Online Library Science Degrees


Insider tips for choosing and succeeding in the right school and career

School Surprises


"Teaching Styles Across The Board...
I was surprised by the wide spectrum of online teaching styles of my instructors. Some were very savvy and made use of all the unique online format had to offer, whereas others just transplanted their in-person format to the online setting and weren't quite invested in the online atmosphere." (Librarian; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at San Jose State University School Of Library And Information Science in California; completed Master degree in 2006



"Some Teachers Less Capable Than Expected...
I was surprised that some of the professors were not as experienced or skilled in teaching through the computer as I would have expected. There were a couple that obviously struggled to use the technology at hand, and I would have thought they would choose teachers who had the right skills to teach these online courses." (Librarian; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at University Of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Wisconsin; completed Master degree in 2007


"Some Online Classes Have Very Little Instruction...
One instructor did not "teach" at all. All she did was assign projects and grade them. It was frustrating." (Library Media Tech; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Library at Fresno City College in California; completed Certificate degree in 2012


"Prepared...
The support in getting the program to started for my degree" (Library Tech; 2014)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Oklahoma, male
School: Studied English Literature at University Of Oklahoma in Oklahoma; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Outstanding Instructor Interaction...
I was surprised that the University of South Carolina's online MLIS program had such outstanding professors. We regularly met for our classes, but the professor also were available whenever we had a question and we oftentimes had to go into Columbia for classes, lectures, or workshops." (archivist; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Masters In Library And Information Science at University Of South Carolina in South Carolina; completed Master degree in 2009


"More Difficult That I Thought...
I was surprised that the work was as rigorous as traditional classroom work. There were some classes that required that you be logged in and in the virtual classroom at preset times. There was a lot of emphasis on networking in the profession so I was encouraged to go out and physically meet contemporaries in my field." (librarian; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at Valdosta State University in Georgia; completed Master degree in 2009


"Little Support For Thesis Option...
I was surprised that it was so easy to complete and flexible while I was working full time. I was also surprised that it was extremely difficult to reach out to faculty, and that despite entering a graduate program, I had no faculty advisor. For example when I wanted to complete a thesis instead of the general writing project that students are encouraged to complete instead of a thesis, there were no advisors available and no encouragement from faculty to seek the thesis option." (unemployed librarian; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at San Jose State University School Of Library And Information Science in California; completed Master degree in 2012


"Library And Information Sciences Are Very Theoretical...
I was surprised by how theoretical library and information sciences are. This allows the field to adapt well to online courses, but the program could have required more practical experience." (library director; 2014)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at University Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Wisconsin; completed Master degree in 2007


"Interactive Classrooms Can Be Virtual Too...
I was surprised at how interactive our classes were. We had live meetings online, group chats, and virtual group work. My classmates and I were actively involved in local meetups as well, so I never felt isolated or as if I was teaching myself everything." (Librarian; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at San Jose State University in California; completed Master degree in 2012


"Interaction In Classes...
I was surprised how interactive the online college experience was. I still worked on group projects and had to make presentations in classes." (Librarian; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at Valdosta State University in Georgia; completed Master degree in 2011


"Independent Learning...
I was surprised at how much independence was involved in terms of time spent (own pace)." (Library Assistant; 2014)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Training & Development at Regents Online Degree Program in Tennessee; completed Master degree in 2012


"I Was Surprised How Interactive Classes Were...
It was very interactive and was a lot like being in a real classroom because we used Blackboard, along with webcams, microphones, and speakers/headphones, and all logged in to class at the same time, so classes proceeded much like on-campus classes." (librarian; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science - Community Informatics/Youth Services Focus at University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School Of Library And Information Science in Illinois; completed Master degree in 2012


"I Thought I Would Be Making More Money With A Master's Degree...
Online class require a lot of independent work, and you have to be very self-motivated. For instance, when you attend a regular class your professor and fellow students will remind you about assignment due dates, but with an online class you have to read all the materials, and keep track of due dates yourself." (writer/library assistant; 2014)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Education at National University in California; completed Master degree in 2005


"Great Balance Between Theoretical Studies And Practical Training...
I was surprised by the great balance that the program achieved between theoretical and practical issues and training." (librarian; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Alabama, female
School: Studied Library Science at University Of Kentucky in Kentucky; completed Master degree in 2012


"Good Integration With Local College...
The online program was closely connected with the physical college, so I was able to visit the campus and use their library and other resources which was a huge help. The professors were all very available to reach by email and I got responses very fast, and the message boards were very valuable to talk to my fellow students about readings." (assistant librarian; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, female
School: Studied English at Sacramento City College Online Program in California; completed Associate degree in 2012


"Filling Seats More Then Filling Minds...
FSU is a major public university which like many traditional colleges is transitioning to a greater online curriculum. The Library and Information Studies program(LIS) is one of these programs. I began my program in 2008 and finished in 2008, and one thing I noticed was the degradation of the program during those 4years. The concentration seemed to emphasis getting more students in the program then the education itself. And this led to a need for more instructors. I noticed during this time period going from every instructor having a PhD in library science to people from many different field including some with no PhD at all teaching Masters degree students. This surprised me and has led me to have concerns over the quality of education in online programs. If this is happening at a major universities I wondered what could be happening at purely for profit schools." (librarian; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida
School: Studied Library And Information Studies at Florida State University All Coursework Done Online; completed Master degree in 2012


