What Are the Different Types of Library Science Degree Programs?

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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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Various educational levels exist for library science degree programs, which teach the management techniques of information resources. Undergraduate library science degree programs generally include fundamental coursework that integrates usage of various library resources. In graduate library science degree programs, students might receive advanced training in managing those library resources. A library science certificate is generally part of either an undergraduate or graduate degree, with several different tracks, or concentration areas.

Opportunities for learning various aspects of working in library institutions are usually offered through several different library science degree programs. An undergraduate degree program is typically initial preparation in pursuing a career in libraries or other information resource fields. Generally, undergraduate library science degree programs cover a broad course selection to examine the development and utilization of library resources. For example, students may study reference tools that assist library patrons in finding specific information.

Graduate library science degree programs usually allow students to augment the foundation of an undergraduate degree. Most students elect to concentrate on a specific area related to managing resource tools during graduate studies. In general, concentration areas might include coursework related to the collection and organization of information materials.


Probably the most expansive learning opportunity is a certificate in either a library science graduate or undergraduate degree program. The certificate usually consists of several tracks that can help students focus on one area related to library resource management. Most certificate programs include studies in archived material, digital housing of library resources, and school libraries.

Archived material is a concentration area that teaches practical and theoretical approaches to maintaining an archival system. Students can learn all functional areas of an archive, including how to acquire resource material and appraise its value. Determining the accuracy of resource material is another functional area in this study track. Additionally, students may learn how to preserve these resource materials to ensure availability for library patrons.

The digital track for a library science degree often provides an overview of technologies available to create computerized libraries. Normally, students might learn how to create various digital formats for use by library patrons. Within this concentration area, students usually study human-digital interface concepts through coursework in theory and creating database designs.

Usually, the purpose of the school library track is to prepare students for employment in secondary and post-secondary academic institutions. Cataloging material and creating bibliographies are often part of the fundamental understanding of various school library databases. By completing this concentration area, students will also understand how to identify resource appropriate materials for different grade levels.

For the school library track, part of the curriculum might also include courses on classroom instruction. This may give students an understanding of instruction planning and learning styles in the classroom. Typically, students examine those learning styles in conjunction with school library media tools such as videos and books.


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