Ohio Library Science Degree Programs

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Updated on May 9, 2024
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Ohio is undoubtedly a beautiful state, and Ohioans enjoy all four seasons. In Columbus Ohio, the temperature rarely rises above 90 degrees in the summer and rarely below 22 degrees in the winter. Additionally, the Ohio River provides a beautiful backdrop for a multitude of quaint towns and the great city of Cincinnati. 

The beauty of Ohio is only one reason to consider the state for higher education in Library and Information Science or for working within the field of librarianship. Ohio holds a love for libraries, new technology, and the preservation of rare and historical materials. Most importantly, Ohio has a master’s degree program in Library and Information Science that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) for those interested in receiving their Master in Library and Information Science (MLIS). 

Additionally, there are other programs for those pursuing a degree in librarianship and information studies that Ohio offers. To see if a degree from Ohio is for you, let’s take a closer look at the programs offered in the state and what careers the state offers professional librarians. 

Bachelor Programs Relating to Information Science in Ohio

Kent State provides a couple of bachelor’s degree programs that are closely related to librarianship and information science. 

The following degree majors at Kent State University are a great choice for those who want to begin their information studies during their undergrad. Mostly, because the university’s main focus is information science and they have award-winning programs in information studies and librarianship. 

Communication Studies – B.A. at Kent State University 

This program is a general program that helps students become familiar with communication skills that help in any industry or organization. This is especially useful for those pursuing a career in librarianship because of the various demographic communities they need to communicate with to best serve their community and provide information and resources that are helpful. 

Emerging Media and Technology – B.S. at Kent State University

This exciting degree allows students to explore new technologies and sources of mainstream media and social media. The goal of the course is to aid students in evaluating the usefulness of new technology advances and to teach others the benefit of new technologies. This is especially helpful for those pursuing librarianship because libraries are a technological hub and learning center for communities and schools. 

How to Apply

Contact their admissions department to see if you qualify. Then apply online. 1-800-988-KENT 1-800-988-KENT. 

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

Kent State University is the only university in Ohio that offers a master’s in Library and Information Science (MLS). The university is less than an hour away from Cleveland which is the second largest city in the state and is home to the Cleveland Clinic which is one of the top ten best hospitals in the nation. Additionally, Cleveland is a good city to work in after graduating for librarians because of the numerous library branches, and the Museum of Natural History for those interested in archival studies. 

To see if the program itself seems like a good choice, let’s look at their program in Library Science. 

Library and Information Science M.L.I.S at Kent State University

Kent State University has a long-standing program in librarianship that is over 60 years old. They offer a concentration in Medical Librarianship, including an internship and five courses in medical libraries and databases. The MLIS program will also help students learn to analyze changes in culture and adapt to the changes to best serve the community. Kent State also regularly updates its technology to meet the needs of such a dynamic degree program. Additionally, students can earn a dual degree in Library Science and Business Administration for 61 credit hours. 

  • Online Degree
  • ALA-accredited
  • Library Media Certification is available
  • Concentration in Medical Librarianship
  • 37-hour course
  • Dual degree offered: M.L.I.S – M.B.A

How to apply

You must first have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have a minimum of 2.750 GPA on a 4.0 scale. If you have below a 3.0 you will also need to provide a statement that addresses the reason for the cause of the low GPA and a plan for increasing the GPA in graduate work. A GRE is waived for all applicants as of December 2022. 

After meeting the qualifications, you will need to send in official transcripts, a resume, fill out an online student profile, an exception statement, an application essay, three letters of recommendation, and an English proficiency score if you are an international student. 

Doctoral Programs in Ohio for Library and Information Science

For those pursuing a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science, Kent State is a great school to earn an information science doctorate. They are the only institution that provides a doctoral program for library science, and the university’s school, or school of information science, has been around for over 60 years, and they belong to the International iSchools Alliance. 

Ph.D. in Communication and Information at Kent State University

The iSchool at Kent State University offers a doctoral program in communication and information which relates to Library and Information Science. The program prepares students in teaching higher education, research, and administration in communication and information fields. The iSchool provides outreach opportunities for those pursuing an MLIS or a Ph.D. in Information Certification in School Library Media in Ohio. Their outreach opportunities encourage scholarly research and ways to analyze the needs of communities and young students. 

  • Degree offered online and in person
  • 70-credit hour program including a dissertation
  • Students must pass the doctoral comprehensive examination

How to Apply 

To qualify for the iSchool’s doctoral program, applicants must have a master’s degree in a related field and a minimum of a 3.300 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Then applicants must send in official transcripts, resume, goal statement, a sample of scholarly writing, and letters of recommendation, fill out an online application and pay the application fee. 

How to Become a Librarian in Ohio

To become a librarian in Ohio applicants must be certified and certification requires an MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited program, and two years of library experience. Additionally, librarians need 75 hours of continuing education every five years to hold a certification. 

An alternative option for those seeking librarianship within the public library system is to become a professional public librarian by earning the Ohio Public Library Staff Certification. This certification requires a high school diploma, 10 credit hours of higher education, and two years of professional librarian experience. Additionally, 50 hours of continuing education is required every five years. 

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

In Ohio, the most common careers MLIS degree holders obtain are knowledge managers, information architecture, library administrators, youth and children librarians, health informatics experts, usability analysts, digital preservationists, museum collection specialists, competitive research strategists, network consultants, and law librarians. However, there are many other opportunities including website design, marketing management, and cultural analysis. 

If you have a love for archiving and museum collections, then there are a multitude of job opportunities in Ohio within its four major cities and larger towns. Specifically, in Cincinnati, they uphold a passion for the preservation of rare books, historical materials, and historical documents. Cincinnati has over 10 museums in the city and the surrounding areas including the  Cincinnati Museum, the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the Creation Museum. They also have an Archives and Rare Books collection at the University of Cincinnati. The university also has 14 other library branches and 39 subject librarian positions.

Salary Opportunities in Ohio for Librarians 

Ohio has various positions for certified librarians and media specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 4,800 librarian positions in the state of Ohio. 600 of these positions are in the cities of Columbus and Cleveland. 

If you are just starting to work within the library profession, the Columbus Metropolitan Library System is a great first employer as well as a lifetime employer. They have a variety of ways to gain experience in librarianship through volunteer, part-time positions, and full-time positions as library assistants and library technicians. They also offer ways for non-degree holders to earn certification in library science through on-the-job experience. Additionally, they offer a variety of income opportunities with a multitude of different levels in professional librarianship. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio librarians and media collection specialists earn an annual salary of $54,420; archivists earn an average annual salary of $58,740, and Library Technicians and Assistants earn an average of $34,940 a year.

Go to the OLC Jobline website for current librarian jobs in Ohio and surrounding areas as well as jobs relating to library and information science. 

Additional Resources:

For more information about librarianship in Ohio visit https://olc.org/

For more information about Library Science and a career in librarianship visit ala.org

For more information about certification for school, and librarianship visit https://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/

To learn more about Ohio and the state’s economy visit https://www.ohioventure.org/ohio-economy/

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States