"Excellent Interaction With Professors And Fellow Students...
I expected the online classes at Syracuse University to involve less interaction with both the professors and my fellow students. Instead, I found that I interacted more with them. I found the online discussions with my classmates to be engaging and detailed. The professors provided excellent and comprehensive feedback." (Librarian; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Washington, female
School: Studied Information And Library Science at Syracuse University in New York; completed Master degree in 2004


"Easier To Find A Job/Work Placement Than I Thought...
I was surprised by how much I could learn despite my classes being online, as well as how collaborative some of the classes could be. I was also surprised at how much it helped me with my professional development. I was able to find a paid internship for college credit despite being a distance learner, and the schedule helped me be able to work and take the opportunity." (Librarian; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Library And Information Science at University Of South Florida in Florida; completed Master degree in 2007


"Class Discussion Participation Was More Then In A Normal Class...
I was surprised at the level of engagement in class on-line message boards, there were hounded thread long discussions on the message board. In my undergraduate days I had taken a few on-line courses and the message boards were deserted. It could be because people were more engaged for their grades, and the entire course was online." (Librarian; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Library Science at Drexel University in Pennsylvania; completed Master degree in 2012

Career Background


College Librarian

  Salaries
  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Best School Tips


"Use A Calendar To Keep Yourself On Track...
When working toward an online degree, it is important to have self-discipline. Without the classroom setting, it can be harder to keep yourself on track. Definitely use a calendar to help with your deadlines." (librarian; 2014)


"Study...
Be prepared to do the work assigned and motivate yourself to finish." (Library Tech; 2014)


"Student Connections Are Important In Online School...
Prowl your social media site of choice to link up with the student Facebook and Yahoo groups. They give invaluable information about local meetups, professor recommendations, and career strategies." (Librarian; 2013)


"Set Aside A Time And Location For Work Everyday...
Set your self a schedule! you will be learning mostly on your own time, learn self-discipline. go get yourself a point card at a favorite coffee shop and be prepared to spend hours their each time that is only set aside for studying." (Librarian; 2014)


"Read, Reflect And Discuss...
The online discussion forums for each class are where a lot of the learning happens. Give yourself enough time to reflect on the professor's discussion questions and your fellow students' responses so that you can contribute meaningfully to the discussion." (Librarian; 2014)


"Participate In Discussion Boards...
The discussion boards were invaluable. Participate fully and read what others have to say. You can glean a lot from the real world examples that your classmates offer." (Library Media Tech; 2013)


"Online Also Means In Person...
Spend a lot of time getting to know other librarians in your area. This will help you build network connections for resources when you are in the field." (librarian; 2013)


"Making Connections...
Make connections with your fellow classmates and your professors. Even though there is a distance they are a wonderful resource to help you learn and to help you find jobs." (Librarian; 2014)


"Make A Regular Time To "Attend" Class...
Make a regular schedule for yourself so you "attend" class on a routine. Creating your own routine is important to stay connected with the classroom in a regular and meaningful way." (Librarian; 2013)


"Keep A Good Schedule And Stay On Task...
Keep a detailed schedule of when readings and assignments are due- since the work is self guided you have to motivate yourself and not depend on a teacher asking you in person about the work." (assistant librarian; 2013)


"Get The Degree That Will Get You The Job...
Spend a lot of time looking at job listings while you are in school, and use the many classes available to take classes that promote your specific niche and talents." (unemployed librarian; 2014)


"Familiarize Yourself With The Software And Double-Check Things...
If the application or software used for the program has a "training" component or module, use it and train yourself on all of the features of the program, because it will help a lot when you go to participate in class. Also, double-check things that you upload online, like when you turn in assignments, to make sure that they uploaded correctly. Thirdly, keep up a good dialogue with your professor, even if it is over email." (librarian; 2013)


"Experience The Library Environment Before Studying The Field...
Have library experience before pursuing a degree in the field. Even if it is just as a volunteer, it will help remind you why you want to become a librarian." (library director; 2014)


"Discipline Is Important...
It takes discipline and time management in order to complete such a program." (Library Assistant; 2014)


"Contact Your Professors When You Need It...
Make sure to keep in contact with professors if you're having a difficult time with anything. Because you contact them via email/phone/chat it's usually pretty easy to get in touch with them (within reason) whenever you need to." (Librarian; 2014)


"Consider Your Educational Needs...
Take time to evaluate yourself and your education needs, and be honest. If you require face-to-face social interaction in classrooms, or have difficulty working independently and require external motivators to hold you accountable, then the online program is not ideal. If you work better on your own, can stay focused and organized, and don't require classroom interaction, then the program will be perfect for you." (Librarian; 2014)


"Consider Taking Online Courses At A Public University...
Take online courses at a public university or community college because private ones charge about three times as much." (writer/library assistant; 2014)


"Completing Assignments...
I would advise you to make sure you complete the assigned readings. Online programs are different than being in class and being able to discuss things, so to get the most out of your degree and instruction make sure to read and complete all assignments." (archivist; 2013)


"Be The Best And Document It...
It's about you. The degree and education you receive is not enough in today's world. You must not only know your material inside and out, you need contacts and experience. Don't depend on that diploma it will do you almost no good. Remember they are trying to sell you a product at these schools , it can be a great one to buy but you must use it correctly. Volunteer in your field and intern as much as you can. The key to success is not the degree but the network of contacts you will make and how well you know your stuff. No one in the real world will really care if you get straight A's. It's sometimes hard to do but ask for letters of recommendation from every instructor and person you work for. These will greatly increase your job chances." (librarian; 2014)