Becoming a Librarian


The policy of the American Library Association (ALA) states:

"The master's degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (or from a master's level program in library and information studies accredited or recognized by the appropriate national body of another country) is the appropriate professional degree for librarians."

A Master's degree from an ALA-accredited Library and Information Studies program prepares you for a professional career in library and information science. Although you are not required to attend an ALA-accredited program, the majority of employers require an ALA-accredited master’s for professional positions.  Most do not have the liberty to change this requirement.

There is usually no specific program of undergraduate study required for entrance into master's level library and information studies programs.  Whatever your area of interest --be it art, music, law, psychology, medicine, etc.-- there is a place for you in the field of librarianship.     

If you need help choosing a library program of study, you should take a look at the Directory of ALA-accredited programs.

If you are just beginning to explore a career in librarianship, you may want to take a look at the web site.  It is also a good idea to talk to a current librarian.  A good place to start is with a visit to the public library in your community.

If you are already a librarian and are looking for resources for career days, you may want to visit the ALA Recruitment Clearinghouse.

Additional resources, a website developed by ALA members, which is intended to answer your questions about what is involved in being a librarian or library worker.  

Career Profile of  Librarians (from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Career Video on becoming a Librarian from CareerOneStop

(Scroll down to “L’ to find Librarian)

If you would like to discuss the possibilities of careers in the library profession, you may contact HRDR staff, Beatrice Calvin at 800/545-2433 ext. 4280 or