5 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Library Science

Did you grow up with a love of reading? A fondness for the written word? Maybe your favorite place to be on a Sunday was the local bookshop or the library? If you love learning new things and want to be involved in your community, and help others learn about the world and technology then a degree in Library Science could be the right path for you. No, this will not turn you into the cliche, stuffy librarian from Harry Potter that shushes everyone.

A degree in Library Science has the possibility of leading to many careers, not just becoming a librarian. With a degree in Library Science, there are opportunities to work in information management and technology, electronic publishing, research, genealogy, local history, and much more. However, if you do want to go on to help people find information and research topics for personal and professional use, then you should be a librarian. The Occupational Outlook Handbook shows that not only do librarians contribute to their communities, but they also have a median annual salary of $58,520 and a nine percent rate of growth in the job field. So, if any of this peaks interest, keep reading for the 5 Best Bachelor's in Library Science.

Selection Criteria

The Universities have been chosen for the quality education they give their students and the multitude of successful librarians that have come out the programs. The 5 Best Bachelor's in Library Science has been ranked according to multiple factors including Degree of Investment Return, Student and Alumni Evaluation, Cost Value, Matriculation, and Academic Success. The degree of investment return uses particular data to determine the salary of individuals in careers that are specific to the degree ranked. The cost value takes into account the net price and availability of financial aid and those factors are applied to the ranking. Matriculation categorizes the competitiveness of acceptance rates within a particular degree program. Finally, academic success is determined by the number of students that stay at a particular school after their freshman year. All of these considerations affect the ranking of the following universities.

Ranking Factors

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring, and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Here are the 5 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Library Science for 2019!

 

#5. Southern Connecticut State University – New Haven, CT

B.S. in Information Management and Services

Southern Connecticut State University was founded as a teachers college in 1893.
Program Website

Not far from downtown, in a small pocket of New Haven, is Southern Connecticut University. Southern Connecticut's mission pushes "pursuing excellence, fostering leadership, [and] empowering communities," with a student-centered approach and diverse campus. SCU offers over 225 academic programs in both traditional and non-traditional forms, welcoming all who wish to learn, from new students to returning students. One of the many programs that SCU offers is a Bachelor's of Science in Information Management and Services. This program leads students through a Liberal Education program that prepares them for positions in public libraries, academic libraries, and school media library centers, as well as any non-traditional information careers. This BS program is offered in a traditional class setting and online, along with the Master's of Library and Information Science program, and a certificate program for a School Media Specialist.

The program requires students to maintain a 2.5 GPA throughout, which consists of 78 credit-hours within the major. 15 of those credits are electives and allow the students to explore areas they may want to specialize in. Students also go through the university's three tiers of the Liberal Education program. These consist of Tier 1: Foundations which is 18-credit hours, Tier 2: Explorations which is 27-credit hours, and Tier 3: Connections, which is three-credit hours and the senior capstone. Additionally, the Bachelor's degree offers students an internship program that allows them to gain hands-on experience and knowledge in the library science field. The program aims to instill in students a professional education, scholarship, leadership, and engagement with their community.

Net Price: $15,234
Score: 83.5

 

#4. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – Kutztown, PA

Bachelor of Science – Library Science

Kutztown University was founded in 1866 as Keystone State Normal School until it became a teacher's college in 1928. It finally became a university in 1983.
Program Website

The Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is comprised of four colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as Visual and Performing Arts. Within these colleges, students can find over 160 academic programs, study abroad opportunities, and small class sizes that allow students to succeed. KU seeks to be a place of excellence and provide academic, cultural, and public service experiences to its community, one of the ways it does this is through its two Library Science programs. While both Bachelor's programs focus on Library Science, one focuses on Education as well for students with the interest of pursuing a career in a school library. This BS in Education-Library Science is one of the few undergraduate programs in the state of Pennsylvania and allows students to become certified professional Library Media Specialists.

These programs both offer a broad spectrum of liberal arts courses and give students a knowledge of library technology including computers, databases, interactive multimedia, displays, and maker spaces. Both Bachelor's require 30 credit hours of foundational courses, 30 credit hours of electives within the major, 12 credit hours of general electives, and 15 credit hours of a clinical component also known as a professional semester, where a student will get hands-on opportunities to learn within their field. The Education program leads students to work with children and teachers in order to foster a love of learning and reading, integrate instructional technology, and encourage creative information sharing. After finishing the program students will be eligible for employment in academic and public libraries, information centers, as well as electronic publishing.

