Nebraska is mostly flat farmland and plains that receive cold winters and hot summers. They have a humid climate and receive all four seasons, making it a great place to grow crops. They offer two big cities with opportunities in healthcare, technology, education, and much more. Additionally, they offer some beautiful state parks, including Platte River State Park and Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. Nebraska is also a state with a significant American history. Nebraska helped during and in the aftermath of World War II; they were a state where Czech-Americans settled, and they hold the history of the indigenous people of the Pawnee Nation.
Nebraska offers great options in higher education, and the residents are big fans and support the University of Nebraska, which gives off a sense of strong community. Both the University of Nebraska in Omaha and the University of Nebraska in Kearney have a school media endorsement for graduate students. This is perfect for those looking to become librarians at a grade school. Most schools require library media specialists to have a teacher’s certificate and a master’s degree in library science, preferably one with a library media endorsement.
This article covers the two library science programs offered in Nebraska. It will go over the program highlights and the admissions process. Additionally, the article will go over how to become either a public librarian or a school librarian and other options for those with librarian science degrees in Nebraska. Specifically, the article covers the state’s opportunities as a whole and the opportunities in the cities of Omaha and Lincoln. Lastly, the reader will learn about salary expectations and how many positions in librarianship there are, so as to get a better understanding of the opportunities in Nebraska.
Master’s in Library and Information Science Programs in Nebraska
Both programs below are accredited by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and they are approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. For those who want to become librarians in a public library setting or academic librarians, they will need to earn an MLIS or MLS degree that is accredited by the ALA. Currently, Nebraska is not a state that offers an MLS degree, but there are plenty of other online options that can be done remotely.
This endorsement can be paired with a Master of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Secondary Education, or a Master of Science in Literacy. Both education degrees are offered entirely online or both online and in person. The Master of Science in Literacy is only offered online. The endorsement is 30 credit hours of library science, literacy, and technology courses. The required courses for the endorsement include Research and Inquiry, Managing Collections in Libraries and Information Agencies, Organization of Information, Digital Citizenship, Children’s Literature and Education, Young Adult Literature and Education, and two other electives to choose from. They are also required to complete a practicum for experience.
How to apply
Create your online account and fill out the online application. To qualify for admission, applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale. Official transcripts must be sent in and letters of recommendation are encouraged. Email the graduate admissions offices for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This degree comes with the option of a school library endorsement. This degree and endorsement combination aids school librarians with the knowledge and tools for leadership in library administration, education technology, information access, children’s and young adult literature, curriculum, instruction, and resource management. The classes required for this concentration are Introduction to School Library Program, Collection Development and Management, Organization for School Library and Technology Resources, Reference Resources and Services, and Administration of the School Library. Students will also complete either a capstone or comprehensive exam and create an ePortfolio.
How to apply
To qualify, applicants must have an undergraduate degree or equivalent. All applicants to the graduate school must create an online account, submit an online application, pay the application fee, and have their previous institution send an official transcript. Contact the graduate program for more information.
How to Become a Librarian in Nebraska
The Nebraska Library Commission created eight levels of certification for librarians and library staff working in public libraries. All levels of certification require a high school diploma or GED and basic skills courses offered by the Commission, and they must apply for certification. Applying is free, but the courses come with a fee. Applicants can apply online, or receive a paper copy and send it by mail. The other levels range from having some undergraduate credits to earning a Master’s in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program.
To become a school librarian or library media specialist, applicants need to have teaching experience, an education degree, coursework in library science, and a teacher’s certificate. It is recommended to complete a library media endorsement program that is approved by Nebraska’s Department of Education and AASL. The University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Kearny offer a library media program that meets these qualifications. The program guides students through the certification process for teaching and library media.
What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Nebraska?
HDR is a technology company that is the largest U.S. company that is 100% employee-owned and one of the best companies to work for in Nebraska. They offer services and create products through engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction. They hire data analysts, data organizers, marketing coordinators, project managers, project assistants, and more. Librarians with an additional background in business, accounting, architecture, and engineering will have more opportunities, but a library and information science degree will be helpful in the jobs listed.
Omaha Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
In Omaha, the Omaha Public Library System employs 147 library staff members. This number includes 45 librarians, and 36 of their current staff have an MLS degree from an ALA-accredited program. The system circulates over three million items a year, and they offer well-attended programs for children, young adults, and various classes and book clubs for all ages. They also offer plenty of resources and programs for homeschooling families and other educators. Other programs include learning the English language, job and career help, and a space for artists and writers to promote their work.
One of two school library endorsement programs is offered in Omaha by the University of Nebraska-Omaha. They offer the endorsement with a master’s degree in either secondary education or elementary education. The endorsement program is accredited by the American Association for School Libraries, which is an organization. The university is also a good employer for academic librarians and library staff. The university employs 38 librarians across departments and subjects, including administration, research assistance, discovery services, the creative production lab, and archives and special collections.
Lincoln Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
The Lincoln City Libraries is Lincoln’s public library system. They consist of eight library locations, and they offer a bookmobile that travels to other parts of the city to provide resources to those who have a hard time coming to a library branch. They employ 107 library staff members, including 22 librarians with MLIS degrees from an ALA-accredited program. They offer young adult programs, children’s programs, computer classes, parenting programs, family programs, and book clubs for all ages. Their programs receive high participation, and they circulate nearly three million items a year.
Lincoln offers four universities to choose from that offer undergraduate degrees and one community college. The University of Nebraska of Lincoln offers master’s and doctoral degrees as well. The university has 15 libraries and study spaces across campus including the Architecture Library, Archives, and Special Collections Reading Room, the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, the Engineering Library, the Geology Library, HuskerTech at Dinsdale Family Learning, the Love Library, the Math Library, and the Music Library. They employ 37 librarians who offer a wide variety of specialized subject expertise in research and services to students and faculty.
For those who are interested in historical preservation and research, the History Nebraska Library and Museum is a great place to work in Nebraska. They archive photographs, documents, moving images, newspapers, other publications, and other resources to use for finding family genealogy and connecting American history to uncover our heritage and its story. They also assist with events and create fun and educational programs for school-age children.
Salary Opportunities in Nebraska for Librarians
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, Nebraska employs 1,030 librarians. This includes school librarians, university librarians, and public librarians. The mean wage is $54,940 annually, similar to surrounding states. Colorado is the only state with a mean wage above $60,000, which is $64,840 annually. The lowest-earning librarians in Nebraska make $29,940 a year, and the highest-earning librarians make $75,340 a year.