Arkansas Library Science Degree Programs

Updated icon
Updated on November 13, 2023
Fact icon
Fact Checked

Arkansas borders the Mississippi River, has 52 beautiful state parks, and has long summers and mild winters. Arkansas is mostly rural, and the largest city is Little Rock, with a population of only 201,998, according to the Census Bureau. Little Rock is full of historical sites, including Little Rock Central High School, which was the site for desegregation after the Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional. So, if you love warm weather, lots of wildlife, and American history, Arkansas should be on your list of possible places to live or visit.

There are no library science programs in the state, but there are some of the top MLIS programs in neighboring states, including Texas. However, there are three master’s degree programs in Arkansas that offer library media degrees. A degree in library media prepares graduates to become school librarians in public schools in the state of Arkansas, as well as other K–12 schools. School librarians are responsible for managing the school library, helping teachers with their resources, teaching classes on research and library usage, and doing storytimes for elementary-age students. 

This article will cover more information about the library media programs in the state and the admissions process. Additionally, we will cover the qualifications to become a librarian, career opportunities in the state, and the expected salary for a librarian. Keep reading if Arkansas and the opportunities it provides interest you. 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Top-Ranked MLIS Program
  • ALA-Accredited
  • Complete in 18 Months

Syracuse University

Master of Science in Library and Information Science Online


Syracuse University offers an online MS in Library and Information Science. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes the option to specialize in School Media. No GRE is required.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • Top Faculty & Support
  • No GRE Required

University of Denver

Master of Library and Information Science Online


University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online, ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program. Learn from practitioners and gain the service-based skills needed to connect communities with information in the digital age. No GRE is required.*

  • Become a Literacy Leader
  • Top 10 M.Ed. Program
  • 100% Online

Arizona State University

Master of Arts in Education Online, Literacy Education Concentration


The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in literacy education will equip you to be a literacy leader in any educational setting.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • 2-Year Program
  • 100% Online

St. Johns University

Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science


Gain the advanced expertise that information specialist positions require with the online M.S. in Library and Information Science program from St. John’s University.*

Master’s in Library Media in Arkansas

The following programs include helping students earn their teacher’s certification for the state of Arkansas because all public schools require their librarians to hold a teacher’s certification. Additionally, these programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP sets the standard in the U.S. for education preparation for all preschool through 12th-grade teachers and educators. Keep reading for more information about each of these programs. 

Master of Education in Instructional Technology Library Media Specialist K-12 at Arkansas Tech University

This degree is offered completely online and is a 36-credit-hour degree. It provides hands-on teaching and collaboration with professors and other colleagues. It pushes students toward professional development and to become speakers and teachers. Then, graduates become skilled in communication, collaboration, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and technology skills. 

Students can choose other endorsements and credits in addition to their library media certification. There is an EdD in education in school leadership, an endorsement in special education and dyslexia, and a master’s in special education, school counseling, or special education and school leadership. Additionally, students can earn their certificate in online teaching.

How to apply

Contact the graduate admissions office today to see if you qualify. Then, apply online and pay the application fee.  

Master of Education in Library Media and Information Specialist at Southern Arkansas University

Southern Arkansas University strives to create an affordable higher education option for all of its potential students. Their Master of Education in Library Media and Information Specialist degree is no exception. Their program is nearly a thousand dollars less in tuition per semester than the average in Arkansas and $3,000 less than the average out-of-state tuition. Also, the university offers out-of-state tuition waivers for neighboring states, including Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. 

In this program, students will gain experience in library media and the skills they need to create and run a thriving school library and to aid other educators in providing resources and services. The degree can be completed in two years and is a 30-credit-hour program with a flexible hybrid format. Students will also graduate with their certification in teaching approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. 

How to apply

To qualify for the program, applicants need at least a 2.5 GPA and an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college. First, create an account, and then fill out the online application. You will also need to send in transcripts and pay the application fee. Applicants must mail their transcripts or email them to the graduate admissions office. 

Masters of Library Media and Information Technologies at University Central Arkansas

This degree is comprised of 30 semester hours and is completely online. This is the largest Library Media Specialist program in the state, and they have a 99% PRAXIS II passing rate. The degree is recognized by the American Library Association and CAEP certified. The degree prepares students for teaching in public schools, running a growing media room, analyzing and testing new technology to implement in the classrooms, and providing resources for teachers and students. 

