Libraries of all sizes are impressive organizations: catalogued collections of the accumulated knowledge of centuries. Library management and technology are increasingly inseparable, as new libraries rely on complex computers and older libraries seek to modernize their capabilities.

Library management and technology programs are offered online to aspiring librarians. Using innovative technology, these programs can prepare the graduate student for licensure as a school librarian or for work in other public or private libraries.

Library Management and Technology Career Opportunities

Completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree or higher in library management or technology may qualify you for an entry-level position as a Librarian. Earning an associate’s degree or professional certification may qualify you for a position as a Library Tech or Aide.

The research skills that make a librarian effective is desirable in many other private business or academic support positions. This is by no means a complete list of career opportunities.

  • There were 159,900 librarians in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is expected to add 12,500 jobs over 10 years, for a 2018 total of 172,400 positions. That’s an 8% growth rate, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

    Librarians will experience average occupational growth from 2008 to 2018.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Real job opportunities for qualified candidates will be better than that BLS prediction. The Occupational Information Network, a project of the United States Department of Labor, predicts that there will be 54,500 job openings for librarians from 2008 to 2018. That figure includes the 12,500 new jobs predicted by the BLS AND existing positions vacated by career change, retirement, promotion, and early termination.

  • There were 242,500 library technicians and assistants in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is expected to add 24,200 new jobs over 10 years, for a 2018 total of 266,700 positions. That’s a 10% expansion, about the same as the average for all occupations over the same time period.

    Librarian support personnel will experience average occupational growth rates from 2008 to 2018.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Real job opportunities for qualified candidates will be better than that estimate. According to the Occupational Information Network, a project of the United States Department of Labor, there will be over 128,000 job openings for library technicians and assistants from 2008 to 2018. That figure includes the 24,200 new jobs predicted by the BLS AND existing positions vacated by retirement, career change, promotion, and early termination.

Library Management and Technology Earnings

Earnings for graduates of library management and technology programs vary by location, position, personal work history, and educational achievement. Let’s take a look at earnings for some of the most common career paths for library management graduates:

  • Librarians earned annual median wages of $52,530 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50% of the field earned between $42,240 and $65,300, while the bottom 10% earned less than $33,190 and the top 10% earned more than $81,130.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, library technicians earned median annual wages of $29,570 in 2008, and library assistants earned $22,980.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Library Management and Technology Educational Benefits

Most librarians have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Unlike librarians at public or private libraries, school librarians at public schools must be licensed by their state’s Board of Education. 20 states require that school librarians have master’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • 85% of librarians aged 25 to 44 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Occupational Information Network. All of the remaining 15% have some college education, including completed associate’s degrees and certificates and partially-completed bachelor’s degrees.

    Source: Occupational Information Network
  • 26% of library technicians have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Occupational Information Network. 28% have some college education, including completed associate’s degrees, and the remaining 46% have no formal education beyond a high school diploma.

    Source: Occupational Information Network
  • 37% of library assistants have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Occupational Information Network. 44% have some college education, including completed associate’s degrees and partially-completed bachelor’s degrees. The remaining 19% have no formal education beyond a high school diploma.

    Source: Occupational Information Network

Library Management and Technology Programs Online

Innovative online education can be an excellent tool for teaching library management. Library management programs are offered online at the master’s level, and as a graduate certificate.

The best online library management programs provide an education as good as one pursued at a local ground school, in a more flexible and accessible format that may be better suited to working students.

As with all expensive and important educational decisions, do your research when choosing an online library management program at any level. Is the school accredited? Do credits transfer? What are people saying about this program specifically and this school in general? The answers to many of these questions can be found on this website, but don't be afraid to ask your admissions counselor difficult questions.

 

See our "How to Choose" section for a more detailed list of things to consider and questions to ask, and use our powerful School Search tool to compare schools that offer library management degrees.

 

Library Management and Technology Skills and Abilities

Graduates of an online library management or technology program will learn the universal reference systems like the famous Dewey Decimal System, advanced internet search methods, and the proper way to catalogue books or articles, both physically and digitally.

Librarians and their assistants are sophisticated customer service representatives for the libraries that they represent. They should have a polite and helpful demeanor, be dependable and efficient, and keep cool under pressure.

Computer skills are increasingly important to librarians and their techs and assistants. Catalogues are more easily searchable from a computer, certain material may be available remotely, etc. While online library management and technology degrees will teach you what you need to know, a foundation in technology is valuable.

Library Management and Technology Qualification and Advancement

Completion of an online library management and technology degree may qualify the graduate for positions as a librarian, a library technician, or a library assistant. Librarians at public schools must be licensed in most states.

Additional Information

The American Library Association maintains a helpful resource for prospective library professionals at http://www.ala.org/ala/educationcareers/index.cfm.