Louisiana Library and Information Science Degree Programs

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Updated on May 14, 2024
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Louisiana is home to some of the most unique cultures and histories in the United States. They are the homes of the Cajuins and Creoles. They are known for unique cooking, including crawfish etouffee, crawfish boils, gumbo, shrimp and grits, and beignets. They are also known for Mardi Gras, Jazz, and a unique art scene. They have hot, muggy summers and mild winters, and the majority of the state is marsh, also known as the Bayou. Because of the Bayou, Louisiana has a diverse wildlife population and a multitude of outdoor activities. Louisiana also has a unique city-life experience in New Orleans, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. 

There are great options for higher education in Louisiana, including Louisiana State University (LSU). They are the only university with a Master’s in Library and Information Science. The program is accredited by the American Library Association, so it is a great option for anyone looking to become a librarian or information specialist. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for research within the unique Cajuin culture and plenty of rich American history.

This article will cover the library education programs and the application process, how to become a librarian in Louisiana, and the expected salary opportunities available in the state. Additionally, we will look at all of Louisiana’s major cities and what they have to offer residents and librarians. I think you will be surprised at the opportunities and lifestyle you can find in Louisiana. 

ALA-Accredited MLIS and Programs in Louisiana

The American Library Association (ALA) is the most respected organization in librarianship. Universities and libraries look to them to set the standards for higher education in librarianship. Employers and institutions know to trust potential employees if they have an MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited school. Louisiana has one master’s program accredited by ALA and it is offered from Louisiana State University. 

Master of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University

This program has been accredited by the American Library Association since 1932. It is an online program and it takes at least 36 credit hours to complete. This degree provides students with the proficiency to become librarians in the public library setting, the academic library setting, and other information environments. The School of Information at LSU also offers a dual degree option for students to also earn an additional degree in archival studies or records and information management. Additionally, students can earn their certification in school librarianship through this program. 

The School of Information at LSU is partnered with the iSchool system and the Climate Heritage Network. They have made great strides in research on climate change and in helping the neighboring community. They utilize new technologies to impact the community through information and research. One of their biggest missions is climate change and trying to understand its impact and then taking that information and sharing it with the community. Climate change and natural disasters are something Louisiana worries about, especially after the impact of Hurricane Katrina. To help in their efforts, the School of Information was awarded a grant of $473,146 to spend over three years on the “PROTECCT-GLAM: Providing Risk of The Environment’s Changing Climate Threats for Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums”.

How to apply

To apply, applicants need to create an online account and fill out an online application. Applicants will also need to pay the application fee and send in transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an updated resume. No GRE is required.

How to Become a Librarian in Louisiana

To become a school librarian, applicants need either a librarian certificate or an ancillary library certificate. Both require a master’s of library science from a regionally, accredited institution. They will also need three semesters of a practicum working in the school system for experience in the field. Many master’s programs include a practicum in their curriculum. And for certification, school librarians must make at least a 136 on the PRAXIS II exam for library media. 

Other librarian positions, including public librarians, academic librarians, and special librarians, require a master’s degree in library science from a program accredited by ALA. For management positions, multiple years of library experience is typically required, and professors of librarianship or information science may be required to have a Ph.D. in Information Science. 

What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Louisiana?

One of the largest and best employers in Louisiana is Ochsner Health. They hire for various types of positions. For librarians and information specialists, Ochsner has positions in data science, as an EMPI/Chart Correction Specialist, Senior Data Integrity Specialist, Clinical Researcher, Certified Coding Specialist, and Project Manager. Ochsner Health currently employs 32,000 individuals, and the average wage they pay is $46,408 annually. They are known for a fast-paste work environment where life-changing innovation takes place. Additionally, they were ranked as the 3rd best company to work for on Zippia in New Orleans, and many of the staff voted that they loved the work environment. 

New Orleans Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

There is so much to do and see in New Orleans including the jazz music scene, Mardi Gras, and cajun cooking. And thankfully librarians have many opportunities in New Orleans so that they can live and work in such a vibrant city. They have 14 public library branches and are searching for librarians to fill in more positions.  They staff librarians for early childhood literacy, children’s services and programs, teen services and programs, outreach, management, library tech, reference, and other service areas. 

New Orleans has multiple colleges and universities with opportunities for academic librarianship. Their largest university is the University of New Orleans. The Earl K. Long Library on campus provides students with research assistance, study space, online and print resources, and faculty services. They also keep up special collections and archives of the university’s history and some materials of New Orleans’s history.  

Baton Rouge Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, and it holds rich collections of archives for Louisiana’s history. Baton Rouge’s public library system offers research and services for genealogy searches, as well as other services for children, teens, and adults. Additionally, LSU is located in Baton Rouge and it is the largest university in Louisiana and it is the only university in the state with a Masters in Library and Information Science program that is accredited by the American Library Association. 

Lafayette Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Lafayette was named the “Happiest City in America” by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch. They are in the heart of Cajun and Creole culture where music and good cooking are easy to find. The city has a rich history that dates back to the 1700s and they have kept up with their history and shared it with the world through online archives, and the museums and memorials around the city. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette also has a large archive and special collection for the university and the area. The university also staffs nearly fifty library specialists which provides opportunities for librarians wishing to work in the academic environment. 

For those wanting to work in public libraries, Lafayette has nine public library branches and strong teen, children’s, and adult departments. These departments provide services, classes, programs, and fun events regularly Children’s services and programs include STEAM activities in the Maker Space, storytimes, book clubs, and summer reading programs. Teen services and programs include book clubs, tech labs, online resources, homework help, etc. And adult programs and services include book clubs, computer classes, tech assistance, online resources, and events like book signings. 

Shreveport Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Shreveport is in the northwest corner of Louisiana and has the Red River flowing through it. They have excellent colleges and universities in the area, including Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Central College of Lousiana, and Southern University Shreveport. Downtown Shreveport is a beautiful place to live and work with opportunities at the various libraries and the Spring Street Museum, a historical museum in arguably the oldest house in downtown Shreveport. It was built in 1866. Downtown is also home to the Sci-Port Discovery Center, the Shreveport Aquarium, riverboats on the Red River, and the R.W. Norton Art Gallery. 

The Shreveport Memorial Library System is the city’s public library with 21 library branches. They have a strong special collection with federal, local, and state documents and records. They also keep books of Lousiana authors, Louisiana magazines, and Lousiana history including ways to search genealogies. They have teen, children’s, and adult classes and programs going on daily at every location. They also offer special spaces for computer use, research, and children’s STEAM activities. 

Salary Opportunities in Louisiana for Librarians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana has 2,930 librarian positions. Most of the librarian jobs are in the cities and large towns and the salaries are typically higher in the cities. The mean salary for librarians in Louisiana is $57,300 annually. 

Additional Links 

To learn more about libraries and librarianship in Louisiana, visit https://llaonline.org/.

For more information about the American Library Association and its standards, visit https://www.ala.org/

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States