Maine borders Canada and is part of the New England States. Because they are in the northernmost parts of the country, they receive long, freezing winters. However, the rest of the year is lovely, and they have beautiful beaches, a rocky coastline, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities year-round including snow skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, and so on. Additionally, they have friendly cities and great small towns with plenty of community activities and things to do. Moreover, they have some of the best statistics in the U.S. in areas including healthcare, cost of living, education, and crime. For many reasons, residents love Maine and are known to welcome visitors and newcomers. Plus, they have some of the best lobster in the world.
Maine has one library and information science program through which students can earn a certificate, an associate degree, or an undergraduate degree in library and information science, and the University of Maine offers it. This program is an excellent option for those who want a career in librarianship and also plan to earn their master’s in library and information science. This program will prepare graduates for their master’s and entry-level library jobs. Maine does not have a program that offers a master’s program in library science, but there are great options in nearby states, including Massachusetts and New York. Both states have award-winning MLIS programs and affordable programs. The American Library Association also accredits the majority of these programs. Additionally, there are plenty of online options for remote schooling in order to earn a master’s in library and information science.
This article discusses the library science programs available in Maine and the admissions process. We also look at the salary and career opportunities in the state and in Maine’s major cities. After reading this article, you will know how to become a librarian, the great opportunities in librarianship in Maine, and other useful facts to consider when considering moving to Maine for a career in librarianship, or for further education in library and information science.
Bachelor Programs in Library and Information Science in Maine
Maine offers one undergraduate program in library and information science. A bachelor’s degree in library science will prepare students for a career in information organization and management in the corporate world and as an entry-level library professional. Most undergraduate degrees in library science are primarily for those wishing to also earn their master’s degree in library science from an ALA-accredited program and become professional librarians.
This online undergraduate degree is at least 120 credit hours in length and is a writing-intensive program. To graduate, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher and take 30 credit hours of upper-level coursework, 30 credit hours of residency courses, and 9 credit hours of upper-level major residency courses. LIS students will take courses including Introduction to Library and Library Careers, Digital Library Technology and Services, The User and Information Experience, Library Management, Library Services for Teens, and Library Materials and Services for Children. They also offer elective courses in school librarianship, archival studies, social media, and digital preservation. All undergraduate students will also take two humanities courses, a fine arts course, two social science courses, and other general electives.
How to apply
Applicants must submit an online application and send in official transcripts or GED test scores. That’s it, and currently, there is no application fee. Official transcripts should be mailed to Application Processing, University of Maine System, PO Box 412, Bangor, ME 04402-0412
How to Become a Librarian in Maine
There are three levels of certification for librarians and library staff in Maine and a few ways to achieve certification. Prior education or experience is optional for the basic certification. Still, employees must take online courses and modules to learn the fundamentals of librarianship, collection development, organization of materials, management, programs and services, and technology. The second level is intermediate certification. This can be obtained with an associate’s degree in library science from the University of Maine at Augusta. The third level is an advanced certification, and it requires a bachelor’s degree in library and information science from the University of Maine at Augusta. Additionally, anyone with an MLIS degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association will gain automatic advanced certification.
What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Maine?
There are many great companies to work for in Maine. They have great healthcare organizations, financial organizations, and marketing companies that hire information specialists. The top-rated company in Maine, according to Zippia, is Geiger. They are a marketing company for various other companies. They have jobs such as marketing assistants, website and eCommerce leaders, technology analysts, copy editors, and webpage designers. Other great companies in Maine include IDEXX, WEX, and i-Comm Connect.
Portland Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
Portland Maine has the largest population in the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Portland has a population of 68,424 people in the Portland area. This is double Maine’s second-largest city, which has a population of 38,493 people. Portland offers great opportunities for school librarians, public librarians, and academic librarians. Portland has three four-year universities and a two-year community college. Portland’s largest university is the University of Southern Maine, and they have four libraries, one at each campus. The Portland Public Library System serves the area with four library branches, an outreach and bookmobile service, and the Portland History Room. The History Room holds Portland’s special collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. They also offer opportunities to research genealogies. Portland also has four high schools, five elementary schools, and three middle schools in the city’s school system.
Augusta Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
The University of Maine at Augusta is the only university in Maine that offers a library degree. They offer a certificate in Library and Information Science, an associate’s degree in library and information science, and a bachelor’s degree in library and information science. The university is also the largest in the state, highly respected, and regionally accredited. The certification in library science has an added certification from the American Library Association (ALA). However, to become a professional librarian, a master’s in library science is required in most states, and the master’s program should also be accredited by ALA. Maine does not require a master’s degree, but those who have one are automatically certified with the highest certification a librarian can have in the state.
The Lithgow Public Library is the library that serves the Augusta area. They offer services and programs for all ages, including services for parents, genealogy research, local and state government and history research, and resources for educators and senior citizens. Because Augusta is the capital, the Lithgow Library has some of the state’s archives, and they connect researchers to other institutions and organizations with more research and opportunities. They are connected with the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Memory Network, and the state’s online archives. Additionally, they are connected to the Maine State Library and the Maine State Museum. Both of which are located in Augusta.
Lewiston Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
The Lewiston Public Library is a historical Carnegie Library that first opened in 1902. It has changed a lot since then and has added up-to-date technologies and various services for their community. They have services and programs for teens, children, and adults. There are currently five librarians and other supporting staff for the library.
Also in Lewiston are five elementary schools, four 7th-12th grade schools, and one adult program as part of the Lewiston Public School System. Additionally, Lewiston has one four-year university and one community college. Bates College is the four- year college, and they have a thriving library on campus with research librarians, an archives department, tutoring services, and faculty support.
Bangor Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
Bangor is one of the larger cities in Maine. The city has the Bangor International Airport which brings in plenty of traffic. They also have a couple of options in higher education with Husson University and Eastern Maine Community College. Additionally, they have great healthcare and plenty of hospitals and medical centers, including Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Acadia Hospital, and St. Joseph Healthcare Hospital.
For public librarians, the Bangor Public Library has positions in children’s services, teen services, circulation, reference, local history research, administration, and technical services. They offer ongoing services and programs for parents, children, teens, young adults, seniors, and entrepreneurs. Additionally, their archives department manages the local history through photographs, documents, yearbooks, cemetery records, and rare books.
Salary Opportunities in Maine for Librarians
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 830 librarian positions in the state of Maine. The mean salary for librarians and library staff is $56,420 annually. The entry-level jobs earn $36,500, and the administration jobs can earn up to $77,700 annually. This is comparable to Vermont and New Hamshire, but New York and Massuchuttes offer more librarian positions and higher wages. However, the cost of living is higher in higher-paying states.
For information on modern librarianship and information science, visit ala.org.
For information on what’s going on in the library world in Maine, visit https://www.mainelibraries.org/.