majors

How does the median (middle) salary for library science majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$53,136$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for library science majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$51K$50K$55K$57K$56K$53K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KState government (15.2% )Private for-profit (30.0% )Local government (32.7% )Private not-for-profit (14.7% )Federal government (4.4% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for library science majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in library science. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (14%)
Women (86%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that library science has more women than most other degrees.

86%14%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of library science majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$52K$62K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For library science graduates, men generally earn 18% more than women. This is better than many: 73% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

18%18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of library science bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in library science can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for library science graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$55K$54K$51K$46K$55K$51K$60K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can library science majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for library science majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all library and information science completions reported last year, 100% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 95% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in library and information science
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in library and information science today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in library science when in college.

We know that about 71% library science majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of library science majors who also earned a graduate degree is higher than about 95% of other fields.

71%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: library science majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 71% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in library science, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in library science by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$41K$58K$72K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

40%76%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for library science majors
Careers for library science majors

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in library science, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in library and information science. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
**Librarians
$0$200K$52K
36.2%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$52K
6.9%
Education administrators
$0$200K$70K
5.7%
**Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$73K
3.4%
Computer and information systems managers
$0$200K$101K
2.1%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$63K
1.9%
Counselors
$0$200K$45K
1.3%
Library technicians
$0$200K$33K
1.2%
Clerical library assistants
$0$200K$29K
1.2%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
$0$200K$60K
1.1%
Computer systems analysts
$0$200K$77K
1.1%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$40K
1.1%
Archivists, curators, and museum technicians
$0$200K$51K
0.9%
Social workers
$0$200K$44K
0.9%
Data entry keyers
$0$200K$32K
0.9%
Accountants and auditors
$0$200K$61K
0.9%
Applications and systems software developers
$0$200K$97K
0.9%
Financial analysts
$0$200K$78K
0.8%
Management analysts
$0$200K$78K
0.8%
Computer support specialists
$0$200K$55K
0.8%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten library science careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by library science graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

English Language and LiteratureElementary EducationHistoryLibrary ScienceGeneral EducationPsychologyBusiness Management and AdministrationCommunicationsPolitical Science and GovernmentSociologySpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationLiberal ArtsGeneral BusinessBiologyAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringEconomicsMarketingFinanceMathematicsNursingChemistryPhysicsAnthropology and ArcheologyMass MediaComputer ScienceGeneral Computer and Information SystemsManagement Information Systems and StatisticsComputer EngineeringSecondary Teacher EducationPhysical and Health Education TeachingFine ArtsLibrariansElementary and middleschool teachersEducation administratorsManagers (specializedareas)Postsecondary teachersLibrary techniciansComputer systems analystsComputer and informationsystems managersSecondary school teachersClerical library assistantsAll othersThis degreeTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
Jobs that choose library science majors
What careers hire library science majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have library science as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of library science majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

LibrariansAll other careersLibrary ScienceAll other degreesCareers where this degree is a top 10 hireDegree
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer library and information science degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
72 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Appalachian State University
NC
17,252
18.8
$10,491
82%
71%
Ashford University
CA
28,379
193.0
$19,141
38%
23%
CUNY Queens College
NY
14,088
27.6
$4,776
63%
56%
Catholic University of America
DC
3,492
13.3
$36,080
89%
70%
Chicago State University
IL
1,326
14.9
$11,099
38%
29%
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
PA
3,859
22.7
$19,297
74%
48%
College of Southern Idaho
ID
4,006
27.8
$6,426
57%
24%
Dominican University
IL
2,120
20.2
$18,037
81%
64%
Drexel University
PA
14,840
19.7
$36,727
85%
64%
East Carolina University
NC
22,102
21.9
$13,746
76%
63%
Emporia State University
KS
3,487
20.2
$13,670
75%
48%
Fresno Pacific University
CA
2,554
29.5
$19,965
72%
60%
Illinois State University
IL
17,236
22.0
$19,489
84%
73%
Indiana University - Bloomington
IN
33,192
20.8
$11,931
84%
76%
Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis
IN
19,537
28.7
$9,371
67%
46%
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Barranquitas
PR
1,864
65.3
$8,311
47%
45%
Kent State University at Kent
OH
20,923
27.6
$17,552
66%
54%
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
PA
7,024
20.4
$22,084
80%
57%
Long Island University
NY
6,775
20.9
$24,266
66%
45%
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
LA
22,786
21.7
$17,437
81%
67%
Graduate program details
Explore library and information science graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The data is reported by program name and subject, and we have worked to match that data with the standard "CIP" titles that are the basis of these program pages. Please be aware that only a subset of all possible graduate programs share the details about financial support and admissions numbers with Peterson's. To see a complete list of schools who have graduated students with this degree, the previous section is much more reliable; however, this is a great place to look for a hint of schools that may offer financial support. You can see more details about each school's graduate programs in the Programs Offered section within that school's Ididio page.

Filter Schools
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Program
State
Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Application Fee
Grad students with aid
Chicago State University
Program in Library Science (Master of Science)
IL
$25
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Certificate Program in Library Science
PA
$40
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
MSLS Program in Information and Library Science (Master of Science in Library Science)
PA
249
87%
$40
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Program in Library Science (Master of Library Science)
PA
22
100%
$35
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Program in School Library and Information Technologies (Master of Education)
PA
$25
41
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Program in Communication and Information Studies (Master of Communication and Information Studies)
NJ
71
39%
$50
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Program in Communication, Information and Library Studies (Doctor of Philosophy)
NJ
106
68%
$50
St Catherine University
Program in Library and Information Science (Master of Library and Information Science)
MN
$35
St John's University - New York
Program in Government and Library and Information Science (Master of Arts/Master of Science)
NY
1
100%
$70
Syracuse University
MS Program in Library and Information Science (Master of Science)
NY
0
$75
Syracuse University
MS Program in Information Management (Master of Science)
NY
$75
Trevecca Nazarene University
Graduate Education Program (Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Specialist in Education, Master of Library and Information Science)
TN
Universidad Ana G. Mendez - Gurabo Campus
Program in Library Service and Information Technology (Master of Education)
PR
1
100%
$25
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Library and Information Science Program (Master of Library and Information Science)
HI
21
86%
$100
University of Kentucky
Program in Library Science (Master of Arts, Master of Science in Library Science)
KY
$50
University of Maryland - College Park
Program in History, Library, and Information Services (Master of Arts/Master of Library Science)
MD
28
54%
$75
Explore similar programs

Library and Information Science is part of a larger collection of programs: Student Counseling, Library Science, and other Education-adjacent fields. Is there a different program that's close to Library and Information Science that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
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