Why Do Librarians Need A Master’s Degree? Reasons, Program Choice, & Job Prospects

Have you ever wondered why librarians need a master’s degree? A master’s program in library science is more than just checking out books. 

Over the past decade, librarians have evolved into well-versed professionals capable of serving their communities in the best possible way.

To stay up-to-date with the latest developments, many librarians are choosing to pursue an advanced degree such as a master’s degree in library and information science. 

By earning a master’s degree, librarians gain skills and knowledge that will help them better serve their community, conduct research, manage library programs, and serve patrons more effectively.

This article highlights why librarians need a master’s degree and the demand for librarians with such degrees. So, why not take the opportunity to explore the fulfilling life open to librarians with a master’s degree?

Do you need a master’s degree to be a librarian?

The short answer is that while a master’s degree isn’t always required to become a librarian, having one can give you an edge when applying for jobs. 

While many entry-level positions at libraries do not require a master’s degree, many employers prefer candidates with an advanced degree in library science. 

Master’s degrees in Library science (MLIS) show employers that you have knowledge and skills related to the latest developments in the field. 

It also sets you apart from other applicants and provides proof of your commitment to the profession. If you desire to specialize in certain areas of librarianship, such as school media librarianship or cataloging, a master’s degree may a prerequisite. 

Why do librarians need a master’s degree?

Librarians require a master’s degree to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for the job. A master’s degree allows them to specialize in a particular area, such as information technology or library science, to serve their patrons better. 

A librarian’s job involves more than just checking out books; they need to understand the latest technologies, and research topics, and provide advice and assistance to library patrons. With a master’s degree, librarians can become subject matter experts and take on leadership roles. 

Furthermore, having a master’s degree allows librarians to pursue other career opportunities, such as teaching or working in digital libraries or archives. Ultimately, a master’s degree prepares librarians to do their job efficiently and accurately.

There are different master’s programs for librarians

To become a librarian, you will likely need to pursue a master’s degree in Library Science. Librarianship is a specialized field that requires a broad range of skills and knowledge so this degree can be essential for entry into the profession.

There are several types to consider when considering your options for library science degrees. 

You may opt for a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree, which is the most common type of degree in the field. 

There is also a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science (MALIS), which may focus more on policy or research methods. 

Alternatively, you may pursue a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS). This program focuses more on information management systems and technology.

How to choose the right program for you 

When choosing the right librarian master’s degree program for you, there are some important factors to consider. 

  • It’s essential to research and ensure that your chosen program has the course offerings and faculty expertise that best fits your educational and career goals. 
  • You should also consider whether the school offers online or hybrid learning options if you cannot attend classes on campus. 
  • Additionally, it would help if you looked into the accreditation status of any potential programs, as accreditation is essential for practicing library science. 
  • It’s also important to consider the program’s costs, including tuition fees, room and board costs, and other living expenses. 

Once you have researched and determined which program is best for you, you should also make sure you have a plan for financing your education

Finally, when researching librarian master’s degree programs, read through any student reviews of the program you are interested in. 

This can give you insight into what the experience is like at the institution and help you make an informed decision about which program is best for you.

Is there a demand for librarians with a master’s degree?

Demand for librarians - lmshero

There is a growing demand for librarians with master’s degrees. With the rise of digital media and the complexity of library science, having an advanced degree is becoming increasingly important. 

As libraries expand their digital offerings and services, they will need educated professionals who can keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape. 

For those looking to become a librarian, obtaining a master’s degree could be a great way to ensure you have the necessary qualifications to work in today’s libraries.

Is it possible to become a librarian without a master’s degree?

Sometimes, it is possible to become a librarian without a Master’s degree. Depending on the type of library, the specific qualifications may vary. 

Some libraries may require only a high school diploma and related experience in customer service, library operations, and other relevant fields. Other libraries may prefer to hire librarians with an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in library science or information technology. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine if you can become a librarian without a Master’s degree is to contact the library you are interested in working for and inquire about their specific requirements.


Is it hard to become a librarian?

Yes. Becoming a librarian requires extensive education and training. While becoming a librarian can be difficult due to the educational requirements, those with a passion for learning, literature, and research may find it to be an extremely rewarding career.

Is it worth it to get an MLIS degree?

Yes, getting an MLIS degree can be an excellent investment for those pursuing a career in library science or information science.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, librarians require a master’s degree to be successful in their field. A master’s degree provides librarians with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide the best service possible to their patrons.

Furthermore, it allows them to manage library resources better and develop innovative programs and initiatives. Additionally, many positions in the library field require a master’s degree, so having one can open up many more opportunities for career advancement. 

Ultimately, if you want to be successful as a librarian, then a master’s degree is essential.

You can also read the article on master’s thesis length to discover a general view of how your thesis should be structured. Note that different schools and faculties may have varying structures. Hence, it is important to comply with the set rules. 

Thanks for reading.