If you are an out-of-state student and plan to work outside of Arkansas, contact your state’s Department of Education for teacher’s certification transfer information. This program will work with you on your certification, but they base their curriculum around Arkansas’s standards for certification with the Department of Education. 

How to apply

To qualify for the program, you need an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and at least a 2.7 GPA or a 3.0 GPA during the last 60 credit hours completed. Create an online account and fill out the online application. You will need to pay an application fee, and you may need to answer essay questions in the application. You will also need to send transcripts electronically to ucagradschool@uca.edu, or to the following address:

Graduate School

201 Donaghey Ave

Torreyson West, Suite 328

Conway, AR 72035

How to Become a Librarian in Arkansas

There are no state requirements for becoming a librarian. Still, many public and academic libraries require a librarian to have a master’s degree in library and information science from an ALA-accredited program. However, to become a school librarian, you must have a master’s in library media from an ALA-recognized program and a teacher’s certification. This includes at least 36 hours of courses and teaching experience approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. Additionally, in Arkansas, educators must renew their licenses every five years. 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Top-Ranked MLIS Program
  • ALA-Accredited
  • Complete in 18 Months

Syracuse University

Master of Science in Library and Information Science Online


Syracuse University offers an online MS in Library and Information Science. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes the option to specialize in School Media. No GRE is required.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • Top Faculty & Support
  • No GRE Required

University of Denver

Master of Library and Information Science Online


University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online, ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program. Learn from practitioners and gain the service-based skills needed to connect communities with information in the digital age. No GRE is required.*

  • Become a Literacy Leader
  • Top 10 M.Ed. Program
  • 100% Online

Arizona State University

Master of Arts in Education Online, Literacy Education Concentration


The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in literacy education will equip you to be a literacy leader in any educational setting.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • 2-Year Program
  • 100% Online

St. Johns University

Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science


Gain the advanced expertise that information specialist positions require with the online M.S. in Library and Information Science program from St. John’s University.*

What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree or a Library Media Degree in Arkansas?

Interestingly, the Church of Christ religious group is one of the leading employers in Arkansas. They started and manage a large disaster relief organization; they maintain educational institutions and hospitals; and they produce publications, television programs, radio programs, and other forms of media. Additionally, their employees come from diverse demographic backgrounds and are comprised of 43% female employees and 39.5% ethnic minority employees. Librarians can work within their media outlets as well as keep track of information resources and data. 

Some other good employers in Arkansas include the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority, the Arkansas State Archives, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives.

Little Rock Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas and the largest city in the state. It is full of opportunities for librarians, archivists, and those aspiring to help new generations grow with technology and cultural changes. The Arkansas State Archives is located in Little Rock, and the city is home to around 30 museums. The most notable museums are the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Central High School National Historic Site. 

The Central Arkansas Library System is the public library system for the Little Rock area, and it is comprised of 15 architecturally beautiful library branches. The library system also manages the Ron Robinson Theater, where they book speakers and comedians and put on classic films. Additionally, the Central Arkansas Library is partnered with Advancing Black Entrenership and together they run the Rock It! Lab which provides tools, resources, technical assistance, business education, and mentorship for entrepreneurs.

There is one library degree program offered in Little Rock by the University of Central Arkansas. The university is located in Conway, which is a large suburb of Little Rock, and the campus is about thirty miles away from the heart of the capital city. The setting provides a simple hometown feeling while being near countless opportunities for internships, scholarly research, and future careers. 

Salary Opportunities in Arkansas for Librarians 

The median household salary for the state is $50,784 a year, and the median salary for librarians and library media specialists is $52,730 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Librarians in the neighboring states make a similar salary. Also, according to BLS, Arkansas and its surrounding states have over 1,000 librarian positions in each state, and Texas has nearly 10,000 librarian positions.  

The largest employers for librarians in Arkansas are the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The main campus is the site for the library headquarters and four library branches, including the Robert A. and Vivian Young Law Library. Additionally, there are a total of at least 53 college and university libraries in the state. 

The Longview Independent School District employs the most staff and faculty members, including school librarians. They serve over 8,000 students and employ almost 2,000 workers. They have a Montessori school and magnet charter schools with STEAM-focused campuses. 

Additional Resources:

For more information on becoming an educator in Arkansas, visit https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/.

To learn more about accreditation and standards for library media programs, visit https://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslproftools/informationpower/rolesresponsibilities.htm

Go to Arkansas State Archives for more information about research and preservation careers and opportunities.

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States

Contents