Kansas Library Science Degree Programs

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Updated on October 25, 2023
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Kansas, a beautiful state located in the heartland, is known for its vast prairies, diverse wildlife, and friendly people. People decide to make Kansas their home for a wide variety of reasons, but the state’s excellent cost of living, sense of community, and outdoor recreation opportunities are at the top of the list. With small, tight-knit rural towns and bustling metropolitan areas, Kansas is a little bit of everything. The Sunflower State is a great place if you’re looking to start a family, advance your career, or simply enjoy some great outdoors.

Kansas has several programs available for those looking to further their education in library science. Emporia State University, in Emporia, Kansas, offers a master of library science as well as other opportunities for study. There are also other programs available in the state for those looking to become a school library media specialist or school librarian.

Higher education in Kansas is a great option for many people. This guide will be an in-depth look at Kansas’s library science programs, library jobs in the state, and the average salaries Kansas librarians earn. 

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  • 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.*

ALA-Accredited Masters Programs in Library and Information Science (MLIS) in Kansas

There is only one ALA-accredited program in the state of Kansas: Emporia State University. Established as the Kansas State Normal School in 1863, the state public school is the third-oldest in Kansas and located in Emporia.

Master of Library Science at Emporia State University

The Master of Library Science program at Emporia State University is an excellent choice for those who are looking to work with the public at libraries. Students will learn how to catalog materials, conduct research, perform reference interviews, and do other daily library tasks. Participants must complete a mix of 22 hours of required courses and 14 hours of elective courses, which can include nine hours of concentration.

  • Six Concentrations: Health Information Professionals, Leadership & Administration, Outreach and Community Engagement, Archives Studies, Informatics, and Youth Services
  • Online or In-Person Option
  • 36-hour program
  • ALA-Accredited

How to Apply

To apply to the School of Library and Information Management’s master program at Emporia State University, prospective students must complete the Graduate School Application. You must include official transcripts from any other colleges or universities you’ve attended, two reference letters, a resume,  a statement of objective that discusses what you want to do with the degree, and a copy of your ID. You must also complete an advising interview, but GRE scores are no longer required.

Other Masters Programs in Library and Information Science in Kansas

When becoming a school media librarian, there are multiple tracks you can take. Some people choose to earn an MLIS and school media specialist licensure at the same time, while others earn a master’s degree in education with a specialization in library media.

Master of Science in Education, Library Media Specialist at Fort Hays State University

Students who choose to become a school library media specialist without an MLIS can enroll in Fort Hays State University’s Master of Science in Education program. This program, which requires a total of 36 credit hours, enables students to qualify for school library positions. 

  • 36 credit hours required
  • Non-ALA-accredited
  • Only for school library media specialist jobs
  • Online

ALA-Accredited Ph.D. Programs in Library and Information Science (MLIS) in Kansas

In addition to master’s level programs, there is also a Ph.D. program in library and information science in Kansas.

Ph.D. in Library and Information Management at Emporia State University

At Emporia State University, the School of Library and Information Management works with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research to make available a Ph.D. in Library and Information Management. This advanced degree was created to help those wanting to study, teach, and research in the information field. The program centers around 12 courses, plus reading, an exam, and a dissertation. 

Emporia State University’s Ph.D. program is one of five in the country that offers an ALA Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program. The American Library Association chose the group of universities to enroll a diverse group of students to help advance social justice and racial equity in the academic field. 

How to Apply

The Ph.D. in Library and Information Management requires the same Emporia State University Graduate School application as the school’s master’s degree program. However, the Ph.D. program application requires a GRE score of at least 304, as well as a sample of scholarly writing.

Certificate Programs in Library and Information Science in Kansas

At Emporia State University, Master of Library Science students have the option to specialize in six different areas. However, if students who already have an MLIS degree want to study further in any of those areas, Emporia offers a certificate program.

To apply for any of the graduate certificates, students must submit the Graduate Admissions Application, as well as transcripts from any bachelor’s degrees, a statement of objectives, and a resume. An interview may be required if the Certificate Coordinator decides it is necessary.

Archives Studies Certificate at Emporia State University

Students who want to learn more about archives and special collections will benefit from the Archives Studies Certificate at Emporia State University. The 18-hour program teaches students how to preserve materials and provide access to them for future generations, assess archives materials, and process and organize items.

Health Information Professionals Certificate at Emporia State University

The Health Information Professionals Certificate is a fully-online program for those who want to work in information sciences within the healthcare profession. The courses in this certificate program specialize in maintaining patient privacy, working with healthcare information systems, and ensuring adequate access to health information and services.