Net Price: $20,278
Score: 88.1 

 

#3. Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Clarion, PA

B.S. Liberal Studies: Library and Information Studies Concentration

Founded in 1859 as a seminary school, and the first institution of higher learning in the region, Clarion University now has over 57,000 alumni.
Program Website

Main Street in Clarion is lined with shops and restaurants, and just downtown sits Clarion University. Clarion is a large campus with its own movie theater and over 150 student organizations and over 100 academic programs. CU welcomes a diverse group of students to campus life with the aspiration to provide transformative, lifelong learning opportunities to students. On top of all that can be learned from the community at the university, the BS Liberal Studies: Library and Information Studies program prepares students to work as a provisional librarian in various settings. This degree program serves as an introduction to the world of information management and transfer, as well as a preparation for students who wish to pursue a Master's in Library Science.

The Library and Information Studies degree has a requirement of 18 credit hours in core major classes, 12 credit hours in Library Science electives, 12 credit hours in classes of 300-level or higher, and six credit hours in general electives. This program allows students to specialize in anything from Information Technology, Local History, Genealogy, to Youth Services in Public Libraries, and a School Library Certification. A multitude of internship and study-abroad opportunities bolster this program and allow students to seize all prospects that come their way.

Net Price: $18,409
Score: 90.9

 

#2. University of Maine at Augusta – Augusta, ME

Bachelor's of Information and Library Science

UMA was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Online Bachelor's Programs this year.
Program Website

The third largest public university in Maine, the University of Maine at Augusta has multiple campus locations and long-term expertise in online and distance learning. UMA offers a Bachelor's of Information and Library Science program that provides practical hands-on skills, experiences, and philosophies that help students become successful library professionals. It is this program's mission to involve students with the university and their local community and to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become specialized information professionals. The ILS degree offers a 22 credit hour certificate, a 66 credit hour Associates Degree, and a 120 credit hour Bachelor's degree all online. All of which prepare students for higher education through graduate study. The online program is maintained through email, phone, conference tech, and streamed video instruction. Students can also connect with faculty through video conference, phone, text, and on-campus meeting.

Throughout the courses, students learn through experiential assignments as well as by participating in their local library. The ILS Bachelor's requires that students fulfill the 52 credit hour major with a 2.0 GPA or higher. The courses offered range from foundational to web page design, collection development, and library management. Additionally, students are required to complete a 120-hour internship on-site at a local library. Graduates of the ILS Bachelor's can go on to hold engaging careers such as film librarian, technical services support, school media specialist, library director, and law librarian as well as working in public and academic libraries.

Net Price: $11,752
Score: 94.6

 

#1. University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, MS

Bachelor of Science Degree in Library and Information Science

USM was first founded in 1910 as Mississippi's first state-supported teacher's training school.
Program Website

The University of Southern Mississippi is a prominent research institution that offers over 190 undergraduate academic programs, both on-campus and online. The university is dedicated to community, scholarship, and learning. USM also offers the top-ranked Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Science. This degree program prepares students to work in a variety of library and information environments, as well as preparing the student to pass the PRAXIS exam for a state license to work in a school library. The LIS department focuses on knowledge, commitment to ethical practices, knowledge of the applicable literature, and professional practice and training experience.

This program requires that students complete 45 credit hours of coursework within the degree, along with six credit hours outside the department, and a 15 credit hour minor. Students may find themselves in classes such as Programs and Services for Youth, Storytelling, History of the Book, or Information Technology and Libraries. Additionally, the program offers an Accelerated Master's Option which gives undergraduate students with a 3.5 GPA or higher the ability to take nine credit hours of graduate level coursework during their senior year. The Library Science depart gives students many opportunities for internships, scholarships and even having their own work published. Finally, with over 130,000 alumni from USM, 97 percent of graduates from USM find positions, or a graduate program, relevant to their degree within 12 months of graduation.

Net Price: $12,506
Score: 100.0