New Mexico Library & Information Science Degree Programs

Updated icon
Updated on May 14, 2024
Fact icon
Fact Checked

New Mexico is called the “Land of Enchantment” and is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. It is mostly desert but has mountains, rivers, canyons, and beautiful cities. Santa Fe is New Mexico’s capital and the state’s second-largest city, and it is a vibrant and culturally rich mountain city. Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, and it is home to the University of New Mexico and the world’s largest hot-air balloon festival, which lasts nine days during the month of October. New Mexico is also famous for its Mexican cuisine and Native American History and Culture. 

New Mexico offers an information science program through the University of New Mexico. However, it is not accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), so it’s not a good option for those who want to become librarians. However, it is good for those wanting to go into information technology, data management, and technology analysis. There are also many other good online options for earning a master’s in library science. New Mexico accepts any degree that is accredited by the ALA for public librarians and academic librarians. 

In this article, we will go over the qualifications for librarianship at various levels and when a master’s degree is necessary. Additionally, we will look at the related programs New Mexico offers. The article covers what to expect when it comes to salary and some other job opportunities for information professionals within the state, specifically in New Mexico’s two largest cities. 

Master’s in Library and Information Science Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico offers a Master of Arts in Information Science. It is for those wishing to enter into information management and data organization within large organizations and businesses. However, there are many other careers the program prepares students for, including the education field and marketing. It is not for those who wish to pursue librarianship because this program is not accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Most library employers want to see a graduate with an MLIS degree from a program accredited by the ALA. 

Master of Arts in Organization, Information, and Learning Science at the University of New Mexico

This program offers a thesis route that is 36 credit hours and a non-thesis route that is 30 credit hours. If you are someone who is thinking of doctoral work after graduating, the thesis route is best, so that you have scholarly work and research experience to show you are able to conduct your own research and writing. Students can focus on an area of study, or take any coursework they choose within the field. The School of Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences offers areas of study including Organization Development and Human Resource Development, Instructional Design and Development, Design for Online Learning, Adult Education and Professional Development, and Learning Officer.  

How to apply

Applicants need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and at least a 3.0 GPA during the last 60 credit hours of their undergraduate work. Applicants need to provide a letter of intent, an updated resume, a writing sample of academic work, unofficial transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must also apply online and pay the application processing fee. 

How to Become a Librarian in New Mexico

Academic libraries and universities mostly require professional librarians to have an MLIS degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Other library staff, such as assistants or technicians, may only need a high school diploma and some experience. However, some small private colleges may only require librarians to have a bachelor’s degree with coursework in librarianship.

To become a public librarian or a librarian for any publicly funded institution, there are four levels of certification and two different routes to achieve each level. A temporary certification can be granted by the State Librarian in special cases, but it only lasts one year. The Grade One Certification is required for Chief Librarians in communities with a population of 3,000 to 10,000. They can earn certification with the certification exam or with two years of undergraduate work and nine hours of library science coursework. A Grade Two Certification is for Chief Librarians in areas of 10,000 to 15,000 people. They can also take an exam for certification, have 30 credit hours of library science coursework, or have a minor in library science. A Permanent Professional Certification is required for Chief Librarians in areas with a population of 15,000 or more. They must have a master’s degree in library science from an ALA-accredited program. 

To become a school librarian in a public or private school, prospective employees need a school media certification and a teacher certification. They also must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university; they must pass the PRAXIS exam for Library Media Specialist; and they must have 24-35 credit hours of library science coursework. The teacher’s certification needs to be for the prospective age as well. For example, teachers who only want to teach middle school will need to have the Middle-Education Certificate. Most school librarians should look at Pre-K through 12th-grade certification.  

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

New Mexico is growing its economy through information technology and data centers. The state advertises to technology companies through incentives and natural benefits. It is a great state for tech companies because they do not have natural disasters like many other states, and they offer cheaper energy costs and plenty of sunshine for clean solar energy, making it affordable for companies to “go green”. Some of the large tech businesses include Facebook, Intel, HP, Identity Guard, Abba Technologies, PCM, Risk Sense, Rural Sourcing Incorporated, TEK Systems, Ultra Main, Unity Bio, and many more. 

Applied Research Associates (ARA) is one of the best and largest corporations in New Mexico. They are a technology organization that provides technical solutions to complicated issues. They design, manage, and test technology. Information specialists that are interested in technology and helping build new and advanced tech for huge businesses can find satisfying jobs here. They have positions available for analysts, data engineers, software programmers, and technical editors. 

Albuquerque Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities 

The Public Library is a library system that serves Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. They have 19 library branches throughout the city and county. They also offer a robust special collection of rare books and historical documents. They also have a genealogy department located at their main library. Albuquerque is also a city with large colleges and universities, academic libraries, and research centers. The largest universities in Albuquerque are the University of New Mexico and Brookline College. 

The Albuquerque Museum is a great place for those interested in Native American History and Hispanic culture. In their historical collection, they have Hispanic religious art, Native American textiles and jewelry, toys and early computers, and railroad and Route 66 memorabilia. They also archive historical photographs of New Mexico’s architecture, historical events, daily life, and businesses in Albuquerque. For more information about the museum and opportunities, email

Santa Fe Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and has the fourth-largest population. It is a mountain town and deals with dry climates and high altitudes. In the summer, the city is cooler than most areas in New Mexico with highs in the mid-eighties, and in the winter it can get down tothe teens. Santa Fe has beautiful mountain and lake views as well as a thriving historic downtown. It’s a great city for those who love history and for librarians interested in archives. Santa Fe has three arts and culture museums as well as the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of Governors. 

The Santa Fe Public Library has three library branches, and each library has a reference department, a children’s and teen department, and a circulation department. The main location also has the administration department and the inter-library loan department. They offer services such as technology help, computer use, job employment, meeting rooms, and programs for children, teens, and adults. 

Salary Opportunities in New Mexico for Librarians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico employs around 600 library staff members, and they pay a mean salary of $58,980 annually. The lowest-paid positions receive $33,180 annually, and the highest-paid librarians earn $101,990 a year. The librarians who serve areas with a higher population are required to have stronger qualifications, but they are also paid higher wages. 

Additional Links 

To learn more about librarianship and online accredited MLIS degrees, visit

For information on statewide libraries and library services visit

For more information about librarianship in New Mexican and current career opportunities, visit
If you are interested in academic librarianship, visit This is the academic library association in New Mexico. You can find current job opportunities in academic librarianship and archiving.

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States