Information, Technology and Scientific Literacy Certificate at Emporia State University

Those who teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics to 4-12 grade students may find the Information, Technology and Scientific Literacy Certificate helpful. This program provides participants with the ability to teach students critical thinking skills in these highly sought-after areas. 

Informatics Certificate at Emporia State University

This 18-hour certificate is designed to get students ready for careers in informatics, such as user experience designers, researchers, and data analytics.

Leadership and Administration in Information Organizations Certificate at Emporia State University

If you want to work your way up into management at a library, studying library administration is essential. The Leadership and Administration certificate will give you valuable experience in managing staff, patrons, and various administrative duties as a manager.

Youth Services Certificate at Emporia State University

Children’s and young adult librarians are in high demand. Earning a certificate in Youth Services from Emporia State University will give you the tools to work with kids and teenagers in a public library. 

School Library Media Programs

Library Media Specialist Endorsement at Fort Hays State University

If you already have a master’s degree and a teaching license, you can seek your school library media specialist licensure at Fort Hays State University. Their 18-credit hour program enables you to get a job at a school library without obtaining another master’s degree.

School Library Media Licensure at Emporia State University

In Kansas and almost all other states, you must have a master’s degree to become a school librarian. You must also have a teaching license and a school library media license. At Emporia State University, you can earn your school library media licensure while you’re earning your Master of Library Science, or you can complete the program for licensure later. The program at Emporia focuses on how librarians can help students at every level of education. 

How to Become a Librarian in Kansas

Like most states, to become a librarian in Kansas, you must have a master’s degree in library and information science. Earning a degree from an American Library Association-accredited school is generally required as well. You don’t need any experience for some library jobs, but you will most likely need at least some customer service experience for any library position.

Below are the library jobs common in Kansas and the job qualifications:

Youth Services Librarian: A youth services librarian, sometimes called a young adult librarian, generally oversees or participates in a public library’s teen program. Someone in this position typically buys materials for the young adult collection, runs teen programs, works with local schools to form partnerships, and assists in daily operations of the library. A youth services librarian will need to have an MLIS, and most positions prefer at least 1-2 years of library experience.

Cataloging Librarian: Cataloging is a vital part of any library. Cataloging librarians create records for books and other materials in the library catalog so that staff and users can search for the items. This position requires intense attention to detail, advanced knowledge of cataloging standards, and a desire to learn continuously. This position requires an MLIS, as well as further education, and will generally require at least 1-2 years of cataloging experience.

Archivist/Special Collections Librarian: Archivists and special collections librarians work with rare books, manuscripts, photos, and other old, unique, and historical materials. In a typical day, a special collections librarian will work with staff from all over the library. Archivists must have good attention to detail, knowledge of relevant history, and experience working with rare and fragile materials. A special collections librarian position generally requires an MLIS with a concentration in archives. Some positions are entry-level, but many require a few years of experience.

Reference Librarian: At any library, whether public, academic, or special, you’re likely to find reference librarians. These are the people that assist with research, maintain the library’s collection, and provide many services to the public. A reference librarian does require an MLIS, but usually doesn’t need any further certification. Experience is preferred for many of these positions, but not always required.

Library Director: A library director or head librarian oversees all operations of the library. They manage staff, write policy, represent the library to the public, and other duties depending on the type of library. A library director must have an MLIS, library experience, and supervisory experience.

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 in Kansas?

Kansas is known for its natural beauty and barbecue, but the state has much more to offer. There are several sports teams in Kansas and cultural and historical sites.

One of the biggest industries in Kansas is manufacturing. While it may not seem obvious, those with a library science degree could thrive in this field. Manufacturing requires a lot of research and data, something that someone who has studied information science will know a lot about.

Logistics is also prominent in Kansas. Someone specializing in information or library science often has superior organization and planning skills, making them perfect for careers in logistics and distribution.

Not to mention that almost all major corporations require an institutional librarian to manage the corporation’s archives. 

Salary Opportunities

The average salary of a librarian at a university, college, or professional school in Kansas is $61,466 per year. An elementary or secondary school librarian makes $60,572 annually on average. Someone with a library degree working in other information jobs typically makes $49,467. Meanwhile, $59,088 is the standard salary for a public librarian or local government worker.

Additional Resources

For more information on libraries in Kansas, visit: https://kslib.info/555/Directories

For more information about librarianship and Library Science, visit: https://www.ala.org/

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States

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