A master’s degree in library science is required for most professional librarian positions. The American Library Association (ALA) only accredits programs leading to a master's degree. Not all master’s programs in library science are ALA-accredited. If you choose to attend a program that is not ALA-accredited, you will severely limit your employment options.
You can work in a library without a master’s degree. However, it would be in a support staff role. These include positions such as library assistants and technicians. Currently, there is no agency that accredits undergraduate or associate's programs in library and information studies.
You can earn a bachelor’s degree (4-yr), an associate’s (2-yr), or a certificate in library science. Many of the schools that have ALA-accredited master's programs also offer undergraduate majors and minors in library studies. However, you do not have to get your undergraduate degree in library science in order to be accepted into a master’s program. Your undergraduate degree can be almost any subject area.
To find ALA-accredited library science programs, see the Directory of ALA accredited master's programs in library and information studies.
To find bachelor’s, associate’s, and certificate programs in library science, visit the Library Certificate and Degree Programs listed in the ALA Library Support Staff Resource Center .