Delaware is called the First State, as it was the first state admitted into the Union in 1787. It is also the second-smallest state in the U.S., behind Rhode Island. Delaware is a coastal state that is humid and has mild summers with an average high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit and cold winters with an average low of 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Within the state, there are great healthcare opportunities for employment and for receiving care, and there are a plethora of historic buildings and some of America’s oldest history to see and use to conduct research. Delaware is a beautiful state with clean beaches and lighthouses, including the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, Marcus Hook Range, Delaware Breakwater, Fourteen Foot Break, Habor of Refuge, Mahon River, and Mispillion.
Delaware has some good options in higher education. They have Delaware State University, Goldey-Beacom College, the University of Delaware, Wilmington University, and more. Due to the small size of Delaware, universities in other states are commutable for Delaware residents. Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York offer a wide selection of great universities, including Ivy League schools including the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Cornell. A little further north are also Yale and Harvard Universities. There are also plenty of universities in the area that offer a Master’s of Library Science (MLS) program, and most of them are accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). ALA sets the standard for library and information science programs. Library employers often require librarians to hold an MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited school.
This article will cover the library science programs offered in Delaware, the job opportunities for librarians, and the salary expectations for the field in the state. The article highlights each program and its admission process. It will also cover job opportunities outside of librarianship and within Delaware’s two most populous cities. Lastly, the salary expectations will be compared to the surrounding areas as well as the number of positions listed in the state.
Master’s in Library and Information Science Programs in Delaware
Delaware offers a program in library science that focuses on school library media. This program is a graduate degree that helps students earn their certificate in school library media. The state requires school librarians to earn a very specific certification, which involves multiple steps. When you apply for the program, they will walk you through the steps you need to take to become certified to teach and to work as a school librarian in the public school system. Delaware does not have any other library and information science programs, but there are universities in neighboring states that offer some of the best library science programs in the country, including the University of Maryland at College Park and Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.
This degree will take two years to complete and consists of 31 credit hours. The university will take nine transfer hours from a different institution, but the program must be accredited by ALA, ASLA, or CAEP. Regardless, students must take the following courses to graduate and complete their certification: Reference Services and Resources, Introduction to Cataloging and Classification, School Library Media Program Administration, School Library Media Curriculum, Childhood Literature, Adolescent Literature, and an Internship in School Library Media. The internship includes ten hours working in each school division. The divisions are elementary, middle, and high school. Additionally, the university offers a degree in M.Ed. in Education Technology, and students can earn their degree in school library media at the same time.
How to apply
Applicants will send in transcripts from any colleges attended and their Praxis II School Library Media scores. Then applicants need to fill out a short application for admission and for faculty to see where the applicant is in the certification process. For more information, visit the Program Process page. There is also a way to request more information on their site.
How to Become a Librarian in Delaware
The state does not set a standard for public librarians, academic librarians, or other special librarians, but it does require certification for school library media specialists. Most institutions and organizations require academic and public librarians to have an advanced degree. A Master’s of Library Science from a program that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) is preferred. More advanced librarian positions will require more experience, and higher leadership roles will require some supervisory experience. Librarians who wish to teach for an academic institution or conduct research and publish scholarly work will need a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science.
A School Library Media Specialist Certification involves proof of a teacher’s certificate, proof of a completed master’s degree, and completion of 10 hours of library media coursework from the University of Delaware and a total of 19 credit hours of library media coursework. The course credits EDUC 746, and the internship is required from the University of Delaware. The EDUC 746 course includes taking the required Praxis test for school library media. If an applicant is earning the other nine credits from a different institution, then the institution must be accredited by ALA or CAEP.
What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Delaware?
The State of Delaware government is the largest employer in Delaware. The state government hires a wide variety of professionals, including accountants, data analysts, information technology managers, engineers, technology specialists, information security officers, operations support specialists, and more. Some of these options make great alternative careers for librarians and for those with information science degrees. Visit the state’s job openings to see current jobs. They post part-time, full-time, and seasonal positions. They also list the benefits and salary on the website.
If you are more interested in history and historical research, you could work with the Delaware Historical Society. They answer research questions, organize and maintain the archives, digitize the archives, and so much more. The society puts together education programs for field trips, and they help educators. They help manage the Delaware History Museum, the Old Town Hall, the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, the Research Library, and Willington Square
Wilmington Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
The Wilmington Public Library System consists of two library locations, the Wilmington Public Library, the North Wilmington Public Library, and a local history room. They offer ongoing programs for children, teens, parents, and other adults. One of their major programs is their adult literacy program. They connect tutors to those who want to learn to read. They also have career and tech assistance, computer and internet access, story times for preschool-aged children, meeting rooms to reserve, and more. In the local history reserves, they have organized obituaries, local newspapers, historical maps, Delaware’s city directories and phone books, and current information from local newspapers. Their collection of newspapers includes five different Delaware newspapers dating back to 1871.
The city of Wilmington offers three four-year colleges and a two-year college. The largest college in the city is Wilmington University, which has over 7,500 undergraduate students. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, and some certification programs. The university employs 18 librarians and library staff members. They serve the New Castle, Dover, and Georgetown campuses. They offer services for faculty, students, and alumni. Also, they have tech supplies to check out, reference assistance, study spaces, and more.
Dover Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
The Dover Public Library serves the capital city and the surrounding area. They have a youth services department, a circulation department, an adult programming department, and an interlibrary loan and tech department. They offer passport services, small business and entrepreneur services, job and career assistance, and children and teen services. Part of their entrepreneurial services are resources for legal information, business planning, marketing, and programs hosted by the library to encourage professional connections and to connect small businesses and entrepreneurs with valuable information.
Delaware State University has nearly 4,000 undergraduate students and offers bachelor, graduate, and doctoral programs. Their most popular degree programs are Health Professionals, Business Management, Marketing, Parks, Recreation, Fitness, Kinesiology, Psychology, and Social Sciences. There are 48 bachelor programs, 23 master programs, and six doctoral programs. The university employs 15 librarians and library staff at the William C. Jason Library. Within the library, there are computer labs, academic offices, university archives, and the Art Center Gallery. They also offer research instruction sessions, interlibrary loans, various online tutorials and courses, and much more.
Salary Opportunities in Delaware for Librarians
The BLS states that there are 390 librarian positions in the state of Delaware. This is on the lower side, however, Delaware is the second smallest state in the U.S., so there are more library positions per capita than in some nearby states. The mean wage for librarians is $72,040 annually, which is also comparable to nearby states. D.C. and Maryland are the highest in the area at $78,000 a year, and Pennsylvania is on the lower end at $58,000 a year. In Delaware, entry-level librarians earn $48,500 or more, and the highest-earning positions can earn up to $96,600 a year.
For information on libraries and librarianship in Delaware visit https://dla.lib.de.us/
For continuing education opportunities visit https://libraries.delaware.gov/ilead-usa-delaware/.
To learn more about professional librarianship and accreditation in higher education visit https://www.ala.org/